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‫مجلة المسلمات الجميالت الملتزمات‬


THE GLOBAL MAGAZINE FOR MUSLIM WOMEN EVERYWHERE MBM is a global contemporary magazine for Muslim women that keeps the guidelines of Islam embedded in every single page, between every single letter. The teachings of the Qur'an and Al-Hadith are very important to the magazine. MISSION STATEMENT To foster an environment of dialogue and connectedness for the entire Muslim Women community at a global scale.

JANUARY 2011 Contents

EDITOR IN CHIEF Yasmin Essa

Editor's Letter ….. page 3 5 Tips to Enrich your Life with Kindness .... page 4 For our French Readers ..... page 6 The Names of Allah SWT: Ad-Darr .....Page 8 Poem: My Craven Heart ..... Page 9 Fallen....Page 11 Kindness ....Page 12 Honeydew Melon Cooler ...Page 13 Quran Challenge ...Page 14 Boost your Marriage.... page 15 Poem: Proud to be a Muslim.... page 15 Journey to Jersulem .....Page 16

ASSISTANT EDITOR Nur Soliman LAYOUT & DESIGN Yasmin Essa CONTRIBUTORS Nadia Ali Meena Ansari Asma Begum Maryam G. Yvonne Maffei Fatima A. Khan Kyle Smith Nur Soliman Tayyaba Syed LETTERS TO THE EDITOR info@mbmuslima.com

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MBmuslima is published monthly. Copyright Modest Beautiful Muslima© Magazine 2009-2010. Reproduction or redistribution of anything from MBM requires proper credit to be given.


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From the Editor Bism Allah Al-Rahman Al-Raheem In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatu May the peace & mercy of Allah Subhana Wa Ta‘ala be on you.

Dear MBM Readers, In Surah Al-Rahman, Allah SWT says:

“Is there any other reward for good, other than good?” Try this. Think about the word ‗reward‘—what comes to mind? As human beings, there is something in us that equates reward to money. But what about the reward of Allah SWT? It surely has to be something better than this. Something we are not even aware of, physically, or within our imaginations. Does this mean in order to be a good Muslim that one can not enjoy money or other worldly gains? No not at all. However, it does mean that we should have our priorities straight. It does not make sense to work so hard for this world while barely doing anything for the Hereafter. We should strive to be balanced and put faith in Allah SWT. So what does this have to do with kindness? Let us look at the first part of the ayah (verse). From this, we can see that good is achieved through good. Unfortunately, in the dunya (this world), this equation is not always the one that works. Unfortunately good does not always equal good. However, this life is far from perfect. Even though we will not always be rewarded with good in this life, let us continue to be kind and good, inshaAllah. This issue has been blessed to be filled with some great content by our terrific writers. I hope you enjoy it. — As always, your comments, criticism, and suggestions as a reader are highly appreciated and encouraged. By the will of Allah SWT, let us all engage in a deep collective search for truth, guided by the primary sources of Islam: the Qur‘an and Sunnah. As always, JazakAllah khair for being an MBMuslima reader—this magazine would be nothing without you.

Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatu, Sister Yasmin Essa

Front Cover Image: Walstraasworld | Dreamstime.com Image: Dreamstock | Dreamstime.com


BY NADIA ALI

Kindness comes in all shapes and sizes, from that unexpected hug for your teenaged child to scattering bread in the garden for the birds. It really doesn‟t take much to be kind. Once you do it with a sincere heart and to seek the pleasure of Allah act of kindness (al Ma‟un) can turn into a reward of a good deed which will be counted on the day of judgment. “Actions are judged according to their intentions and every person will be dealt with (in the Hereafter) according to what he intends.” ~ Sahih Bukhari, Muslim, Hadith Allah Subhaan Wa Ta'la said: Never belittle any good deed. Even your meeting with your brother (Muslim) with a cheerful face". ~ Sahih Muslim

Image: Gregory Johnston | Dreamstime.com


1. Parents As children we learn the importance of our own parents, the mother who holds us when we cry, the father who teaches us to ride a bike without training wheels. As we grow older, it is only then that we can truly understand the kindness of our parents. The holy Qur‟an places parents in such high esteem, especially our mothers, that we can receive heavenly rewards for the most simple of acts be it kindness, respect or humility. "And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents.” Al Qur’an 31:41

2. Mercy (Al Rahmah) One of the virtues synonymous with kindness is to be merciful. It is an attribute that is commanded in every situation and action, and comes from the heart. Contact that person who has wronged you and forgive them. Grant some one more time to pay up the debt owed to you or the item borrowed. "He who does not show mercy to others, will not be shown mercy." ~Al-Bukhari "Whoever is kind to the creatures of God, is kind to himself." ~Al Hadith

3. Animals

Throughout our lifetime we come into contact with animals be them in the wild or as house pets. Our interaction with animals is important and we should view it as that. A simple act of kindness like forming the habit to throw out some bread for the birds, can bring about rewards for every single bird that feeds on that piece of bread. By encouraging others or your children to form a love for animals by helping you scatter crumbs and you increase your blessings!

