Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thundersnow!




I'm sound asleep, dreaming of fairies, princes, magical kingdoms and lots of food. Suddenly, a loud CRACK! BOOM!! BANG wakes me from my fantastical dream. LOL, okay so I wasn't dreaming about fairies, princes and magical kingdoms. But I was awakened by loud thunder this morning around 5:20 or 30ish. I ran to the window to see my lawn, street and everything else covered in snow and snowing. So what was that loud boom if it was not raining? They call it, "Thundersnow".

Thundersnow, also known as a winter thunderstorm or a thunder snowstorm, is a rare thunderstorm with snow falling as the primary precipitation instead of rain. It commonly falls in regions of strong upward motion within the cold sector of extratropical cyclones between autumn and spring when surface temperatures are most likely to be near or below freezing.

Well, I really had hoped we wouldn't get snow this winter, but since we got it anyway, I will just have to be thankful. It really is pretty outdoors! And i am skipping work today (the silver lining?)

Alhamdulillah ala kullu hal !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Finding Yani

“It’s not fair Fefe,” Yani cried, “why can’t I come along with you and Fufu to the tree house?” she asked.  Fefe replied, “Because Yani, it’s only for big girls like us.  You will only spoil things.” Fefe put some of her toys and a few snacks her mother prepared into her backpack and headed out the room.  Yani did not like being told she was too young for anything, and she didn't like not being able to play with Fefe and her friends.  They always left her out when they were having fun.  She did not like being little.  It was not fun at all. 

Yani went to her mother who was in the kitchen preparing dinner, “Mommy,” she said, Fefe won’t let me play with her and Fufu in the tree house.”  Her mother smiled, “You’re too small to play in the tree house Yani,” mother said, but when you get a little bigger, then you will be able to climb the tree safely. Until then, you can help me make some cookies after I finish cutting these vegetables.” Yani liked making cookies with her mother but she really wanted to play in the tree house. 
Yani found her father in his tool shed working on his latest painting.  “Daddy what are you doing?” she asked. “I’m sanding this piece of wood so that I can make a picture frame,” he said.  “That sounds like fun Daddy, can I help? She asked.  “Not this time Yani; you might hurt yourself,” Father said.  Yani left out the shed, being little was definitely no fun at all. 

The next day, Fefe asked her mother if she could go skating in the park with Fufu and her friends.  Her mother and father agreed to let her go. “Can I go too Mommy?” Yani asked, “Sure you can, I will get your skates.” “Aw mom, she will only get in the way,” Fefe protested.  “Now Fefe, you should not be so mean to your little sister, she only wants to play with you and your friends. Take her with you and keep an eye on her.” Father took Fefe and Yani to the park and told them he would be back later to pick them up.  He reminded Fefe to watch Yani and he told Yani to stay close and not wander away from Fefe and her friends. 

Fufu, Oni and Mina were waiting at the swings with their skates when Fefe and Yani joined them.  The girls put on their skates and went round the park a couple of times.  Yani tried to keep up but the girls were too fast for her small legs.  “Fefe,” she cried, “wait for me, you are going to fast.” Fefe and her friends frowned but they had to stop for Yani.  The girls took off their skates and went to play on the Jungle Gym.  Yani tried to climb the bars but she had a difficult time reaching them.  “Fefe,” she cried, “I can’t climb up, can you come down and play with me on the swings?” “No Yani, you go and play on the swings by yourself, we are talking now,” Fefe replied. “Stay on the swings and don’t leave the sand box” Fefe warned. “I want to talk too, can you talk down here?” Yani asked. “This is big girl talk,” Fufu said, “and you are too little,” Oni added. 

Yani stomped off to the swings. “One day I will not be small anymore and I will show everyone I can do big things too.” It wasn’t until later that Fefe noticed how quiet and behaved Yani was being.  She climbed down the jungle gym and went to check on her. When she got to the swings, Fefe was horrified.  Yani was missing.  Fefe and her friends looked everywhere for Yani, but they could not find her.  Fefe had no choice to tell her parents, she knew they would be angry at her because she did not watch Yani carefully.  Fefe’s parents were not happy with Fefe at all, but more than that, they were worried about Yani.  They prayed she stay safe until they found her. 

By seven o clock, everyone in the neighborhood and the police were out looking for Yani in the park and nearby woods.  When night fell, Fefe and the other children were told to stay indoors, only the adults could continue looking for Yani.  Fefe sat in her room with her friends.  She did not like waiting, she wanted to help, and after all, it was her fault Yani was lost.  If she had not yelled at Yani and told her to go away, Yani would be at home in her bed now. Fefe pulled out a pen and paper.  “What are you doing Fefe?” Oni asked. 

“I’m going to go and find my little sister,” she replied.  “But the adults said we have to stay here, it’s not safe,” Mina warned. “Yes Fefe, besides, it’s really dark and scary out there,” Fufu added.  “But I can’t just sit here and do nothing, this is all my fault.  If anything happens to Yani, I will never forgive myself,” Fefe said, “and I need your help if I’m going to find her.” Her friends looked to one another and then nodded.  It was just as much their fault as Fefe, they should have been nicer to Yani, after all, she was only five years old. 

Mina and Oni were excellent artists; they drew a map of the park and the surrounding areas on a piece of paper.  Fufu helped Fefe find some warm clothing and flashlights. Fefe made a final check of all their things and the girls quietly crept out of the house.  They made their way to the park.  “Okay,” Fefe began, “if we are going to find Yani, we are going to have to think like a five year.” The girls nodded.  “Okay, where was the last place Yani went?” Fufu asked.  “To the swings,” Oni replied.  So the girls went to the swings.

Mina sat on one of the swings, “hmm, Yani would have been bored playing alone since there were no other children to play with earlier today.  Do you think she wandered off?” “Yes, Yani does not like to be alone for too long, she would have found something to do,” Fefe answered.  “Now, when I was five years old, I loved searching for pretty flowers to give to my mom,” Oni said, “Maybe she went to the flower patch. It’s not too far from here.” So, off to the flower patch the girls ran. 

At the flower patch they found small foot prints in the dirt patch.  “Well, it looks like she was here,” Fufu pointed to the foot prints.  “Look at that,” Mina pointed her flashlight to a broken flower branch. Just as she did that, a pretty butterfly flew from its branch. “Oh, how pretty,” Oni squealed as she tried to catch it.  As she bumped into more flower braches, more butterflies began to fly.  They followed the butterflies out of the patch; they were at the edge of the park, facing the woods.  Oni managed to catch one of the butterflies and put it in an old apple juice jar. "Yani could not have left the park from here because this fence goes around this whole area," Oni said.

Suddenly, they saw a little rabbit hop by.  “Hmm, Yani loves rabbits, she would have run after one if she saw one hopping about,” Fefe thought to herself. The rabbit ran along side the fence until it came to a small opening in the fence “Do you think she crawled through here?” Fufu asked.  It’s big enough for us to crawl through so Yani would have had no problem getting through chasing a rabbit.  Once outside the park, Oni noticed an opening in the woods. “There is a narrow path just ahead,” Oni pointed ahead of them. 

The girls began to follow the path. It was now dark; they only had the moon and their torches for light.  Fefe began to mark the rocks and trees they passed with a white piece of chalk, so that they could find their way back to the opening. Oni took out a piece of paper and began charting a map of their turns and paces through out their journey.  She drew landmarks on her map, like the bunny at the large tree with two tree trunks. She drew the funny rock formation and the fallen tree that blocked their path. 

“What are we going to do now,” Fufu asked, “maybe we should turn back,” Mina said frightened.  “I can’t go back now, I’ve come too far, besides, Yani was here.” Fefe pointed her flashlight to the bottom of the tree trunk, there was a pink and blue ribbon stuck to it.  “Yani was wearing that today,” Fefe said.  The girls jumped over the tree and continued.  Suddenly Oni motioned everyone to stop and listen, “I think I hear water,” she said.  “Me too,” Mina said.  Sure enough, they found a small creek nearby.  I did not know we had a creek in these woods,” Fefe said.
Just as they were about to cross the creek, Fufu noticed what looked like a boat made out of a leaf and stick.  It was caught between two rocks in the creek.  “The water is running downward,” Mina pointed out, “so the boat had to come from up the creek,” Fefe continued her sentence.  The girls began walking up the creek.  After what seemed like hours, they stopped at a large rock to take a rest.  Suddenly they heard a noise.  The girls froze.  Then they heard the noise again.  This time it sounded like crying.  Was it an animal, do animals cry?

The girls thought but they did not know.  They started searching the darkness with their flashlight.  Then something caught Fefe’s eyes, it stuck out from behind the rock.  She slowly walked up to it, there looking up into the light was Yani.  She was wet and covered in mud.  “Yani!” Fefe cried, “We found you!” Fefe and her friends hugged Yani.  “What happen?” they asked her. Yani told them how she got bored playing by herself on the swings so she went to the flower patch to pick some flowers for her mother. 

She found some butterflies and followed them to the hole in the fence.  Once outside the fence she tried to catch and play with a baby bunny but it ran away and she followed it.  She eventually found the creek and made a boat, but, while playing with it, she fell into the creek and got all wet and dirty.  “When it got dark, I did not know how to get home again,” she began to cry.  Fefe hugged her little sister again, “I’m sorry Yani, I should not have left you alone or told you to go play by yourself. From now on, you can play with us anytime you want,” Fefe said. 

