Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Emperor and the Seed

Author Unknown

An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you."

The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!"

One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks went by. Still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by-still nothing in Ling's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed.

Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful-in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey nice try."

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the emperor. "Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!" All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!"

When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!" Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor? Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!"

The Prophet taught, "Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to Al-Fajur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fajur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar." [Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 8:116]

Source: Taken from

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Books and Technology

Where will the digital world take us? While sitting here checking email, updating my facebook status and reading tweets, I came across a tweet that asked, "what will libraries look like?" in the future as we move to move forward and e-books become more popular and accessible. I realized that it has been ages since I set foot in a library, this coming from a girl who was practically raised in our small town library. Granted, the last time I went to the library, which wasn't that long ago, was in search of some board books for my classroom, but I'm talking about sitting down amongst thousands of books and spending hours reading.

The thought brought back floods of memories and sensations. I can almost remember the smell of my hometown library. The smell of the books, the carpet under my feet (yeah, I used to take off my shoes when the librarian was not looking :D), the hard seats when the more comfortable chair was already taken, the smooth covers of the books as I shelved books and the goosebumps I'd get when it got a bit too cold. The only sounds heard were the hushed whisperings of patrons, tapping of typewriters and the turning of pages. Being home-schooled allowed me an opportunity to spend hours and hours at the library. On a good day, I spent more than four hours. I even learned how to use library system to help others check out books, input returned books and even shelve returned books. It was such a great experience.

Then comes technology, giving us the e-book. Not sure how embracing I am of the thought of e-books. I love holding books, smelling books and the simple sensation of turning pages. Just how will e-books transform the library culture and way of life? What will they look like? I can only imagine some hallowed room with nothing but glass and colorless, streamlined computer stations where people can hook their ipads, kindles, laptops and other e-readers to charge and download books, information and even automated librarians. The room will have a more sterile smell due to problems dust can create for the library mainframe. There will be no intimacy between person and book or person and library. People will interact with machine instead of other humans.

Who knows what the future has in store for books and the library, but hopefully we still have a long time before the written word becomes obsolete. I'm a die-hard book fan and hopefully enough of us will keep the book and library culture alive. At least for the next 7 generations! :D

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dua to say during the last ten nights

The last ten nights of Ramadan is a major time to ask forgiveness.

Hadith Qudsi,

Allah said:O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind.O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you.O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great at it.- Saheeh. Related by at-Tirmidhi.

A dua'


(O Allaah, You are Forgiving and You love forgiveness, so forgive me)


Monday, August 16, 2010

Little Red Kufi - A Tale for Ramadan

Little Red Kufi – A Tale for Ramadan

Adapted and retold by Fawzia Gilani Williams

Once upon a time there lived a little boy who was loved by everyone but most of all by his grandmother. Every Eid, his grandmother would make him a red kufi. He wore his red kufi everywhere he went. So everyone called him Little Red Kufi.

He lived with his parents and grandmother in a little house near a grove of date palms. One day during Ramadan, his mother said, “Little Red Kufi, please take this basket of dates to the mosque, so that people can break their fast at sunset.”

“Yes, of course Mama,” said Little Red Kufi. “I will take the basket right away.”

“Be sure that you don’t talk to any strangers,” warned Mama. “And take care to keep your fast.”

“Yes Mama. Asalaamu alaikum!” said Little Red Kufi as he picked up the basket of dates.

“Wa alaikum salaam,” replied Mama and give him a kiss.

The mosque was on the other side of the town. To get there Little Red Kufi had to go through the date palms. Near the date palms lived a greedy camel. As Little Red Kufi skipped through the date trees, along came the greedy camel.

“Where are you going, little boy?” he asked.

“I am taking this basket of dates to the mosque, so the people can break their fast at sunset,” he answered.

“Are they tasty?” asked the greedy camel.

“I don’t know,” answered Little Red Kufi. “I haven’t tried one.”

“Well try one,” encouraged the tricky camel.