4. Gratitude A simple „thank you‟ takes no time but impacts over a lifetime. Remembering others in our prayers to by asking for help from Allah for their well keeping, by making dhikr or giving da‟wah we perform acts of gratitude. It can strengthen our Imam to perform acts of kindness with a sincere heart to seek the pleasure of Allah. “So, remember Me; and I will remember you” ~ Surah Al Baqarah 142

5. Generosity (Sakhawat) Generosity comes in all forms from the spending of money in the way of Allah, to being generous with one‟s time to spend with others to fulfil their needs. Being able to see someone in need and do something about it is what builds hope, joy and peace in the community. "And whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah's Cause), He will replace it.'' ~ Al-Qur’an 34:39 We can all use the power of intention to spread a little more kindness amongst others and in so doing elevate kindness into good deeds. With a sincere heart and for the sake of Allah (SWT) there are rewards for those who are wise. Kindness is an action of the heart. It lies in our words and deeds so let kindness emanate from your heart and spread some kindness to those around you.

“And do good. Truly, Allaah loves the good-doers.”

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The Names of Allah SWT: Ad-Darr BY KYLE SMITH

Ad-Darr literally means ―The Distresser.‖ Essentially, Ad-Darr means ―He who makes harm reach whoever He wishes and visits benefit upon whoever He wills1.‖ This means that harm (i.e. trials or tribulations) can only reach someone by the will of Allah (SWT), and benefits can only be granted to someone through Allah (SWT). The name ―Ad-Darr‖ can be found in the Qur‘an in Surat al -Hud (18). Verse 9 discusses how when man befalls into a hardship, he does not realize that the hardship can actually be a good thing for him, while Verse 10 discusses how when man receives a blessing from Allah (SWT), he attributes that blessing to his own merit or cleverness. Finally, Verse 11 discusses the importance of sabr (patience), and those who keep their sabr in these situations will have a great reward. An example of a contemporary issue that most of us can relate to is running late for school. Let‘s say that I am really late to school, so I begin to drive as fast as possible. On my way to school, I cross every single red light. So now, a hardship has befallen me. Two things can happen in this situation: I can realize that this hardship may actually be a good thing and keep my sabr. Alternatively, I can disregard that this hardship may be a good thing, and let get my emotions get the best of me and begin cursing. Obviously, the best choice is to keep sabr and realize that this can be a good thing from Allah (SWT). Now aside from just the rewards that Allah (SWT) can give me on judgment day for keeping my sabr, this situation which appears to be a hardship may actually be a good thing for me in this life. What if I was to run into all green lights instead of the red lights and I began to speed and got into a huge car accident? That would not be good at all. Therefore, what appears to be a hardship may in fact be a good thing. Remember, it is only Allah (SWT) can provide us with both hardships as well as blessings. When the hardships befall us, it is always vital to keep our sabr. Let‘s look at the opposite spectrum in a contemporary example. Let‘s say that I receive a great blessing; that blessing is a large bonus from my boss. I attribute this blessing all to my own merit, because I worked so hard at my job; therefore, I believe I‘m entitled to that bonus. I disregard that it is by the mercy and will of Allah (SWT) that He gave me the ability to work that hard. Therefore, instead of attributing this blessing to my own