Mina put some warm clothing on Yani.  “Come on,” Fefe said taking her sister’s hand, “let’s go home.” With her map and their markings, Oni led the girls back to the park.  Just as they were walking up to their house, Mother and Father drove into the driveway.  “Yani,” they cried.  Yani ran to her mother and father, everyone was very happy to see that Yani was not hurt. 

The next day, family, friends and neighbors came to visit Yani who was sick with a cold and runny nose.  She told everyone about her adventure and how Fefe, Fufu, Oni and Mina cleverly found her and brought her safely home. Yani promised she would never go off by herself again and that from now on, she was happy being small.

Friday, October 31, 2008

In the News: Teacher Study Guides



Attention: New Teacher Study Guides (TSG)
Available soon for Five Islamic Fiction Books and
one non fiction Creative Writing Text Book!

'The Visitors' Sample TSG 'Stories' Sample TSG
As a Muslim publisher of quality English language Islamic fiction and a pioneer in the field, we would like to contribute to Islamic schools by providing you with engaging, fun novels using Islamic morally accepted themes. Not only are our novels "kid and teen approved", but we now have made it even easier by creating corresponding cross-curricular teacher guides that have been field tested and approved by Muslim educators and administrators.

Teacher Study Guides will be provided “FREE” to Islamic schools that purchase copies of the corresponding books for teacher use with students in the classroom. TSGs which will be available soon

Teacher Study Guide for The Visitors (Available Now!)
5th through 8th grades

Teacher Study Guide for Hijab-Ez Friends
5th through 8th grades

Teacher Study Guide for Stories (Available Now!)
5th through 8th grades

Teacher Study Guide for Saying Goodbye
5th through 8th grades

Teacher Study Guide for Sophia’s Journal: Time Warp 1857
8th through 12th grades

Teacher Study Guide for Star Writers
Creative writing text-workbook suitable for 4th grade and up…for students learning how to write creative, imaginative, and halal stories and those who want to hone their creative writing skills.

*Copies of TSGs will be made available to home schooling parents who purchase the corresponding print books. Contact the publisher at: publisher@MuslimWritersPublishing.com to learn how to get your copies and order the print books!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Last Snowflake

Copyright © 2008 SN Taylor, All Rights Reserved



High in the atmosphere, beyond the fluffy white clouds, snowflakes lay resting in their winter home. Wake, wake little ones, time to make your your journey down and cover the earth with your winter white coats. One, two ,three, 50, 60, 70, 100, 1000..., one billion! Hmm, someone is missing.

"Achoo!" "Yar'hamakullah! Uh oh! You will not be able to make your trip just yet," mama flake says. The little flake sadly watches the other flakes go on their winter trip. "But what about my little friend, who is waiting for me?" the little flake asks. "Don't worry, you will have all winter to get better."

All through winter, the little flakes fall. Sister Wind blows her gentle arctic breath making the little snowflakes dance as they float down. Brother Cloud shades them from the bright sun and keeps them from melting in his warm glow. "Thank you Brother Cloud," they sing as they continue to fall." Brother Cloud smiles, "you are welcome," he calls back, "have fun and see you next winter."

Little children run out to see the snowflakes fall on the trees, the roof, the cars and the ground. They laugh and they sing, they play and they dance. Hooray! Winter is here.

But little Ali is not happy. He is ill and can not go out and play in the pretty, white winter snow. "Don't worry Ali," mama says gently, "Insha allah, you will get to play in the snow before winter's end."

In the warmth of his bedroom, Ali watches the children play. Everyday he rests and drinks his soup. He gets stronger and stronger.

Back above the clouds, high in the atmosphere, our last little snowflake raises her head. "I feel much better now," she says. "Yes, yes," her mother says, " you look much better now Alhamdulillah. Quick now, take your winter coat and make your journey to below, where your little friend awaits."

The last snowflake floats down just as the sun begins to shine warm and bright. "Oh no," she cries, "I won't make it in time."

Little Ali puts on his socks and shoes. He climbs into his wheelchair and rolls to the door. "Has winter come and gone? Will I get to see and play in the snow?" he wonders sadly.

The little snowflake begins to cry. "What's wrong little one?" Brother Cloud asks. "I'm late getting to the ground, to my friend below. The sun is turning my flake into rain," she sniffs.

"Don't worry," he says, "I will try my best to protect you." Brother Cloud moves to block the sun once more. "Now hurry, I can't stay too long, winter is done and spring must come." The little snowflake thanks him and quickly continues on her way. But she was still melting.

She bumps into Sister Wind getting ready to head back north to her arctic home. "Where did you come from little one?" she asks "I thought all the little snowflakes had fallen." "No, I'm the last one, but I don't think I will make it to my friend waiting below. He missed the winter snow and now he will miss me too."

Sister Wind feels sorry for the little snowflake and little Ali too. With a huff and a puff, she gently blows her cold arctic breath on the melting snowflake. Soon, her droplets turn into crystal flakes.

Happily she glides down. As the warm air touches her, Sister Wind blows cold air on her. The little snowflake grows bigger and bigger. Soon, she can see little Ali waiting and searching.

Suddenly he catches sight of the last little, but now big snowflake. "I'm coming friend," she calls. Ali smiles brightly, that was the biggest snowflake he'd ever seen, and it was just for him!

Sister Wind blows her last arctic breath and the last snowflake lands gently in Ali's hand. "Salaam friend," she says. "Wa Salaam friend, I'm glad you made it," Ali says. They play in the shade of Brother Cloud.

As winter turn to spring, the last snowflake melts happily in the hands of her friend. Ali smiles, "Ma' Salaama, see you next winter my friend."

Copyright © 2008 SN Taylor, All Rights Reserved


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Somewhere over the rainbow.....



Yesterday was a pretty gray day. The clouds swamped the sky spreading a dark and damp overcast. I looked out the window and I knew my day was not going to be happy. I was sick with a cold and a bit of a bad cough. With the forecast saying it was going to rain, there was no way I could make big brother's softball game :( That made the day even more grim, I missed his game. After sleeping in and giving my weary body the much needed rest, I dragged myself out of bed to work on my writing project. As the sun bore its way through the stubborn clouds, a glimpse of a better ending to my day was on the horizon. Sure enough, my brother and sisters come home from the games, telling how they lost the game in pompous and glory! We don't really play to win, but we play in the spirit of having fun and feeling like a community, a team. And that they did. The Sharks, my brother's team, played against a much better team, but they still managed to play a good game and have lots of fun. Though I would have loved to have been there, I was feeling better already. As rain pitter-pattered on the window sill, all was still except for my tapping on the keyboards. Suddenly, I don't really know why Iooked out the window, but in the sky was a pretty rainbow. It was the wonderful finale of what started out as a gray, unhappy day. Masha Allah!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Story of the Leper, the Bald Man and the Blind Man

Long, long ago in the dry and arid hills of Canaan, there lived three poor brothers, Levi, Ari, and Uriel. One hot and sunny day, the three men sat under the shade of a big date palm tree sipping mint tea and complaining about their horrible lot in life. "What a horrid morning it has been," Levi said taking a sip from his tea cup then quickly covering his face. Levi was a leper, and in the land of Canaan, he was despised by everyone who saw him. "Tell us brother," Uriel said quietly and compassionately. Levi took a breath of the dry, dusty desert air and said, "I tried to buy breakfast from the baker this morning but the selfish man chased me away with stones and sticks. It is like this everywhere I go, no one will sell food to me. If only I had beautiful skin," he sighed, tired, hungry and rubbing his injured legs and arms.

"Well, I had a terrible morning as well," Ari said. Ari was a big strong man and would have been a nice catch for any woman had he not been bald. "You?!?" shouted Levi, "how could you have a bad morning, you are not ugly and despised like me," Levi said. "No, but at my age, I should be married by now. Women do not find me handsome with my bald head. Their fathers say I have a disease of the scalp and will not let me marry their daughters," he said sadly. "If only I had thick black hair, I would be married and very happy," he sighed. Levi and Uriel nodded their head in silence.

Uriel reached his hand out slowly searching for his tea cup on the worn velvet carpet he and his brothers were sitting on. Uriel was blind. He was born with no sight and while he was content with not being able to see, he still had troubles from day to day. He found his tea cup and sipped carefully. He listened quietly to the sounds around him, "at least you have been blessed with the wonderful gift of sight," he said. "I would love to see the wonders of God's creation," he said thoughtfully. A frown suddenly spread across his face as he remembered an awful experience he had. Levi and Ari saw his frown. "What is it brother?" they asked "please tell us what has suddenly upset you."

Uriel gently put his cup down, "I am grateful to our creator for the way he created me, but things would be a lot easier for me if I had the gift of sight. Yesterday, I was robbed by some bandits." His brothers gasped, "are you okay Uriel? Did they hurt you?" they asked. "No, God be praised, I was not harmed, but when I tried to get help from the guards, I was unable to describe the robbers or the color of my donkey they stole. The three brothers sighed and finished drinking their tea. After prayer, each brother went home.

As the sun set and the red canopy of day's end vanished, a mysterious stranger knocked on Levi's door. Levi was afraid, who would come to his home, he wondered. He was shocked to see a tall and handsome stranger at his door. "H-H-How may I help you?" he asked the mysterious man. "Please come in?" he offered, but the mysterious man kindly refused and said, "It is not how you can help me, but how I can help you. Tell me good man, what would you like the most?" Levi stood shocked at the question and the stranger. "Well, I would love to have nice color and beautiful skin," he said longingly, "that way, people would not despise me and run away from me." The mysterious stranger nodded and gently touched Levi, "what kind of property would you like best?" the stranger asked. Levi thought for a moment and replied, "camels." Then as if everything had been a dream, the mysterious man vanished in a mist of fog carried away by a gentle wind. Levi blinked in disbelief, closed his door and went to bed.