“I can’t,” said Little Red Kufi, “I’m fasting.”

“But they look so sweet and tasty! Let’s both try one,” tempted the camel.

“No, I can’t. I’m fasting and now I must be on my way!” replied Little Red Kufi.

“Well, give me your basket,” said the greedy camel, “I will take it to the mosque for you.” But secretly the greedy camel just wanted to eat to them for himself.

“No,” said Little Red Kufi. “Mama asked me to take them to the mosque and that’s just what I’m going to do. But thank you anyway.”

The greedy camel began to plan how he could get the dates. He ran as fast as he could to the mosque.

“Salaam! Salaam!” bellowed the camel as he pushed open the door of the mosque. “It’s me, Little Red Kufi, I’ve come with a basket of dates so that the people can break their fast at sunset.”

There was no answer. The people were busy reciting Qur’an inside and did not hear him. So the camel peeked its head around the corner. Next to the shoe racks he saw a thobe and kufi hanging on a nail. Quickly, the greedy camel threw on the white thobe. It was very tight. Then he put on the kufi, it was very small. Then he waited for Little Red Kufi.

After a while, the greedy camel heard someone coming through the door.

“Asalaamu alaikum Imam!” called Little Red Kufi, “I’ve brought a basket of dates for the people who are fasting.”

“Wa alaikum salaam. Come in! Come in!” growled the greedy camel as softly as he could.

Little Red Kufi looked up and saw the Imam. He looked very strange.

“Subhan Allah! Brother Imam, you look so big and fat!” remarked Little Red Kufi.

“I have been eating too much,” answered the greedy camel.

“But it’s Ramadan, the month of fasting,” replied Little Red Kufi. “How could you have eaten so much?”

“O I just eat too much at sahoor and then at iftar,” explained the greedy camel.

“Please let me try one of your dates,” said the camel.

“But you can’t eat one yet” explained the little boy. “It’s not time to break the fast. The sun is still in the sky.”

“O yes, I almost forgot,” said the sneaky camel.

“Subhan Allah!” said Little Red Kufi, taking a closer look at the camel.

“Brother Imam, what long arms you have!”

“Yes, yes,” said the greedy camel. “All the better to reach for the Qur’an.”

Little Red Kufi stepped a little closer and said, “Brother Imam, what big eyes you have!”

“Yes, yes,” said the greedy camel. “All the better to read the Qur’an.”

Little Red Kufi stepped a little more closer and said, “Brother Imam, what a big mouth you have!”

“Yes, yes,” said the greedy camel. “All the better to eat those tasty dates with!” Then he leapt up to grab Little Red Kufi’s basket.

Little Red Kufi yelled and ran. Just then the Imam and the men in the prayer hall came running out. They chased away the greedy camel.

The Imam thanked Little Red Kufi for bringing the basket of dates and warned him not to talk to strangers again.

When Little Red Kufi got home, he told his family all about the greedy camel.

Kufi – skull cap

Eid – a celebration after the month of Ramadan (Eid-ul-Fitr)

Ramadan – the 9th month in the Islamic calendar and also the month of fasting.

Mosque - a house of worship like a church or synagogue

Salaam – Islamic greeting meaning peace.

Asalaamu alaikum – Islamic greeting meaning peace be with you.

Wa alaikum salaam – response meaning and peace be with you.

thobe – a long white shirt that comes to the feet.

kufi – a hat worn by Muslim men and boys.

imam – teacher and or person who leads the prayer

Salaam - peace

Subhan Allah – literally means Glory be to God.

Sahoor – meal eaten before dawn

Iftar – meal at sunset

Qur’an – name of the holy book guiding Muslims

Sunday, August 8, 2010

In The News: A new magazine for IWA!

The Islamic Writer's Alliance is proud to announce it's new magazine IWA Magazine. It will be replacing its predecessor, The Islamic Ink. To continue with the goal of the IWA organization promoting All of the membership and the organization, IWA Magazine will be publish at 4 times annually. Please visit to Sign Up for email notifications when each new edition is published.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My first fast by Gabriel Milo

This is a really cute story about a young boy's first fast. Share it with your child today!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

What is your child reading today?