merit, I should realize that it is all from Allah (SWT), because He is the only one who can benefit others. Therefore, the essential thing to do is thank Allah (SWT). Now let‘s look at an example of all of this from a story in the Qur‘an. In Surat al-Kahf, there is a story about the Prophet Musa (AS) and Hadrat Khidr. In the story, Khidr informs Musa (AS) that he will not be able to have patience with him (Khidr). Musa (AS) informs Khidr that ―insha‘Allah you will find me patient. So then, Khidr says, ―if you follow me, ask me not about anything till I myself mention it to you.‖ (18:69-70). So the two of them proceeded to a ship; once there Khidr makes a hole in the ship. Musa (AS) says ―have you scuttled it in order to drown its people? Verily you have committed an evil thing‖ (71) So Khidr reminds Musa (AS) ―did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me?‖ (72). Then Musa (AS) apologizes for forgetting what Khidr had told him. Afterwards the two of them proceeded to until they met a boy. Khidr kills the boy. Musa (AS) says ―Have you killed an innocent person who had killed none? Verily you have committed a dreadful thing‖ (74). Khidr then tells Musa (AS) ―did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me?‖ (75). Again Musa (AS) apologizes and says ―If I ask anything after this, keep me not in your company; you have received an excuse from me‖ (76). Then they proceeded again until they came to a town full of people. The town people refused to entertain Khidr and Musa, despite their need for food. While they were in the town, they saw a wall which was about to collapse, but Khidr set it up straight, and did not take any payment for it. Musa (AS) said to Khidr ―verily if you had wished you could have taken wages for it!‖ So it is evident that two of the things that Hadrat Khidr have done go against the commandments of Allah (SWT)‘s law. No law allows anyone to damage the property of another or kill an innocent person. Then the question comes why did Khidr commit these acts? The answer is that Hadrat Khidr did these acts in accordance with divine command, for he says himself that these acts were not done by his own authority, but were moved by the mercy of Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) testified this by saying that he was one ―whom We had taught knowledge from Us‖ (65).


continued Image Credit: Wendy Brown | Dreamstime.com

Since Hadrat Khidr was of this nature, then one must conclude that Hadrat Khidr was a unique worshipper of Allah (SWT), and has knowledge that transcends that of other human beings thanks to Allah (SWT). Going back to the story, Khidr says: This is the parting between me and you; I will tell you the interpretation of those things over which you held no patience. As for the ship, it belonged to poor people working at the sea. So I wished to make a defective damage in it, as there was a king after them who seized every ship by force. And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion or disbelief. So we intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in righteousness and near to mercy. And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. And I did not it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of those things over which you could not hold patience (78 – 82) So we see that in this situation Musa (AS) could not keep his sabr. The situations that he and Khidr went

through appeared to be horrible situations; however, what Khidr did was actually a good thing, as Allah SWT mandated it. So the moral of this story is, that when something appears not to be going in one‘s favor, it may in fact be a good thing for him/her whether that person realizes it or not. In conclusion, it is only Allah (SWT) who can send blessings upon one, and it is only He who can send harm upon one. When Allah (SWT) afflicts someone, it is crucial for that person to keep his or her sabr because the situation can actually be a good thing for that person. Furthermore, when a person is afflicted and keeps their sabr, insha‘Allah they will be tremendously rewarded. Lastly, when Allah (SWT) sends blessings upon one, it is important for that person to thank Allah (SWT), rather than attributing it to his/her own merit. References 1.―99 Names of Allah.‖ Mawlana Faizani: University of Insight into God. Last update 2005. (http://www.faizani.com/articles/names.html) 2. All quotes from the Qur‘an are taken from ―Translation of Surah 18: Surah al-Kahf (The Cave).‖ Translated by Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din AlHIlali PhD and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan. Muslim Converts. Last checked 26 Dec 2010 (http://www.muslimconverts.com/quran/ NobleQuran/translation/surah18.html).

Yet the image of you in agony locks itself in my mind and all other memories simply dies.

By Asma Begum I cry amidst the tormenting comfort of the night When all are asleep and nothing is bright, The memories of you flood in their infinities As I reminisce alone with feelings of indignities; Could I have done anything more to have stopped your suffering? Could anyone have? My tears run freely as my sobs are stifling; That sting in my heart ever prominent and aching. I think about my mother, your wife and what she must be feeling For this pain is sheer torture slowly unravelling. As I taste bitterness of the tiny stream of salty water which flow from my eyes, I try to think of the good times we had;

They say time is a great healer but that’s just lies. How could I feel any less heart-rending about death? Especially of someone so precious to me no longer on this Earth. I think of the foe that killed you and utter a thousand curses upon its existence, For the foe cancer is truly a belligerence. Why? I ask. Why my dad? And then I remember my Lord and feel my mask. For my tears have stopped as has the aching in my chest, For Allah knows exactly what is forever best. He took what was his and his alone; As I remember my Lord, I feel a drone My dad is in a better place, one I cannot condemn. I recite Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un Allah, protect my dad for we will all return to you one day soon. They say time is a healer; that is indeed lies I am healed, but by no other than what my faith defies.