Ari also had a mysterious visitor. Ari was not afraid when he opened his door and found a tall, bulky man at his door. "Good evening," he said gruffly. "Good evening good man. What thing would you like most?" he asked Ari. Surprised by the question and the questioner, Ari quickly answered, "who wants to know?" "I would," the stranger answered. "Well, I would like good hair, and to be cured of this balding disease. The people do not like me and the women will not marry me. The tall stranger touched Ari gently. "And what property would you like most?" he asked. Ari smiled, "I have always wanted to herd cows," Ari said wishfully. And just like that, in a blink of an eye, the stranger was gone. "How strange," Ari thought to himself, he closed the door and went to bed.

Uriel was sitting outside enjoying the cool night air when the stranger appeared before him. "Good evening good man," the stranger said. Uriel jumped up in fright, he had not heard any footsteps approaching, this could only be a special visitor, or a very clever robber. "Who are you? what are you doing in my garden?" he asked the stranger. "Don't fear," the stranger replied, "I have not come to hurt you, but to help you." And just like his brothers before him , the stranger asked Uriel what he wanted the most. Now Uriel had always been content with his blindness despite the hardships of not seeing the dangers around him, but still, he did wonder about the beautiful things in God's creation like the birds that sang in the trees, or the rare rushing of streams in the desert oasis, or the echos of the Canaan rocky hills. "I would like that God give me sight, so that I may see the wonders of His creation," he smiled dreamily.

The stranger gently touched Uriel and then asked him, "what property would you like the most?" the stranger asked him. "Sheep would be nice," Uriel replied. Before he knew it, Uriel was once again alone in his garden. The mysterious stranger had disappeared. Uriel was bewildered, who was that strange visitor? Why did he ask such strange questions and then disappear? Uriel shook his head and slowly made his way into his house and went to bed.

The next morning, the brothers woke to a wonderful surprise. Each had been cured and given what he had asked for. Levi was handsome, Ari had thick, curly hair and Uriel could see. They were also amazed when they stepped outside their doors to find a pregnant she-camel, a pregnant cow and a pregnant ewe. The brothers were quite grateful and pleased with their miraculous gifts. After many years passed, each brother was quite rich. Their herds had multiplied and soon they each had a valley filled with camels, cows, and sheep.

One night, as Levi sat drinking tea with his family, a poor leper knocked on his door. Levi was appalled, "what do you want, leave my home," he shouted at the poor man. "Please, I am a poor man who lost all means of livelihood due to this illness. In the Name of Him Who has given you such nice color and beautiful skin, and so much property, I ask you to give me a camel so that I may have milk and a ride," he replied. "No," replied Levi haughtily, I can't give you anything, now please go away." The leper continued, "don't I know you?" he asked, "weren't you once a poor leper like me, disliked by everyone? Then God blessed you with all this property?" Levi shook his head, "No, you are wrong, I got this wealth from my own hard work, now leave my home right now wretched creature" Levi shouted. Suddenly, the leper turned into the mysterious visitor that had visited Levi so many years ago. Levi was shocked. "Do you remember now?" the stranger asked, "I was sent to test you, but you have failed. You are ungrateful to God and rude to those less fortunate than you. Go back to the way you were, a poor leper, despised by everyone." And with that, the stranger vanished along with all of Levi's wealth, family and good looks.

Ari was having dinner with his family when a stranger knocked on his door. His wife answered the door, it was a poor bald man. "Good evening kind lady of the house, I have come to see your husband." Ari invited the stranger into his home. "Dear sir, I come to seek your daughter's hand in marriage. Indeed, I am a poor man, but I'm a hard worker and I will do my best to make her happy. I ask you in the Name of Him Who has given you such a beautiful family and so much property. Ari frowned, "No, I will never give you my beautiful daughter, only a rich and handsome man is worthy of her. Now leave." The poor bald man shook his head, " weren't you once a poor bald man which the people did not like and women refused to marry you, then God blessed you with much wealth and a beautiful family?" he asked. Ari laughed, "I think you are mistaken old man, I inherited this wealth and good fortune from my forefathers, now go before I call the guards," he shouted angrily.

Before Ari could say another word, the bald man turned into the mysterious bulky stranger that had visited him so many years ago. Ari was shocked. "Do you remember now?" the stranger asked. Ari shook with fear. "I was sent to test you, but you have failed. You are ungrateful to God and rude to those less fortunate than you. Go back to the way you were, a poor bald man, disliked by the people and rejected by the women." And with that, the stranger disappeared along with all of Ari's wealth, family and good hair.

Uriel was sitting outside his garden gazing at the moon and the stars. It was such a beautiful night. The air was cool, the moon shone brightly over the hills and valley of Canaan. He smiled and thanked God for the gift of seeing all the beautiful things around him. Uriel then sat and closed his eyes, he began to listen to the happy sounds of his wife and children laughing and chattering as they prepared evening tea. He smiled again, "God is Great," he whispered contently. Suddenly, an old blind man appeared in his garden, "Good evening kind sir," he said humbly. Uriel jumped to his feet. "How did you enter my garden without me hearing you?" he asked the old man. "I'm sorry if I have startled you dear sir, but I am lost. I was travelling with my family, and during a storm, I was separated from them. I have no means of livelihood or way to get home. In the Name of Him Who has given you your sight and so much property, I ask you to give me a sheep, so that with it's help, I may reach my home."

Uriel gently took the arm of the old man. "Indeed, I was once blind and God restored my sight, I was poor and He blessed me with much wealth. Please come inside and rest. After you have eaten your fill, take what you wish from my wealth, I will not stop you." Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, the poor blind man turned into the tall, mysterious stranger that had visited Uriel so many years ago. He smiled at Uriel, "keep your property with you. I was sent to test you, to see if you would be grateful for the favors granted to you and you have passed. Your Lord is pleased with you but displeased with your selfish and ungrateful brothers. With that, the stranger vanished, leaving Uriel once again alone in his garden.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Even in Darkness..



......the light of Allah's mercy will always shine through.


9:71 The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practise regular charity, and obey allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Contagious Smile


Today started off terrible. I woke up late and missed my bus. My teacher gave me a tardy and sent me to the principal’s office. That wasn’t the end. Sam, the bully, took my ball then pushed me down. But something amazing happened; a little girl passing by gave me a wonderful smile. “Let me help you,” she said taking my hand, her smile spreading from ear to ear. I tried to stop it but could not help it; my frown began to turn upside down. Then I began to smile. As I walked home, what did I see? Mr. Hamoodi’s Ice Cream truck was broken in three. I smiled at him, with a smile from ear to ear, “it’s okay Mr. Hamoodi; help is on the way.” Suddenly, his frown turned upside down and he began to smile. “What a wonderful child, thank you for your kind smile.”

Mr. Hamoodi called for a tow truck. As he waited, he heard a cry. Mrs. Hannah tottered by with three bags and a crying child. He smiled at them with a smile from ear to ear, “please, let me help you,” he said carrying her bags. “And here is an ice cream for two.” Soon their frowns turned upside down, and they began to smile. “God bless you kind sir,” she said. The bus arrives right on time; they get on board and ride across town. Along the way, an old lady gets on, “I lost my wallet, I have no money to ride,” she cried. The bus driver frowns, “Please get down,” he bellowed. “Don’t worry,” the small child smiled, “I have extra coins; you can ride with us.” The old lady’s frown turned upside down and she began to smile, “May God bless you child, and your kind mother too.”

The bus stopped and the old lady got off, she noticed a young man in a nice suit standing on the corner looking quite confused. “Can I help you young man?” she asked smiling from ear to ear. “I am lost, I need to find Apple Street or I will be late for my first day of work,” he said sadly. “I know that street, it is near by. Follow me,” the old lady chirped. The young man’s frown turned upside down. He took her arm and followed her to Apple Street. With a smile from ear to ear, he thanked her and hurried on his way. As he rushed along, he heard a tiny cry. It was the little girl, sitting lost and all alone.

“Where’s your mommy?” he asked. She looked up, “I don’t know, I can’t find her,” she whimpered. “Well, don’t you worry,” he said smiling, “there is a police officer. She will help you find your mommy.” The police officer took her hand, “let’s go find your mommy dear,” she said smiling ear to ear. Soon, her frown turned upside down. Suddenly, she heard her name. It was her mother. With a smile from ear to ear, they thanked the nice police officer for her help and went skipping on their way. Today began as a horrible day, but all it took was a kind, friendly smile to turn a frown upside down.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Summer is Here



Gone are the cold, and gray days,
Melted away under a bright burning gaze.

Gone are the days of sweet showers of rain,
Pushed away by winds of hot pain.


Summer is here, in all its glory and might,
Shine sun shine, by the mercy of An-Noor, The Light

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Amir Porter: Class of 2008








How time flies. It feels like only yesterday my darling nephew was just a sweet little boy. *sigh* Now he is all grown up and ready to go off to college. Congrats baby! Auntie is very blessed and proud. XOXO

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Geography on Wheels

My mom could hardly be called a traditionalist; she never did things the old fashion way. She longed to raise us in a Muslim country but when she could not make it happen, she decided to do the next best thing, make her own Islamic community. So what did she do, to the astonishment and horror of her mother and family, she sold our home on east 31st and bought 5 acres of land in the middle of nowhere. While other kids went to school, she home schooled my sisters and I. Our home was our school and the library was our classroom.

