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,

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.


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!

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

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.


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!