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BY TAYYABA SYED

Adam‘s hands sat on his lap while his thumbs formed tiny invisible circles in the air. He was not as focused on them as he was his restless right leg that would not stop shaking. His thumbs and leg were in tune with the dog‘s endless barking. He looked up at the back of the taxi driver‘s head. Even though he could not see his face, Adam could tell the driver was losing his patience. This is not how Adam had imagined returning home. It had been over six years since he was here last. He turned and gazed out of the foggy cab window reminiscing over all the wonderful memories he had inside and outside that house. It was exactly how he remembered it. Nothing had changed. However, now things were going to change. But before those changes could happen, he wanted to tell his parents how much he loved them. He wanted to tell them how sorry he was for everything, and he did not mean to hurt them like this. He needed to find the strength to face them. But would he be able to say anything to them? Could he do it? It seemed just like yesterday his mother was holding him tight and soaking his shirt with tears while his father was squeezing Adam‘s shoulder and simply ―staying strong.‖ Adam was so sure of himself at that time in his life. He knew he did not want any thing more in the world than to take care of his country, his people. He wanted to join the army ever since he was a little boy. ―I‘ll be back soon, Ma. Don‘t worry. You just keep writing me and sending me those crazy cookies of yours.‖ And that she did. Not a week went by where she did not write or send something for her only child.

Adam knew this was all too real now and there was no escape. ―How many officers are there?‖ he asked the cabbie. ―Two.‖ ―Okay. It‘s now or never right? I have to do this. Please wait here for me,‖ Adam said as he opened the cab‘s door. He stepped out with his back toward the house and looked over at the officers. Both men looked sadly in Adam‘s direction, adjusted their uniforms, and headed towards him. The taller officer whispered something to the shorter one, but Adam could not make out their words. He nodded and smiled but got nothing in return. Saddened, Adam walked slowly behind them. As the three of them approached the doorstep, the dog‘s barking grew louder from inside the house. Adam decided to come in front of the officers. He wanted to see his parents first. Before any of them could reach the doorbell, the front door swung open. Adam‘s mother lifted the dog in her arms and stroked her gently. Adam‘s father stood standing slightly behind them. They looked at the three uniformed gentlemen in dismay. ―I was expecting you much sooner,‖ Adam‘s mother said without much emotion. ―Ma, I‘m here now. I love you! I‘m so sorry! Dad, forgive me please! I love you both! I love you!‖ The dog barked deafeningly. ―Mr. & Mrs. Ali, I‘m Officer Crawes and this is Officer Markland,‖ the tall one spoke softly as he took his hat off his head. ―We are so sorry, but your son Lieutenant Adam K. Ali is dead.‖ ―Mr. Adam, I don‘t usually make exceptions like this,‖ Everything became foggy for Adam. He could not the taxi driver said turning back to face Adam, ―but Boss said hear anything anymore. His parents, his dog, his house, the this one time was alright. Are you planning to get out of the officers all became a big blur and slowly began to fade. The car anytime soon?‖ only thing he could see was the taxi. The driver was still wait―Yes! Yes! Please just bear with me. This is very diffi- ing for him. He walked back to the cab and slid slowly into cult for me,‖ explained Adam. the back seat. The taxi driver gave an empathetic look. ―I under―Thank you for letting me see my parents one last stand, but I do have to get going soon.‖ Just as he finished time. I‘m ready now. You may take me to my destination. I saying that, the driver‘s eyes wandered past Adam‘s head am ready to meet the Boss. through the cab‘s back windshield. ―They‘re here. You should follow them.‖

TAYYABA S. SYED

A wife, mother, and writer. She is also a certified substitute teacher and teaches on a part-time basis. She has written for numerous publications including the *Chicago Crescent Newspaper*, *Azizah Magazine*, and *Muslim Quarterly Magazine*. She has been featured on air with National Public Radio's "Speaking of Faith" program as well as Soundvision's Radio Islam. She also does public speaking on marriage and family for Muslim women. She is a lead volunteer for the Refugee Assistance Program (RAP) as well as Camp Busy Bees in Illinois. She finds inspiration for her work through her wonderful family and community. Visit her blog at www.tayyabasyed.blogspot.com Image: April Turner | Dreamstime.com