When my brother graduated from High school, mama decided to give us a geography course we'd never forget. My brother was going to school in Washington DC, so she loaded everyone in the station wagon and took the family cross country. One of the highlights of the trip was when the whole family sang "Images" by Wali Ali and I got to sing the lead :) It took us three or four days to get to Georgia where my dad lived. Along the way, we stopped off in Arizona where we got to see an Indian reservation. It was fun, though I didn't see any teepees which was rather disappointing. We went to a mine a searched for jewels. In Texas we visited grandpa's sister, Aunt Viola. I think at the time, she was the oldest living relative in our family. It was so interesting to meet that side of the family. She lived in an old house that was built just like the homes of slaves you see in the movies. It was a miracle that we went there when we did, because two or three days later, Aunt Viola died.

We continued our journey. I remember while driving through Mississippi, my brother told Bro Fateen not to stop because the scenery reminded him of scenes out of "Mississippi Burning". When we finally arrived in Georgia, it took us for ever to get off the freeway because Mama kept missing the exit. Every time she passed the exit she'd shout "SHOOT!" and hit the steering wheel. I think it took four or five tries before we finally got off the right exit. We laughed the whole time, she even gave a chuckle once we got off.

The trip back to California was even more fun because we got to spend all the coins my dad had saved up over the years on Fish sandwiches and french fries at Mc Donalds, Jack in the Box and Burger King. In the end, we traveled through Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. I guess that was the beginning of our travels together as a family. We later went on to travel to Jamaica, Sudan, China, and Malaysia.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Letter to Jeddah (Grandma)

“Can I see Jeddah (Grandma) now?” I asked daddy for
the fifth time. I had been sitting in the waiting room
all morning and wanted to finally get a chance to see
her. “Jeddah is very ill Najah,” daddy said sadly,
“she needs her rest.” I sat back in my chair, staring
sadly at the floor. Jeddah’s illness had been sudden.
She was visiting in Malaysia when daddy got a call
that she was coming home right away. The doctors in
Malaysia said she was very sick and could not tell
what was making her ill.

As I sat in thought, I remembered the first time I met
Jeddah. Jeddah loved to travel. When I was born, she
was overseas with my aunties. Daddy always showed me
pictures of them. Jeddah was tall and had a kind
smile. When I could talk, I would speak to them over
the phone. I loved talking to Jeddah. She always sent
me pictures and presents from the different countries
she visited. Then one day, I got a big surprise.
Jeddah was coming back to the States, just to meet me.
I was so excited, but a little worried. “Is Jeddah
going to like me?” I asked daddy. “Of course she is,”
he laughed, “she is going to love you, just as she
already does now.”

Daddy had been right. Jeddah and I got along very
well. We did everything together, playing, gardening,
reading, shopping, and even cooking. Jeddah always
knew the right answer to everything. When there was a
problem, she knew how to fix it. My daddy and aunties
say, Allah answered her duas because she was a good
Muslim, so they always asked her to make dua when they
had problems. Once I got sick, Jeddah made dua for me,
cared and stayed with me until I got better. But now,
Jeddah is really sick, and the doctors don’t know how
to make her better.

I climbed into my daddy’s chair and curled up in his
lap. “Well, when can I see her daddy?” I asked wiping
away my tears. “Insha Allah soon baby, soon,” he
answered. A man in a white coat and a long face
entered the waiting room. “We have the results back
in, and I’m sorry to say, your mother has terminal
stage cancer. We have tried everything but her body is
not responding to treatment. All we can do now is to
make her comfortable.” Daddy lowered his head, “from
Allah we come, and to Him we return,” he whispered in
grief. With a gently pat on the back, “you may all go
in and see your mother now,” the doctor said then bade
daddy goodbye.

Daddy took my hand and led me into Jeddah’s room. Her
eyes were closed, I thought she was sleeping but when
I entered the room, she opened her eyes and smiled. In
a voice, weak and hoarse, not at all her own, she
whispered, “As Salaamu Alaikum Honey Pie, how are you
today?” A tear fell as I gazed at Jeddah, weak but
still strong. She embarrassed me with a warm, and
gently hug, the kind that only grandmothers could
give. “Don’t be afraid, baby cakes,” she whispered,
“every person must return to Allah, it is just my
time,” she smiled, gently stroking my head.
“Everything will be alright.”

The next week, Jeddah came home. Night after night,
I prayed and prayed. Jeddah always told me to pray to
Allah. But, Jeddah only got weaker and sicker. “Is
Jeddah going to die?” I tearfully whispered to Auntie
as she read Qur’an to Jeddah resting in her bed.
Auntie closed the Qur’an slowly. She picked me up and
held me tight. “It is possible, I don’t know for sure,
but Jeddah is very sick. Her body can no longer fight
the cancer.” “But I’ve been praying and praying,” I
said. Auntie smiled and kissed me on the head. She
hugged me burying my face into her scarf. “Mommy,
Allah has decreed death for everyone. We will all die
one day and return to Allah. Some people die old, some
die young. Some die healthy, while others die from
sickness. But when Allah calls one to return to Him,
no one can change it,” she said. That night I went
home, I kissed Jeddah gently on the cheek. Her breath
was slow, gentle, but weak. “Insha Allah, see you
tomorrow,” I whispered as she slept.

The next day, the sun was gray and the birds did not
sing. Daddy entered my room with tears in his eyes. He
picked me up and hugged me tight. “Jeddah has returned
to Allah.” I cried that morning, noon and night. “Why
did she have to die?” I thought. I cried and cried
some more. I missed Jeddah so much. All the times we
shared, all the fun we had, and everything she taught
me. Who would teach me now?

Days, weeks and months soon passed. I sat next to
auntie one day at the kitchen table. “Do you miss
Jeddah?” I asked. Auntie smiled. “Of course I do, and
I always will. That is why I pray and make dua for her
everyday,” she answered. “I miss her too,” I said,
“and it makes me very sad I can’t talk to her
anymore.” I laid my head on the table and closed my
eyes. Auntie put down her pen and papers, then, she
folded her hands. “You know,” she said gently, “you
can still “talk” to Jeddah. Even though Jeddah is not
here, you can keep her memory alive. What was your
favorite activity you did with Jeddah?” she asked.
“Hmm,” I thought, we did so much together and I loved
all of it. I thought long and hard. “I really liked
writing letters to Jeddah,” I smiled. “She would write
me back sometimes when she wasn’t too sick.” Auntie
smiled. “Okay then, you can still write letters to
her, even if she can’t read them.”

Write a letter to Jeddah, that seemed a bit weird but
I could give it a try anyway. In the privacy of my
room, I switched on my night light. I stared at my
paper and pen. What will I say? Where do I begin? I
lifted my pen.

Dear Jeddah,

As Salaamu Alikum Jeddah. I really miss you.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Meepo's Nightmare

Meepo's Nightmares

Meet Meepo, an average six year old Martian (Mar-tee-in) from the planet Martia [Mar-tee-uh]. He wakes up every morning to say his prayers, he eats his vegi's and brushes his teeth. He loves to play sports and go moon jumping. He goes to school every day and does his homework every night. And just before he goes to sleep, Meepo says his prayers and his mother reads a verse from the Qur'an and tucks him in bed. Yep, Meepo is your average martian kid.

One evening, Meepo's mother was out, and like every other evening, Meepo got ready to go to bed. As Meepo settled in for the night, something was not right. He was forgetting something, but he didn't know what. Meepo had a restless night. He tossed and turned in his bed. He dreamed he was being chased by a large martian eating rocketball. Meepo woke up in a sweat. He tried drinking warm moon milk, he tried jumping up and down twenty times, he even tried counting bleeps. But no matter what he did, he could not go to sleep without having nightmares.

Meepo woke up tired and late the next morning. "Good morning Meepo, did you sleep okay last night?" his father asked. "No," he answered, " I had bad dreams all night and I could not sleep," he yawned. Meepo's day at school was no better. During recess, Meepo's rocketball team lost because he missed the winning catch as he closed his eyes for a quick nap in the field. During science class, Meepo fell asleep while Teacher Bleam was showing the martian children how to vaporize an astroid. Meepo ended up turning his astroid into a globby lump of glue that exploded all over the classroom. The children had to go home early because the accident made the room smell like stinky old socks and rotten fruit.
Meepo's friends were worried. "Are you okay," Leebo asked. "Yeah, you look like you have not slept in days," Seedo said. Meepo sighed. "I did not sleep last night, and when I did, I had these horrible dreams. I tried everything, but I could not sleep" he said. "Well, when I can't sleep, my mom gives me warm moon milk," Seedo suggested. "I already tried that," Meepo said, "it didn't work." Leebo asked, "did you try sleeping on a moon rock pillow? My dad says it puts you straight to sleep." "Oh, and listen to the songs of the moon bird," Seedo added. "If you want, I can give you my pet moon bird for tonight," Seedo said. "Okay," Meepo said, "I will try anything."

That night, Meepo's father gave him a moon rock pillow. As his father left to pray in the mosque, Meepo got ready for bed. He drank some tea; put Leelu, Seedo's pet moon bird, next to his bed. He fluffed his pillows and settled in bed. Again, he felt like he was forgetting something. Meepo listened to the soothing sounds of the moon bird. Slowly, Meepo began to fall sleep.