The 2010 Summer Read-a-Thon is finally here! Check out the reading list & guidelines for more details at

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Islamic Ink

Islamic Ink is an online quarterly magazine with all things related to writing, the industry, interviews and more. It showcases some of Islamic Writers Alliance's many talented writers, poets, editors and more. Click here to learn more about the magazine and subscribe today! It is free!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Meet the Author: Q & A with Yahya Emerick

Check out this enlightening interview with Yahiya Emerick, author of Isabella: A Girl of Muslim Spain and the Ahmed Deen and Layla Deen series at Ummahreads: Guide to Muslim Children's Books and Media

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I miss Hawaii!

I really miss Hawaii! It was nice being in an environment so different from Seattle but not totally different or foreign! I will always remember you Hawaii.....

....your crystal blue waters

....your sandy white beaches

....your bright rainbows

....your green velveted mountains

....your unique culture

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Cave of Crystals

Picture Prompt

Muna adjusted her breathing mask. It was getting harder and harder to breathe as the exploration party climbed deeper into the cave. At first, the climb was a rather gentle slope, then, after about six miles, they came to a steep climb.
“Hurry up, Muna” her brother shouted down at her. “I don’t want you getting lost or left behind.”
Muna took a few more breaths, deep and slow and then continued the climb. She grabbed on to the rope and began hammering spikes into the rock. Each pound echoed in the dark gave.
“Muna!” he shouted.
“I heard you, I’m fine. I just needed to take a breather.”
She looked up. Her brother’s helmet light was beginning to get dimmer and dimmer. She had to keep up. She had to push on. Muna needed to prove she was capable of being a competent member of the research team. Though she was an excellent scientist and geologist, her father had forbidden her to go on the search for the legendary cave of crystals, and since it was his money funding the project, she had to abide by his request. With the help of her mother and brother, Rashid, however, she was able to convince her father that her being present would best serve the success of the project. Muna stopped thinking about her father and continued to climb, one step after the next.
“Clink, clink,” the metal to rock echoed around her. It was getting hotter in the cave. She wiped a trickle of sweat from her brow and loosened her scarf a bit. She checked her thermometer. It was reaching 53 degrees Celsius, humidity 100%. She had six more hours of air coolant and her suit still had over 75 % of its ice cubes sealed in the lining of her suit to help keep her cool. She needed to reach the site in less than 2 hours, if she was going to get accurate testing results and samples of the legendary Butah Crystals.
Just as Muna lifted her spike to hammer in another nail, she felt a slight tremor. The rope swayed a bit and a few small rocks loosened sending specks of dirt falling onto her head and arms. Moments after the tremor, she heard a low rumble. A moment later, another tremor rocked the cave. This time, one of the spikes came a loose sending Muna swinging along the face of the stone rocky cavern. She banged against the rock face a couple of times until she caught hold of a protruding rock. She clung to the rock, breathing heavily, gasping for air.
“Muna!” she heard her brother call. “Muna.”
She could not see anything and she was beginning to loose air in her suit. She could hear a low hissing sound as the air seeped out of as a result of crashing into the ragged rocks. She felt a tug on her rope. She was moving, upward. “Hurry, Rashid,” she barely whispered. Her eyes slowly closed as the air in her suit hissed. The last thing she saw was a dim light approaching her.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Pen Writing Competition

The Pen Writing Competition is an international writing competition for ages 12-19 seeking to provide Muslim youth an avenue to express themselves creatively and to find talent within the Muslim community.

Entrants can submit up to three short stories in one of five categories. Prizes are being awarded to the winners. Winning entries will also be published in an anthology. The deadline is July 10th, 2010.

Think you got what it takes to write the winning piece? Get your creative juices flowing and head over to The Pen Writing Competition for more information on entry rules, judging criteria and entry sheet.