BY NUR SOLIMAN Image: Nusyaguseva | Dreamstime.com

One of the earliest lessons I remember being taught by my family is the Golden Rule (I think it must have stayed in my memory because of the awe -inspiring name), also known as the Silver Rule in Confucian teaching. The essence of this rule lies in compassion, and that you must do unto others what you wish them to do to yourself. So beautifully constructed is this edict, but not so easy to always abide by. We all know what it is like to feel the snub of unkindness, and how the upsetting feeling does not go away easily. Some of us may also have a similarly discomforting feeing of guilt after being unkind to someone else (or something else). I, for one, have a hard time forgetting the unkindness or unfairness of children I knew at school, although I have long since forgiven them and have no resentment towards them, al-hamdulillah, but it is an example of how some acts can impress themselves in the memories of others, for better or worse. But while we cannot really control how others around us treat us, we can pay attention to our own behaviour which can, in many ways, improve our relationships with the world around us and have a real, lasting effect on those we live with daily. This is a way in which we can at least change our outlook and attitude in life and insha’Allah make a difference around us as well. Remembering the feelings of smallness, low self-esteem, and the pain of an insult (or being ignored, left out, or any other situations) will usually make it harder to fall into the temptation of being unkind or cruel. Before you say something to a friend that is a little caustic or inconsiderate, take a moment to imagine how it would feel if you were told the same thing. Kindness is something to be shared with yourself and also with others, and it makes the world a better place when you value the importance of love, compassion, and gratitude. While it is easy to remember people‟s acts of unkindness, try and bring their kind gestures back in equal prominence, and remember that naturally none of us are perfect (even though sometimes we may think we‟re close, or getting there!). Gratitude for that person, or that group (family, staff, even pets), and the relationship you share makes them more valuable and therefore induces you to take more care with them, and to be increasingly considerate and kind with them. There is a lovely hadith which relates that „a group of sahaba, or followers, once asked the

Prophet Mohammed (PBUH): “Teach us which kind of wealth is best, so that we may try to acquire it?” He (PBUH) said: “The best is remembering tongue (one that remembers Allah), a grateful heart, and a believing wife who helps one‟s faith.”‟ [Reported by Ahmad, 5/278; al-Tirmidhi, 3039; Sahih al-Jaami‟ 5231.]. This important hadith reminds us that a great way to maintain a manner of genuine, loving, unconditional kindness is to increase or strengthen your iman, or faith. To strengthen one‟s belief in Allah (SWT) and transcend levels of belief to improve oneself can be done in numerous ways, from maintaining the important pillars of Islam to internalizing the importance of believing in Allah (SWT), and how He Himself is Eternal and Generous, and how He continues to show infinite mercy on His creation. Also, bearing in mind the sunna of the deen by restraining one‟s temper, anger, rudeness, and also extending generous, kind, and considerate manner to our parents, the young or old, animals and plants, and everything. Gratitude for the blessings of Allah will also help increase the frequency of your dhikr, or remembrance of God, and remembering Him always helps you strive to become a better person, and in better manners there is kindness, and rahma. Where unkindness rents things apart and scatters them in broken fashion, kindness can only repair and mend such broken hearts and spirits. Even if things are not so operatically bleak as all that, we might want to remember that in the end of everything, we are remembered by our acts and deeds, not by our accomplishments or inheritance. Kindness can build incredible, incredible relationships, help heal hearts, and change the very universe for people. Think of those you have loved dearly and who have now passed away (Allah have mercy on them all), and how you are still touched by memories of their kindness, to this day. We are not going to be around forever, and we might as well make the most of it and make things easier and kinder for everyone before it is too late.


BY YVONNE MAFFEI from My Halal Kitchen Who is to say that you can only enjoy a delicious fruit cooler in the summer? Relax with this wonderful treat brought to you by Yvonne Maffei of My Halal Kitchen. This recipe serves 2, so share it with someone special to you.

Ingredients    

½ honeydew melon, roughly chopped 1 small yellow guava, seeds removed ½ mango, peeled and pith removed ¼ cup orange juice

Directions Place all prepared ingredients into a blender. Blend for 1 minute or until smooth. Image Credit: www.myhalalkitchen.com

*Special Feature* Q&A with

Halal Culinary Expert, Yvonne Maffei from My Halal Kitchen!

Email your question to info@mbmuslima.com We will make sure it gets answered in our next issue,

Photo courtesy Halal culinary expert, Yvonne Maffei

just for you! Jazakum Allah khairan!


Surah Al-Bayinnah (The Clear Evidence) Translation Credit: http://noblequran.com/translation/surah98.html Transliteration Credit: http://www.islambasics.com/view.php?bkID=30&chapter=98