Meepo's slumber turned into a dream. Meepo was playing rocketball with his friends in Astroid Park. "Heads up," Leepo shouted. As Meepo jumped to catch the ball, it turned into a large asteroid with teeth. The asteriod began to chase Meepo. Screaming, Meepo found a cave and hid in it. The asteroid grew arms and tried to grab Meepo. Meepo screamed and ran down a long, dark tunnel. At the end of the tunnel, he saw a light. Meepo ran towards the light. Suddenly, the roof of the cave began to break away as the martian eating asteriod roared. Meepo heard someone call his name. Just as the asteriod reached for him, Meepo woke up to his father calling his name. "Meepo wake up, it's time for school!"

Meepo was exhausted. Nothing he tried worked. At breakfast, Meepo's father noticed something was wrong. Meepo could barely keep his eyes open. He poured his cereal on his fruit and his milk over his toast. "Meepo, you don't look very well, I think you should stay home from school today." Meepo told his father about his troubles. "Hmm, lets see, you think you are forgetting something before you go to sleep and this is why you are having bad dreams and not sleeping well?" his father asked. "Yes, but I don't know what it is," Meepo said sighing. "Don't worry," his father said, "Insha Allah, we will figure this out together."

That night, Meepo's father did not pray at the mosque. He stayed home with Meepo. Meepo told his father all the things he did with his mother before going to bed. After he bathed and brushed his teeth, they would say the night prayer and read Qur'an. She'd tuck him in bed and kiss him good night. "Oh, I see now," Meepo's father said, "you miss your mother and perhaps you forgot to say your prayers before going to sleep?" Meepo thought for a moment, that was it. He had forgotten to say his night prayers when his father left for the mosque.

That night, after bathing and brushing his teeth; Meepo and his father prayed the night prayer together and read verses from the Qur'an. Meepo's father tucked him in bed and kissed him good night. "Insha Allah, have good dreams tonight Meepo," his father said. Meepo slept soundly that night. He dreamed he was in a field playing rocketball with his friends. "Heads up," Leepo shouted. Meepo jumped and made the winning catch. His team won. Meepo was carried off the field as everyone chanted his name, "Meepo, Meepo!"

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

In The News: And the Bronze Goes To.....?????





Saturday, May 3, 2008 my brother Naeem, took the bronze medal for the 200m dash in the 2008 Regional Special Olympics. We are so proud of him, we didn't think he'd get a medal but he surprised us all. He also took 4th place for the Shotput and 5th place in the 100m dash.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Seize The Moment

Ten to five and still I was not done. Anisa was heading out the door when she yelled over her shoulders, "Don't forget, the show starts at seven."

"I'll be there," I called back.

"That's what you said last time," she grumbled, "and you didn't show. Can't that wait until tomorrow? This night is really important; you have to be there."

"Don't worry, I just have a few more i's to dot and t's to cross," I said, trying to sound convincing and sincere. She looked at me. "Okay, but if you miss my performance I will never forgive you."

"I will be there, I promise."

She blew a kiss and left the room. I smiled to myself. I was quite proud of Anisa. Of all my friends, she was the most quiet, timid and reserved person I had ever known. She had some real self-esteem issues when we first met due to her misfortunate upbringing. But she has changed. Ever since she volunteered at a shelter for homeless kids, she has blossomed. A year ago today, I could not get her to speak in front of our sisters' group, now she's performing on stage for an audience at the Islamic Convention for Women Against Violence!

I quickly delved back into the pile of files on my desk. Obsession with completion and accuracy has always been my problem. I could stay up all night perfecting a perfect document. Now was no different. I was just closing the last file with a smile of achievement when the phone rang.

"Hello?"

"Fatimah Abdul Kadir?"

"Yes."

"Are you a friend of Anisa Mahmoud?"

I gasped. "Anisa!" I looked at my watch, ten-thirty. I did it again. Where had the time gone? She'd never forgive me this time.

"Yes, I'm her friend."

The gloom in the speaker's voice began to frighten me. My heart began to race. "Is she okay?" I asked feebly.

"I'm sorry ma'am, but she has been killed in a car accident. We will need you to come and identify her body."

Dead! Anisa was dead! How could that be? I hung up the phone and sank into the couch. Allah have Mercy, I broke a promise. I let her down by not being there for her and now I can't tell her I'm sorry and how proud I was of her for her achievements. Why didn't I seize the moment when I had the chance? How could I let my obsessions occupy me so much that I could not make it to her final performance?

The next day, the papers were filled with praise and sorrow. They told of a promising, guiding light for disadvantaged children of the inner city, which was put out by a drunken driver when he slammed into her car as she was driving home from the Alpha Theater, where she gave a stunning performance. A young lark, she learned to fly – and now she has flown away never to return.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Brothers

Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Arkanaan, a queen gave birth to twin boys. One was blind and the other was deaf. Even though they were different, they each had a gift. Hassan was blind but was gifted with powerful hearing. He could hear the slighted sound though it was far away. Hossam was deaf but had amazing sight. He could see things clearly from a great distance. The king and queen loved them very much and taught them to love and help each other. Together they were complete. As the twins grew up, they did everything together. They loved to go hunting, and they would often go hunting without their guards, each using his ability to help the other. After their parents died, they ruled their kingdom together with justice.

There lived a king in a neighboring kingdom. He envied Hassan and Hossam. He decided to wage war against them and take their kingdom. But together, Hassan and Hossam were undefeatable and the king’s army was crushed. “Together, they are strong and I can not take their kingdom,” the king said to his council, “so I must destroy their relationship.” First, the king sent his best soldiers to ambush Hassan and Hossam while they were out hunting. But they did not get far before Husam heard their footsteps in the dry broken leaves and twigs on the forest floor.  He alerted Hasim.  Hasim saw the would-be assassins crouched in an abandoned bear hole and captured them. Then, the king sent some of his men disguised as noblemen into the town. They began to tell evil rumors about each brother. But that did not work, the brothers stood together and disclaimed the rumors and their people chased out the disguised noblemen. The king sat on his throne fuming over his failed attempts.  While he was moping, a servant named Salina brought him his evening meal and drink.  She was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.  Suddenly, he had an idea that would destroy the brothers and win him Arkanaan.   The king summoned Salina and gave her instructions and promised her that he would free her if she was successful.  Dressed as a beautiful bride, the king gave her to one of the brothers in marriage as a sign of friendship between the kingdoms.  Hassan told his brother to marry the princess since he was blind and could not see her. But Hossam loved his brother very much and gave the princess to him since he was the older of the two. So, Hassan married Salina. As a gift, she gave each brother a bow and quiver. Hassan’s bow was made of pure gold. It was beautifully decorated with gems of every color. Hossam’s bow was made of pure silver. His was beautifully decorated with pearls of different hues. Hassan loved his bow very much. It was a gift from his beloved wife. He took it everywhere he went.

One day, they decided to go hunting. Salina stole the bow of her husband and hid it among Hossam’s belongings. When Hassan could not find his bow, he became very angry. His wife mentioned that Hossam always admired his bow and perhaps he took it for himself. Hassan was infuriated. Hossam sent some guards to search his things and they found Hassan’s bow. Hossam tried to defend himself but Hassan would not listen. The brothers began to argue. Their arguing led to name-calling. Before a fight could break out, they each decided to go their separate ways. Hidden in the forest, the king was watching. He decided it was time to make his move. He ambushed each brother easily because they were no longer complete. He imprisoned Hassan and Hossam and took their kingdom. Hassan and Hossam lived the rest of their lives in prison regretting the day they stood against each other.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Parents

A man came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man said. "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man further said, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man asked for the fourth time, "Who is next?"The Prophet said, "Your father."

When we were young, our parents gave not only their love, but their tireless efforts to raise, nurture and care for us. They (especially our mothers) spent sleepless night caring for us when we were sick or simply scared of the dark. Our fathers spent the best years of their lives working hard, struggling, making sacrifices so that we could live comfortably and have everything we need to succeed in this life and the hereafter often forgetting to take care of themselves. Allah (swt) says, 31:14 “And [God says:] ‘We have enjoined upon man goodness towards his parents: his mother bore him by bearing strain upon strain, and his utter dependence on her lasted two years: [hence, O man,] be grateful towards Me and towards thy parents, [and remember that] with Me is all journeys’ end.

As we get older and they get even older, the roles must change, it is we who should care for our parents. But sadly, many adult children often forget the hardships their parents went through and instead of caring for their parents when they become old, they stick them in homes for the elderly. Some are left to live on their own without hearing from their busy, career-minded kids. But even after all they have done for us, how many actually complain when left in nursing homes or on their own. Even after all they have given us, they still want what is good for their children, most will prefer to stay in nursing homes so as not to be a burden on their children.

My mom used to always say, "I don't want to be a burden on you when I get old, from today, you have my permission to put me in an elderly/nursing home. I want you to be able to live your life." I used to cringe every time she said it. How could I, as a believer, abandon her like that, it was unthinkable. The thought of her being sick or dying alone without her children by her side was appalling. When the time came and she became ill, everything in my life was put on hold. She came first. Sleepless nights were long over due. I can remember her falling asleep holding my hand and every once in a while I could feel her squeeze my hand to see if I was still there. As she was there for my first breath, Alhamdulillah, I was blessed to be with her for her last.

Our parents are a mercy from Allah (swt) as we are a mercy to our parents from Him. I can't imagine how my life would have been without my mom always being by my side. I was blessed to have been able to be by her side on her final journey to Allah (swt). May Allah (swt) reward her for all that she did for me, my family and every soul (needy or not) who crossed her path. May He cover her with His shade of Mercy and Jannah. Ameen

Something to remember from the Qur'an and the Sunnah:

17:23 for thy Sustainer has ordained that you shall worship none but Him. And do good unto [thy] parents. Should one of them, or both, attain to old age in thy care, never say "Ugh" to them or scold them, but [always] speak unto them with reverent speech.