A budding Poet!

Here is the blog of a budding poet. Introducing Fida, her poems are very heartfelt and inspirational. Check her out at

Her latest poem, "Happy Mother's Day" for all the mothers who have made us who we are today. May Allah bless them all.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gentle reminder: Four kinds of people.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

"There are only 4 kinds of people in this world. (The first is) a slave whom Allah has blessed with wealth and knowledge, and he fears Allah with regard to them, and uses them to uphold family ties, and acknowledges the rights that Allah has over them. He has the highest status.

(The second is) a slave to whom Allah has given knowledge, but not wealth. His intention is sincere, and he says, 'If only I had wealth, I would do (good deeds) like so-and-so (the first slave).' He will be rewarded according to his intention, so their reward will be equal.

(The third is) a slave to whom Allah has given wealth, but not knowledge. He spends his money aimlessly, neither fearing Allah with regard to it nor using it to uphold family ties nor acknowledging the rights that Allah has over it. He has the lowest status.

(The fourth is) a slave to whom Allah has given neither wealth nor money. He says, 'If only I had wealth, I would do (bad deeds) like so-and-so (the third slave). He will be punished according to his intention, so their burden of sin will be equal."

(Reported by Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi,
and classed as saheeh in Al-Targheeb wa'l-Tarheeb, 1/9

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Night Sounds

Sun down.
Moon bright.
Stars twinkle in the night.

Crickets chirp.
Owls hoot.
Wolves howl at the moon.

Frogs croak.
Mice squeak.
Winds whisper through the tree.

Mommies hum.
Daddies snore.
Babies drift to sleepy-time shore.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Everything in Creation Says, Ameen.

Everything in Creation Says "Ameen."

From the trees bowing in the winds, to the birds beating their wings.
Everything in creation says, Ameen.

From the humming birds hum, to the rolling thunders drum
Everything in creation says, Ameen.

From the sun shining bright, to the stars blinking lights.
Everything in creation says Ameen.

From the creepy crawlers, to the moonlight callers.
Everything in creation says, Ameen.

From the volcanoes eruptive glow, to the seas ebb and flow.
Everything in creation says, Ameen.

From the early morning whisperer, to the faithful and humble worshiper.
Everything in creation says, Ameen.

From the East to the West and the North to the South.
Everything in creation says, Ameen.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Woman who Only Spoke Using Quranic Verses

The undermentioned incident is narrated by Hadrat Abdullah bin Mubarak radi Allahu anhu. He was a man of great learning and he lived in the era of the Abbasids.

An elderly Arab lady was sitting alone at the trunk of a tree and Abdullah bin Mubarak also happened to pass that way. Seeing this lady in distress, he spoke to her. The discussion is recorded as follows:

Abdullah bin Mubarak: Asalamu alaykum wa Rahmatullah.

The lady: The word from a merciful Lord is peace [Ya Sin 36/58]. She meant that the reply of salaam is from Allah, Most High, Himself. She said further: Those whom Allah sendeth astray, there is no guide for them. [Araaf 7/186]. She meant that she had lost her way.

Abdullah bin Mubarak: Where are you coming from?

The lady: Glorified be He who carried His servant by night from the Masjid al-Haraam (inviolable place of worship) to Masjid al-Aqsa (Far distant place of worship) [Israa 17/1].

Abdullah bin Mubarak: How long have you been in this place?

The lady: For three nights [Maryam 19/10].

Abdullah bin Mubarak: What arrangements are made for your food?

The lady: And who (Allah) feedeth me and watereth me [Shu'ara 26/79]. She meant that her food was provided to her by Allah.

Abdullah bin Mubarak: Is there any water for wudhu?

The lady: And if ye find not water, then go to high clean soil and (make tayamum) rub your faces and hands (therewith). [Nisaa 4/43]. She meant that she made tayamum because there was no water.

Abdullah bin Mubarak: Here is some food, partake of it.