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful Bismi Allahi alrrahmanialrraheemi 1. Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture and among Al-Mushrikun, were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence. Lam yakuni allatheena kafaroo min ahli alkitabi waalmushrikeena munfakkeena hattata/tiyahumu albayyinatu 2. A Messenger from Allah, reciting purified pages [purified from Al-Batil (falsehood, etc.)]. Rasoolun mina Allahi yatloo suhufan mutahharatan 3. Containing correct and straight laws from Allah. Feeha kutubun qayyimatun 4. And the people of the Scripture differed not until after there came to them clear evidence. Wama tafarraqa allatheena ootoo alkitaba illamin baAAdi ma jaat-humu albayyinatu 5. And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him), and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat: and that is the right religion. Wama omiroo illa liyaAAbudoo Allaha mukhliseenalahu alddeena hunafaawayuqeemoo alssalatawayu/too alzzakata wathalikadeenu alqayyimati 6. Verily, those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture and Al-Mushrikun will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures. Inna allatheena kafaroo min ahli alkitabi waalmushrikeena fee nari jahannama khalideenafeeha ola-ika hum sharru albariyyati 7. Verily, those who believe including all obligations ordered by Islam] and do righteous good deeds, they are the best of creatures. Inna allatheena amanoo waAAamiloo alssalihati ola-ika hum khayrualbariyyati 8. Their reward with their Lord is 'Adn (Eden) Paradise (Gardens of Eternity), underneath which rivers flow, they will abide therein forever, Allah Well-Pleased with them, and they with Him. That is for him who fears his Lord. Jazaohum AAinda rabbihim jannatu AAadnin tajree min tahtihaal-anharu khalideena feeha abadan radiya AllahuAAanhum waradoo AAanhu thalika liman khashiya rabbahu


Boost your Marriage

BY FATIMA A. KHAN

For the Same Team When in disagreement with your husband, it is essential to keep in mind that both of you are on the same side. The objective of talking with him should be to bring up what is wrong, instead of whom. Meeting your relationship goals will be far easier when you forego your ego, and think in terms of wanting collectively instead of individually. Put in the, "We" where the "I" used to be in, "I want to be." These tips are so simple to implement yet result in such beautiful, long-lasting results. Guaranteed! (inshaAllah)

Photographer: Sameh Abdallah www.samabdallah.com

BY MARYAM G., 11 YEARS OLD Our beautiful religion is Islam; We believe Jannah is under the foot of mothers.

We beg for no punishment in the grave; So from Shaytan ourselves we must save.

Our enemy is Iblees; Our ego we must cease.

We must fulfill our prayer; Our love we must share.

Allah gave us all our lives; Very hard the Muslim heart strives.

Our intelligence grows like seeds; With this knowledge we attain good deeds.

The Prophet (SAW) — the disbelievers did hate; But they could not cage his faith.

Throughout life we must teach our family; As a true Muslim, that's who I am.

Allah gave us this beautiful Earth; But sooner or later we'll lie in it's dirt.

To serve Allah, I am proud to be a Muslim; Because in the End we'll return to Him .


By Meena Ansari It was almost twilight. But even at this hour, there were several people at the western wall, praying, reading the Torah or just having general discussions. Daniela and Mosa seated themselves into one of the empty benches. Rabbi Mosa immediately began the conversation. ―So why have you come to Jerusalem Dear?‖ Daniela responded with a smile. ―I have come here to mainly research Judaism. It has been my life long dream to visit Jerusalem, especially the Western Wall. But since I could never find anyone else with the same level of enthusiasm as me, I did not visit as early as I wanted to. Even though I could afford to do so. But still, what is the use of visiting such a blessed place alone.‖ ―So, you bought Suhana and Emma along?‖ Mosa asked curiously. ―No, fate bought us together. A generous man named Mr. Robert held a congregation for lottery, and Emma and Suhana‘s names were drawn. Even though they are Jewish, they had the same amount of passion for their religions‖. ―I love how you thought of it that way‖ Rabbi Mosa said gladly. ―By the way Sir, I forgot about my original question. What did you mean by Suhana being your sister?‖ Mosa once again had the wide smile on his face. Daniela noticed that this smile was the kind that enlightened a person‘s face. ―Daniela dear‖ he began. ―Suhana is Muslim. The religion she follows was founded by a man named Mohammad in the seveth century B.C. Mohammad was from the same line of descendents as was Isa and Mosa. Basically, the main root of all the major religions is Prophet Ibrahim. It is through his branch that Mosa, Isa and later Muhammad came to be. Therefore, that means that just as all these men have one similar root, that also must mean that the religions they founded must also possess similar roots. In conclusion, if the religions have a similar root, their followers are also bound to be connected. So, going by that logic, Suhana is just as much my sister as you are‖. Mosa concluded with the same smile. Daniela was stunned. ―I... I never thought if it that way‖ she confessed. ―It‘s okay dear, very few people realize. Many fail to understand, mostly because they are blinded with enmity‖. He explained. ―Wow...‖ Daniela sighed. ―It is so odd that a person like me, who is passionate about her religion could not think of such facts before hand ‖. ―It is not your fault dear, don‘t blame yourself‖. Mosa replied. ―The problem is that the people within our faith choose to be ignorant. As a result, the following generations don‘t learn of this because they have purposely been not taught by their teachers or parents‖. ―Why do people think this way? Why is there so much ignorance?‖ Daniela shouted. A couple of people nearby stared at her. Daniela stared back and raised her eyebrows. They immediately went back to their business.