Narrated Anas bin Malik
The Prophet said, "The biggest of Al-Kaba'ir (the great sins) are (1) to join others as partners in worship with Allah, (2) to murder a human being, (3) to be undutiful to one's parents (4) and to make a false statement," or said, "to give a false witness."

Love your parents, be kind to them, care for them. One day they will return to Allah (swt), spend as much time with them as possible. May Allah (swt) bless all our mothers and fathers.

Friday, April 11, 2008

An Eid Poem: The Best Gift

It was the night before Eid and all was well, until there came a knock on the door and a ring of the bell. Who could it be at this time of night, but no one could tell. It was an old man with tattered clothes. A stranger, he had no food or family and no home to go. "As Salaamu Alaikum, Can you help me?" he asked "Some food, a blanket or maybe an old coat?" Father opened the door wide, "Wa Alaikum As Salaam. Ahlan wa Sahlan. Please come inside." Mother entered the kitchen and it wasn't long, till she returned with some bread and hot soup to warm the bone. With a prayer of thanks on his lips and a fluffed pillow under his head, the stranger laid warm and cozy in a bed.
So always remember dear little muslims (and big ones too)- Eid is not just about receiving money, gifts, candy or even a new dress, but it is giving and sharing our hearts and homes with family, friends and the stranger in need. The best Eid gift is the gift of compassion, kindness, and mercy indeed.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Time waits for no one

Where is it going?? Does anyone know?? When I was young, I felt like I had all the time in the world. But as the years pass, it seems as if time is slipping away. Make the best of the time you have because you will never get it back!


In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

By (the token of) Time (through the ages),

Verily man is in loss.

Except such as have faith and do righteous deeds and (join together) in the mutal teaching of the truth, and of patience and constancy.

Sura Asr 103

Friday, March 14, 2008

New Islamic Fiction release!!!


Sophia’s Journal: Time Warp 1857
Author Name: Najiyah Diana Helwani
978-0-9793577-2-5
Paperback 5.5 x 8.5
208 Pages
Price: $10.95
Reading Level: Teen/Adult

Description

Sophia is an American Muslim teenager whose father is Arab and whose mother is an American convert. Sophia is a high school sophomore who’s on the verge of getting her driver’s permit and embarking on a summer of mall visits and evenings at CafĂ© Rumi with her friends. Intelligent, feisty, determined and normal… those are most definitely the words that describe Sophia Ahmed, the young Muslim heroine of Sophia's Journey: Time Warp 1857.
During a bike ride with her family near Lawrence, Kansas, anxiety-ridden Sophia falls into a river and is washed downstream. She emerges in 1857 – smack in the middle of Bleeding Kansas. Sophia is aghast to find that slavery is going on in her adopted community, and she and begins to fight for the freedom of the slaves she knows. A local boy captures Sophia’s heart, but when he proposes marriage, Sophia is torn about marrying outside her faith. An old Gambian slave, who is still a closet Muslim, helps her work out her fears, and this causes an exciting, dangerous and unexpected turn of events.

The author researched historical types of food, clothing and the way of life in 1857 Kansas, USA. Readers will love learning about the way of life early frontier settlers lived. The book has a glossary and some unique recipes that are specific to the book’s period in history. This book will be a welcome addition to any Language Arts reading and/or American History program.

About the Author

Najiyah Diana Helwani is a teacher and freelance writer whose published credits include poetry and magazine and newspaper articles. Sophia's Journey: Time Warp 1857 is the first book in a planned historical fiction series and her first published Islamic fiction novel. Raised on the windswept prairies of Kansas, Najiyah's love of her American roots blends beautifully with her Islamic faith, and she strives to show people that the two are not mutually exclusive. Najiyah currently teaches English in Damascus, Syria, where she lives with her husband and six children. When she is in the USA she conducts workshops on Islam and the history of USA relations with the Middle East. www.MuslimWritersPublishing.com
Availability and Ordering

Sophia's Journal: Time Warp 1857 is available at IslamicBookstore.com, Amazon.com USA and UK and many fine bookstores.
Contact the Publisher: Linda Delgado at publisher@MuslimWritersPublishing.com. Send your mailing name, address and the number of copies you want to order. You will receive a response providing the total cost for your order including shipping & handling.

Payment can be made using PayPal and the Send To address of woodad@mindspring.com or by USD Check or money order. Payment address wll be provided when you send in your order.


Retailers
Discounts are available. Order through Ingram, Books In Print, Baker & Taylor or contact the publisher.
Contact the Publisher: Linda Delgado at 480-894-6014 or publisher@MuslimWritersPublishing.com.
Reviews

“I just read Sophia's Journal and I have to say, it's really a creative way to learn about American history! It's action packed and very unique and I would recommend it to teens and adults alike. Masha Allah, it was so good, I read it all in one sitting. Congrats to the author and publisher.” - Iman Kouvalis, Optimize It. Designs
“Subhan'Allah! I just finished reading "Sophia's Journal" and I'm in tears. What a wonderful story. It might take me a few minutes to recover enough to write anything coherent about it, but there will _certainly_ be a favorable review... Thank you for sending it to me.” - Tiel Aisha Ansari, writer

Sunday, March 9, 2008



In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Have, then, they [who deny the truth] never considered the birds, enabled [by God] to fly in mid-air, with none but God holding them aloft? In this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who will believe!

Qur'an 16:70

Plight of a lost child

Can I pump your gas?
A quarter to clean your glass?
I'm on my own, can you help me find my way?

Here I am, holding out my hand.
Everyone walking pass me, without even a glance.
Why wont anyone give me a second chance?

What did I do wrong, to end up this way.
Where is my mother, to chase my fears away.
Wont somebody help me, to find a better day.

Oct 2007

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In Loving Memory........

When I was young, you helped me grow.

When I was unsteady, you held me close.

When I was afraid, you protected me.

When I was hungry, you made sure I was fed.

When I was sick, you took care of me.

When I was hurt, you kissed the pain away.

When I was helpless, you picked me up.

When I was lonely, you befriended me.

When I was weak, you shared your strength.

When I was wrong, you showed me patience.

When I was down, you cheered me up.

When I didn't know, you taught me.

When I was lost, you were my guidance.

When I was unsure, you encouraged me.

For all the times I needed you, you were always there.

May Allah the Most Compassionate, bless you and have mercy on your soul.

My Friend,
My Heart,
My Strength,
My Love,
MY MOTHER.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New Islamic Fiction release!!!


As Salaam'Alaykum

Muslim Writers Publishing is happy to announce the publishing of sister/IWA member Corey Habbas' new Islamic Fiction book titled, The Runaway Scarf. The book will be released in two weeks. The book files are currently with the printing company. Muslim Writers Publishing is very excited and pleased to publish sister Corey's wonderful new 52 page book which she also illustrated. This is an exciting event as The Runaway Scarf is MWP's first publishing of a color illustrated book for children and youth.

Book Details

In The Runaway Scarf, Ibsitu, a young slave from Habbasha who has built a friendship with her slave master’s daughter, Noora, is accused of stealing one of her expensive, jewel-embroidered scarves. After being attacked and violently searched, Ibsitu embarks on a journey of freedom. The light of faith has been lit in Ibsitu’s heart and she uses it as a guide along the path to Prophet Mohammed’s (pbuh) town in Madinah.

The Runaway Scarf is a timeless story about the Islamic values of human rights and equality.

Author Bio

Corey Habbas, a Muslim revert since 2000 and freelance writer, has had her writing published in various online and print journals, newspapers and magazines. Her short stories and articles for children have been featured in Learning Through History Magazine and Skipping Stones. Corey has won several awards for her poetry including prizes from the Islamic Writers Alliance and Qalam. In 2006, her poetry won the Andalusia Prize for Literature. Corey grew up in California where she studied art and also earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems from the University of Redlands. She now lives in Minnesota with her family. She is a member of the Islamic Writers Alliance.

List price $11.95.

Ordering:

Contact sister Corey's publisher at woodad@mindspring. com www.MuslimWritersPublishing. com

Provide your Mailing name and address and number of copies you want to order! You will be contacted by the publisher.

Shipping anywhere in the USA is $3.00 per single copy. Additional shipping fees based on the number of copies ordered and weight of the books.

Shipping outside the USA: The publisher will advise you of the shipping cost on reciept of your order.

Please support our muslim authors!
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Friday, January 11, 2008

The Pigeon, The Spider and The Cave

There once was a cave named Thawra. She was small, dark and cozy. Very few creatures knew about her so she remained isolated. One day, a pigeon flew over Thawra in search for a place to build her nest. "What a nice place to have my babies," she thought. As Pigeon flew away to gather twigs for her nest, a spider who was searching for food happened to come across Thawra. It was really hot that day, so she decided to take a rest in Thawra.

When Pigeon returned she found Spider. "Excuse me Mrs. Spider, this cave belongs to me. I found it first and would like to build my nest here," the pigeon said. The spider did not want to leave the nice cool cave, "I'm sorry, Mrs Pigeon, but I was here first, so you will have to build you nest elsewhere." The pigeon and the spider began to argue.

The arguing woke up Thawra. "Why are you arguing," she asked yawning. "Well, it's like this Ms. Thawra," Mrs. Spider began, " Mrs. Pigeon wants to throw me out in the heat even though I was here first." "But I found this cozy cave first," protested Mrs. Pigeon, "she can rest under any old rock, but I need more room."