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It was almost twilight. But even at this hour, there were several people at the western wall, praying, reading the Torah or just having general discussions. Daniela and Mosa seated themselves into one of the empty benches. Rabbi Mosa immediately began the conversation. ―So why have you come to Jerusalem Dear?‖ Daniela responded with a smile. ―I have come here to mainly research Judaism. It has been my life long dream to visit Jerusalem, especially the Western Wall. But since I could never find anyone else with the same level of enthusiasm as me, I did not visit as early as I wanted to. Even though I could afford to do so. But still, what is the use of visiting such a blessed place alone.‖ ―So, you bought Suhana and Emma along?‖ Mosa asked curiously. ―No, fate bought us together. A generous man named Mr. Robert held a congregation for lottery, and Emma and Suhana‘s names were drawn. Even though they are Jewish, they had the same amount of passion for their religions‖. ―I love how you thought of it that way‖ Rabbi Mosa said gladly. ―By the way Sir, I forgot about my original question. What did you mean by Suhana being your sister?‖ Mosa once again had the wide smile on his face. Daniela noticed that this smile was the kind that enlightened a person‘s face. ―Daniela dear‖ he began. ―Suhana is Muslim. The religion she follows was founded by a man named Mohammad in the seveth century B.C. Mohammad was from the same line of descendents as was Isa and Mosa. Basically, the main root of all the major religions is Prophet Ibrahim. It is through his branch that Mosa, Isa and later Muhammad came to be. Therefore, that means that just as all these men have one similar root, that also must mean that the religions they founded must also possess similar roots. In conclusion, if the religions have a similar root, their followers are also bound to be connected. So, going by that logic, Suhana is just as much my sister as you are‖. Mosa concluded with the same smile. Daniela was stunned. ―I... I never thought if it that way‖ she confessed. ―It‘s okay dear, very few people realize. Many fail to understand, mostly because they are blinded with enmity‖. He explained. ―Wow...‖ Daniela sighed. ―It is so odd that a person like me, who is passionate about her religion could not think of such facts before hand ‖. ―It is not your fault dear, don‘t blame yourself‖. Mosa replied. ―The problem is that the people within our faith choose to be ignorant. As a result, the following generations don‘t learn of this because they have purposely been not taught by their teachers or parents‖. ―Why do people think this way? Why is there so much ignorance?‖ Daniela shouted. A couple of people nearby stared at her. Daniela stared back and raised her eyebrows. They immediately went back to their business. ―Calm down Dear‖ Mosa said politely. ―We are suppose to be having a healthy discussion remember?‖ Once again Daniela let out a heavy sigh. ―I am so sorry Sir. This is very touchy for me, to not know. But like you said, it is not my fault either.‖ ―It certainly is not‖.

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Mosa let Daniela calm down for a while. Then he raised a question. ―Daniela Dear, I have been meaning to ask you. What is your opinion of the current situation in Palestine?‖ Daniela thought to herself deeply before answering. ―I have not given much thought to that issue, So, all I can say is that I am deeply disappointed at how things are going on. I do detest the fact that so many innocent civilians get slaughtered in the mess ‖. For the first time since their conversation started, Rabbi Mosa gave Daniela an upset look. ―Well, don‘t you think about the cause of the problem? The root cause to be more precise?‖ Daniela hesitated. ―In my opinion, the root cause are the people themselves‖. ―And which people are you actually referring to dear?‖ Mosa questioned. Daniela narrowed her eyes while starting at Rabbi Mosa. ―I don‘t understand what you mean Sir?‖ Mosa sighed and asked politely. ―I meant that which people do you think are the root causes of the problem? The Palestinians? Or us... The Israelis?‖. Daniela turned her head and looked straight ahead. ―Well, Palestinians...‖ Daniela hesitated. Rabbi Mosa shook his head and let out a heavier sigh. ―Once again you are not to blame you must have been taught that way after all‖. ―It is not about what I have been taught Sir‖ Daniela immediately defended herself. ―I am expressing my opinion based on facts. You hear it in the news everyday. I don‘t think Israel is doing anything wrong by defending itself‖. Rabbi Mosa narrowed his eyes and started at Daniela. ―Defending itself? Let me ask you something‖. Mosa continued in a low voice. ―Let‘s say, for example, you are homeless. You don‘t have any home that you can rightfully call your own. However, your fore fathers and consequently your parents have believed that they have a place designed specifically for them somewhere on this earth. As a result, you believe the same. So, you and your family keep looking for that place for thousands of years. Suddenly you think found your dream land. However, there are people who already have lived in that land for thousands of years as well. Nonetheless, your family insists that this is their ―original‖ home from where they had been scattered. Therefore, they come into full vengeance to try to take their ―land‖ back. But, they are forgetting that the people who already lived there fore millenniums have also loved this land and cherished it all along. However, your family refuses to see that. They even forget the times when these very people welcomed some of your family members with open arms during a horrifying event known as the ―Holocaust‖. Now, all they see is their land, land and LAND. Therefore, with the help of some foreign power, your family successfully kicks out the people of that and claims its rightful ―throne‖. And naturally, the people who have been kicked out also come into vengeance to claim their land back. As a result, a fight starts. On on said, people are ―defending‖ themselves. While on the other hand, people are fighting to get back what they have cherished all along‖. ―Now, in this case, who would you say my dear is at fault?‖. Daniela was speechless. Shock was an understatement to describe her expression and emotions. Her goose bumps stood as straight as though she got an electric shock. Her eyes were also wide with surprise and her breathing increased at a rapid pace. ―But let me clarify something else as well Daniela dear‖. Mosa said in a low tone. ―I am in no way saying that we Jews deserve to be homeless. Or that we can‘t have a nation of our own. My basic point here is