Thawra the cave thought for a moment, "why don't you share my cave," she suggested. "Share?" they replied. "haven't you heard about the Pigeon and the spider who worked together to save the life of the Prophet (saw) when he migrated to Medinah?" Thawra asked. "No," they answered, "please tell us."

"Well it all happened a long time ago. The Prophet (saw) and his best friend Abu Bakr As Saddiq (ra) were secretly leaving Mecca. The Quraish were very angry that the muslims had found a city that welcomed Islam. So they decided to kill the Messenger (saw) before he left. But Allah(swt) saved the Messenger (saw) by making the Meccans fall asleep outside his (saw) very door as he (saw) left his home.

It did not take long before the Meccans woke up and found the Messenger (saw) gone. They searched the desert for the Messenger (saw) and his best friend. But the Messenger (saw) and Abu Bakr (ra) found me first. They hid in me. The Meccans had just arrived and was going to search me when Allah (swt) sent a Pigeon and a spider to save the Messenger (saw) and Abu Bakr (ra)."

"How did they save them," asked Mrs Spider. "Well, the spider spun a web at my entrance, while the pigeon built her nest next to it. The Meccans thought that if the Messenger (saw) had entered, he would have scared away the pigeon and broken the spider's web. So they left and the Messenger (saw) and Abu Bakr (ra) were saved!

So you see, you can share my cave, just like the pigeon and the spider." "You are right," said Mrs. Pigeon, "we can share your cave Ms. Thawra." "Yes, and we are sorry for disturbing you Ms. Thawra," added Mrs Spider. "It's okay," yawned Thawra as they all settled for a nice cool nap.

Little Jamaal The Camel

It was a warm sunny morning. Mama Camel and her son, Little Jamaal, were eating breakfast. Jamaal looked very sad. "What's the matter Jamaal?" his mother asked softly. I'm scared, he answered. "The master will not like me, I think he is going to give me away," he said.

Mama Camel smiled, inspection day was always scary for baby camels. "Don't worry," she said, "our master is very kind. We have a very long history you know." "Really?" Jamaal answered. "Yes, man and camels have lived and worked together for as long as we camels can remember. Allah (swt) created us to help man with his needs. Let me tell you a story of our great ancestor, Qaswa, who had a very special master.

It all started in Mecca. The Meccans were very afraid of a man called Muhammad (saw). He was teaching the people of the Oneness of Allah (Swt). They did not like that so they decided to kill him. One evening, Qaswa sat worrying about her master Abu Bakr (ra). It had been over 3 days since he had come to see her. Had the Meccans hurt him? Suddenly, her master's son came and quietly prepared. He told her she was going to carry a very special man to Madinah where he would be safe and could teach the people about Islam.

They quietly left Mecca in the night to a cave. Qaswa was very excited to finally see her master after so many days and to meet the Messenger of Allah (Swt). After some time, they reached the cave. When she saw the man standing next to her master, she knew he was the last seal of the prophets, and promised she would do her best to make sure he made it to Madinah safely.

She kneeled on her knees to let him climb onto her back. But the Messenger (saw) would not climb on until her master agreed on a fair price. They agreed and he climbed on. Qaswa knew the Meccans were still looking for her new master, the Messenger of Allah (swt), so they had to leave quickly.

The days were long and hot, they did not take the usually roads to Madinah because they were full of danger. Many times she wanted to drop from exhaustion, but then she remembered the Prophet (saw) and continued. Sudenly a dust cloud appeared on the horizon, a horse was galloping fast toward them, it was a bounty hunter, Suraqah, looking to hurt the prophet (Swt).

Qaswa was very worried, she made dua; suddenly, as if the horse finally recognized the Messenger of Allah (swt), he fell to the ground throwing Suraqah off his back. Allah (swt) had inspired him to also want to protect the Messenger (saw). Every time Suraqah came near to hurt the prophet (saw), his horse threw him to the ground. Finally, Suraqah gave up, he spoke to the prophet (saw) and was soon convinced that he was a true prophet of Allah (Swt). They continued on.

The road to Madinah seemed endless. Qaswa was close to falling when finally she heard a shout. They had made it to Madinah. The people of Madinah rushed out to meet her new master, singing and praising Allah (swt) that he had made it safely. Two men approached, one gave her water while the other gave water to her new master. Qaswa knew for certain that her new master would be safe here amongst these kind people.

"So you see, little one, you have nothing to fear. Our master is a kind believing man, just like the people of Madinah, he will not hurt you. He fears Allah (swt) and appreciates the work we do for him by the Mercy of Allah (swt). Little Jamaal was no longer afraid. He stood up and welcomed his kind master.

Where Memories are Laid

Where memories are laid.

I turn over in the bed and glance at the clock. 9:30am.
My body aches. How long have I been asleep?
How long has it been since I’d gotten out of bed?
The body dent in the bed said a long time.

My head hurts. My eyes are swollen from crying.
It takes awhile before I’m able to pull myself up.
I look at the clock again, it is now 11 o’clock.
I pull my legs over to the edge of the bed.

My feet drop to the floor like heavy paper weights.
I lift my tear stained face, all I can see in the dark
Gloomy room are their bright smiling faces looking back at me,
faces that once brought life and happiness into my world.

But now it is dark. My light is gone.
Vanished, like the reality of a mirage.
How long has it been since my self-confinement?

My lonely reflection in the mirror cries for its loss.
One hundred days it has been.
One hundred days of grief I laid.
One hundred days of tears I paid.

I pull back the heavy curtains of a past gone by.
Living had once lost its meaning,
but now a new light fills the void.
A new life fills my soul.

Suddenly I hear sounds of old,
like a distant memory.
Not too far but just out of reach,
laughter and song, merry and bright.

I will never forget you for as long as I live,
but time has healed.
I will keep your memory close to my heart
where I’ll always be able to find you.

Hon and the Timepiece

Hon and the Timepiece
(copyright November 13, 2005)

Once upon a time there was a small and peaceful town. There was no war, hate or conflicts, only peace and happiness. In this town lived a boy name Hon. He lived with his elderly grandparents. It happened that his dear grandmother became gravely ill. Without medicine, the doctor said she would die. Hon and his grandfather were worried because they did not have much money for her medicine.

One night while grandfather tended to grandmother, Hon went for a walk to try and ease his worries. He passed by a large window with a magnificent timepiece sitting on a velvet cushion. A thought occurred to him, an evil thought. “What if I took this beautiful thing and sold it? Surely that would be enough to buy grandmother’s medicine.” He waited for the shop owner to close the doors and go home. Hon silently crept into the shop and took the timepiece. Outside the shop, the timepiece glowed and vibrated in the moonlight.

As he turned to leave, an old man with a long white beard and a shimmering white cape appeared. “Hon, stealing is wrong, you should return the time-piece to its rightful place” he said in a low voice that flowed with the wind. “How do you know my name” Hon asked shocked, “and how do you know what I have in my pocket?” The old man did not answer; he only stared at him. Hon looked down, “I know it’s wrong to steal but without it, my grandmother will die and I love her too much to let that happen” he told the old man sadly. But the old man did not change, “ I warn you, “ he said “if you don’t return the timepiece, something terrible will happen. No good comes from evil actions.” With that, he disappeared.

Hon looked at the timepiece, he did not want to take it but he did not want his grandmother to die either. “I will do it just this time and then never again” he promised and he made his way to the town center. Suddenly, a strong wind sent an eerie chill over the land and dark clouds suddenly appeared and covered the night sky. Loud thunder filled the air. “How strange,” Hon thought, “it is not the rainy season.” He continued on his way.

When he arrived, he immediately knew that something was wrong. The town center was different. It was not the peaceful town he knew, but one filled with fear, hate and chaos. He saw men in armour fighting and destroying buildings. “What’s happening?” he asked a woman running by. She explained how the town had once been honored to house a special timepiece that belonged to King Nazoo. One day it was stolen and it angered the king. Since then, he attacked the town and swore he would not stop until the thief came forward and accepted his punishment. Death! Hon was horrified. All of this chaos was his fault yet he was too afraid to confess.

Suddenly he saw an old man that looked like his grandfather walking blindly with a cane. Suddenly, some men jumped out and attacked his grandfather. Hon ran over to help him. “Thank you kind boy,” he said not recognizing Hon. “Grandfather, it’s me, Hon. Where is grandmother?” he asked. His grandfather told him that she died many years ago when their only grandson disappeared. And that he lost his sight when the king and his men came into the town looking for his stolen timepiece.

Hon was saddened. He knew what he had to do; he walked three days to the king’s palace. He was taken to the king and he confessed everything that happened. King Nazoo kept his promise and stopped the attacks and sent Hon to be executed. He gathered all the people to watch. Just as the executioner raised his ax, a loud thunder clapped and dark clouds blackened the sky. When Hon opened his eyes, he was standing outside the shop looking at the beautiful timepiece. Had everything been a dream? “Steal the timepiece and save grandmother?” he thought. “No!” he said to himself, “stealing is wrong, I will just have to find another way.” And that’s just what he did.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A True Friend

A true friend feels your pain and endeavors to rid you
of it.

A true friend shares your happiness and tries to
prolong it.

A true friend removes the glass in the road before you
step on it.

A true friend listens more and criticizes less.

A true friend gives good counsel.

A true friend will never put you in harms way.

A true friend will give you both shoulders to cry on.

A true friend will call just to see that you are okay.

A true friend will lend a hand when yours can go no
further.

A true friend will stay up with you all night
comforting your broken heart.