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that in the process of gaining back a homeland, we have snatched and stolen our neighbor‘s property. We had the choice of living peacefully, but we choose to do so otherwise. As a matter of fact, we have clearly violated the tenth commandment of our own faith. ―Thou shall not covet your neighbor‘s property‖. We have violated that commandment by coveting the very people‘s land, who had once treated us with hospitality during crisis. Not only that, but we have also broken the ninth commandment. ―Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor‖. And what have we done? We are continuing to bear false witnesses against Palestinians‖. Daniela quickly looked at Rabbi Mosa. She had tears in her eyes, she took a look around the Western Wall, it was night time and yet the Western Wall looked glorious like always. Daniela kept looking around and started to cry. Her expression was that of pity and guilt. Suddenly, she heard a familiar voice call out her name. ―DANIELA ?? DANIELA WHERE ARE YOU ??‖ It was Raj. He had gotten worried about Daniela and came to look for her. ―OVER HERE SON ‖ Mosa replied back. ―SHE IS OVER HERE ‖. Raj ran towards Rabbi Mosa and Daniela, who was still crying. ―What happened?‖ Raj immediately questioned out of concern. ―I have just told her the ―truth‖ son, if you know what I mean‖. Raj understood right away. He didn‘t question further. ―Oh I see Sir‖ Raj responded with understanding. Even though he knew Daniela for a few days, he could understand her tears and feelings. ―I should take her back the Hotel‖. ―Yes, immediately Son ‖ Mosa insisted. ―Get up dear, it‘s time to go now‖ Mosa whispered. Daniela got up slowly, even now she had tears in her eyes. Before leaving, she turned to Rabbi Mosa and whispered. ―Thank you Sir... Thank you very much‖ and smiled. Rabbi Mosa smiled back and said ―God bless you children, Good night‖. Daniela nodded and Raj said Good Night as well. While on the way back, Daniela closed her eyes and prayed in her heart. ―When Daniela reacher hotel room, she found Emma and Suhana sleeping. They were probably exhausted from their day‘s trip. Daniela quickly showered. The hot shower was soothing and calming for her body and mind. Once out of the shower, she dried herself and immediately dressed up and went to bed. That same night, in the same room, Emma was dreaming about her journey for the next day.

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WORDS EXPLAINED FOR THE NON-MUSLIM InshaAllah Simply translated from Arabic to English, InshaAllah means „God willing‟. This is a very commonly used phrase, as Muslims believe God has power over everything. MashaAllah Simply translated from Arabic to English , MashaAllah means 'Whatever Allah (God) wills'. Often, it is used as an expression of delight or achievement. JazakAllah khairan Simply translated from Arabic to English, jazakAllah khairun means „May Allah reward you for the good”. This is commonly used to thank someone or to acknowledge someone‟s effort. SubhanAllah In Arabic, SubhanAllah means „Glorious is Allah”. This is used when praising God. It is also commonly used as a exclamation like “Wow!”. Masjid The Masjid is simply the Arabic word for Mosque. Many Muslims refer to the Mosque as a Masjid. Masjids are primarily used for Salah (Prayer)

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Jummah prayer The Friday prayer services that Muslims attend weekly. SWT: Subhana wa’ta3la Arabic Praise used after the name of Allah meaning „glorious and exalted is He” Hijab Headscarf prescribed to Muslim women for modesty purposes Shahadah Declaration of Islamic faith. Assalamu Alaykum May peace be unto you.

MBMuslima - The Kindness Issue - January 2010  

MBMuslima Magazine January 2010

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