A true friend is not afraid to correct you when you
are wrong.

A true friend is not cowardly and will stick up for
you when you are wronged.

A true friend is honest and trustworthy.

A true friend is a gift from God.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Looking through the eyes of the canvas

Looking through the eyes of the canvas
>>
I remember a safe haven and a gentle hum,
looking through the eyes of the canvas.
Where firm grips keep out the storms
And soft scents caress the senses.
>>
I remember all the –times,
looking through the eyes of the canvas.
Where fantasies embrace realities
And Reality is for a child’s play.
>>
I see hatred, hurt and rejection,
looking through the eyes of the canvas.
Where life’s past is left behind
And two paths are left to unwind.
>>
I see life where there is death,
looking through the eyes of the canvas.
Where violent quakes and rolling waves
Bring closer hope where there is despair.
>>
I feel the lonely entrapment of solitude,
looking through the eyes of the canvas.
Where shadows walk through endless seas
Never seen, heard or acknowledged.
>>
And most important of all, the artist is never far,
When looking through the eyes of the canvas.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Hunter

The hunter


A long time ago, man only hunted for what he needed, never more. Life was easy for the animal world. There lived a man name Caleb. Like all other men in his village, he was a hunter. Every morning, he said goodbye to his family and took his bow and spear and went to the forest. During the summer, he only hunted the smaller animals. During the winter, he hunted the larger animals because he also needed their fur for his family. Caleb was a very good hunter. He never missed his mark. People in the village praised him for his skillfulness. This made Caleb very proud. No one could out hunt him; he was the best! One day his friend, Tonar, became ill and could not hunt for his family. So Caleb decided to hunt for extra food for himself and Tonar. Tonar was grateful for his friend’s help. After Tonar became well, Caleb no longer needed to hunt for more food. But he was used to hunting for more food. He decided to sell his extra animal meat and skins. Soon, Caleb became rich from selling his extra meat and skins. After some time, there were very few smaller animals to hunt because he had killed most of them. So he began hunting the larger, winter animals until they began to disappear also. Caleb’s wife and the other villagers became very worried about the future of their village. If there were no animals to hunt, then they would either starve or have to leave their homeland. The elders tried to talk to Caleb but he refused to listen. He continued to hunt unnecessarily. One day, he went out hunting. He had to go further into the forest than usual. He came across a lush green opening. He found a large beautiful tigress feeding her cubs. Caleb marveled at the color of her fur. “With that fur I would look like a king,” he thought to himself, “or I could fetch a high price in the market.” He quietly took out his spear and aimed at the beautiful tigress. Suddenly the tigress looked at him and spoke softly to him. “Please sir, spare me. I have two young cubs that need me to feed and protect them. If you kill me, they will not survive the coming winter. Besides, you have plenty of meat and skins already, you do not need to kill me.” Caleb thought for a moment, but his greed won over his compassion. He raised his spear and killed the tigress. He placed her with the rest of his kill and returned home. Just as the sun began to set he arrived at his village. He waved to his wife and children as they approached him. Suddenly, the ground began to shake and the sky became black. A voice came from the forest and spoke to Caleb. “Caleb, you have wronged the forest by killing beyond your needs. You wrongfully killed the mother tigress and now you will be punished for your crimes. You, the hunter will now become the hunted. And you will be hunted for the rest of your life, not for food, not for clothing, but out of hate.” Suddenly, Caleb felt himself rising from the ground. He began to shake violently. His hands and feet turned into claws. His skin was covered with ugly black and brown fur. His face was no longer handsome, but now tiny orange eyes, two pudgy ears, a long snout and ugly protruding fangs. When the sky cleared, he was no longer Caleb the hunter, but he was Caleb the hideous creature. He looked at his family who now only stared in terror. His wife and children screamed and ran into the village. Soon, men came with spears and torches and chased him back into the forest. He spent the rest of his life running from hunters because they feared and hated him.

A True Pioneer

A True Pioneer

When mama decided to leave the city to raise her children in an islamic environment, her husband at the time, Brother Fateen supported her whole heartedly. She left us with trusted friends while she went out the first time to get the desert ready for us. I stayed with her friend, Sis Halimah Mu'min while Mas and Lehm stayed with sister Khadijah Fuqua. When mama set her heart on something, she went into it wholeheartedly. When she first told Brother Fateen her plans of buying land and moving to the desert, he said okay. He left her that morning and when he returned home that evening she had sold the house and was in the process of selling off furniture. A group of them, my mom, step-dad and a couple of friends, rode out together. When they got to the property my mom had purchased, all that was out there was "land". They arrived in the night. All hyped up about the move, they laid out a large tarp and laid out their sleeping bags. They were going to sleep out under the Allah (swt) big beautiful star filled sky. Mama was on cloud nine. As they laid under the starry sky, it was not long before they began to hear the pitter patter of small feet. When they turned on the car lights, they saw mice scattering around. That ended the first night of the fearless settler attitude. They slept that night with their head lights on, while my mom had slept in the vehicle they came in. The next morning, when they picked up the tarp they had slept on, they noticed they had been sleeping on an ant hill. Mama used to laugh and say "Allah (swt) protects fools and babies" every time she recalled this story. Her first night in the desert did not deter her from wielding that land and making it our home for the next ten years. She learned to live with the mice by letting us have cats. She was the fittest woman I knew, at the sound of a rattle or rustle, she could sprint from 0mph to home in a few seconds. My mom faced the hardships that presented itself living in a harsh environment like a true pioneer. No sacrifice was too large for her to make if it meant the well being of her children. Ironically, this was not her last pioneering move. Our story continued!

Belief Comes Even to the Hearts of Children.

Belief comes even to the hearts of children

My mom (May allah (swt) have mercy on her soul) instilled in us at an early age that Allah (swt) listened and answered the prayer of His servants. Of course, as children, we simply believed because our mother believed and we always knew her to be a truthful woman. But our faith in what she said would one day be tested. My mom raised us in the high desert of California. She wanted us to be raised in as near an islamic environment as possible; since living in a muslim country was out of her reach, she chose an isolated place (desert) where we could be raised islamically. I can remember spending hours and hours exploring our "desert land" with my younger sisters, something we could have never done in the city. The highlight of any day would be to find "desert treasures" which ranged from beautiful stones, lizards, desert flowers, and the occasional lost items of desert travellers. Near our home there was a huge hole that had been dug to build a masjid. While the masjid was never built in that spot, the hole served as a recreational center for my sisters and I. We would ride our bikes up and down the slopes wishing we could be like the boys with their bike flips, trips and flies. We would also have little tea parties, play hide and seek. It was our wonderland. It was also a spot to take our spoils from our scanvenger hunts. On one particular day, we found what looked like ordinary stones but once cracked open, turned out to be beautiful on the inside. They had somehow crystalized on the inside of the stone. We had hit the jack pot! Now, we had only one problem, remembering the stories of the gold rush, we had to protect our new treasures, especially if we were going to get rich off of it. So, we decided to hide our precious stones. Our mother always told us the power of dua, so we decided to put it to the test, after all, this was important. We found a nice spot in the big hole to bury our treasures. We put our stones in the hole and made dua, "Oh Allah, please protect our treasure and don't let anyone ever find our stones. Ameen" After a couple of rained in days, we went back to check on our treasure and could not find it in the spot we put it. We knew it could not have be stolen as one, no one lived out there except us, two, it had been raining, and three, the place had not been touch since we left it. Then it suddenly dawned on us, we forgot to exclude ourselves from that dua, Allah (swt) was answering our dua, no one was going to find our treasures, not even us! Well, from that day, we learned to coin our duas to say exactly what we mean :) But we also learned that Allah (swt) does indeed answer the dua of His servants. From that day on, we truly believed in the power of dua, not just because my mom said so, but because it had truly worked for us. That was not the last time we made a dua that came to pass. Years later, Alhamdulillah, He continues to answer our prayers and somewhere in that big hole lies protected our beautiful stones.

My Brother is Different.

My brother is different


My name is Malik. This is my brother Na'eem. He is different from me and other boys. He does not play like other boys. He likes to be alone. He does not speak like other boys. Instead, he repeats everything we say. He can read but he does not understand the humor in the stories. He does not laugh at the cartoons like we do. But he likes to laugh to himself. He does not play ring around the rosy with the other children. He likes to spin around and around in a circle. My brother does not know how to pray like us in the mosque. He sits quietly and humbly. He does not sing like other boys. He sticks his fingers in his ears and hums to himself. He doesn't know to stand in line. He walks straight to the front. He does not always get in trouble when he does wrong. He does not know how to say he's sorry. Other boys laugh at him and say he is weird. They call him names. But, he is just being himself. My mommy says my brother is autistic. He was born that way. My brother is different; but Alhamdulillah I love him just the same.

Welcome

In The Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

All praises are due to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds.
The Beneficient, The Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgement,
Thee alone do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
Guide us on the straight path; The path of those upon whom
Thou hast bestowed Thy graces,
Not those whom Thy wrath hast brought down
Nor those who go astray. Amin

I bear witness that there is only One God, and that Mohammed, peace be upon him, was His last prophet. Allah has no sons, daughters, or partners. He is the One, Creator and Destroyer of all.

Greetings of peace to all . Welcome to The Family-Ship, a site intended to share my experiences and stories with all those who enjoy helping children reach their potenial in this life and the hereafter. Growing up, I loved story time, and over the years, I have learned that books and story-time was an excellent way to teach, interact, motivate and encourage good behaviour, character, and a love for learning in children. Let the fun begin!