The lady: Strictly observe the fast till nightfall [Baqarah 2/187]. She indicated that she was fasting.

Abdullah bin Mubarak: This is not the month of Ramadan.

The lady: And he who does good of his own accord (for him) lo! Allah is responsive, aware [Baqarah 2/158]. Meaning that she had observed an optional (nafl) fast.

Abdullah bin Mubarak: It is permitted to break the fast when on a journey.

The lady: And that ye fast is better for you, if you did but know. [Baqarah 2/184].

Abdullah bin Mubarak: Speak in the manner that I speak.

The lady: He (man) uttereth no word but there is with him an observer ready [Qaf 50/18]. She meant that since every word of a person is observed and recorded, she took precaution by speaking only in the words of the Quran.

Abdullah bin Mubarak: Which clan do you belong to?

The lady: Follow not that whereof thou hast no knowledge, lo! The hearing and the sight and heart of each of these it will be asked [Israa 17/36]. She meant that he should not inquire about that which he had no knowledge.

Abdullah bin Mubarak: Forgive me. I have certainly made a mistake.

The lady: Have no fear this day. May Allah forgive you [Yusuf 12/92].

Abdullah bin Mubarak: Would you like to travel on my camel and meet your caravan?

The lady: And whatsoever good ye do, Allah knoweth it [Baqarah 2/197]. Meaning that if he if he did this good deed, Allah would recompense him for it.

Abdullah bin Mubarak: Well, then you may mount it. Saying this he made the camel sit down on the ground.

The lady: Tell the believing men to lower their gaze. [Nur 24/30].

Ibn Mubarak understood, turned, and looked away. While she was mounting, the camel jerked, and her clothes got tangled in the saddle and she proclaimed: Whatever of misfortune striketh you, it is what your hands have earned. [Shura 42/30]. In other words, she was calling Abdullah bin Mubarak’s attention towards this mishap.

Abdullah bin Mubarak understood and he tied the legs of the camel and he straightened the straps of the saddle. She praised him for his understanding by saying: And we made Sulayman to understand [Anbiya 21/79].

When the journey was about to begin, the lady recited the ayat, which are read when undertaking a journey, Glorified be He who hath subdued these unto us, and we were not capable (of subduing them). And lo, unto our Lord we are returning. [Zukhruf 43/13].

Abdullah bin Mubarak held the bridle of the camel. He began to hum the Huddi, a famous Arabic song for travelling, and he started walking quickly alongside the camel.

The lady: Be modest in thy bearing and subdue thy voice [Luqman 31/19]. Abdullah bin Mubarak understood, so he began walking slower, and he lowered his voice.

The lady: Recite of the Quran that which is easy for you [Muzzamil 73/20]. She meant that instead of humming the Huddi, he should recite the Quran.

Abdullah bin Mubarak began reciting the Quran.The lady became very pleased and said: but none remember (accept advice) except men of understanding [Baqarah 2/269].

After reciting the Quran for a while, Abdullah bin Mubarak asked, O Aunt, have have you a husband (meaning is he alive)?

The lady: O you who believe, ask not of things, which if they were made known unto you, would trouble you [Ma'idah 5/101]. Meaning, he had most likely passed away.

At last, they caught up to the caravan.

Abdullah bin Mubarak: Do you have any son or relative in this caravan that has connection with you?

The lady: Wealth and children are an ornament of life of the world [Kahf 18/46]. She meant that her sons were with this caravan and they had provisions with them.

Abdullah bin Mubarak: What work are your sons doing for the caravan?

The lady: And landmarks, and by the star they find a way [Nahl 16/16]. She meant that her sons were guides for the caravan.

Abdullah bin Mubarak: Can you tell me their names?

The lady: Allah chose Ibrahim as a friend [Nisaa 4/125]. And Allah spoke directly unto Musa [Nisaa 4/165]. O Yahya! Hold fast the Scripture [Maryam 19/12]. By reciting these ayat, the lady had informed him that her sons were named Yahya, Ibrahim, and Musa.

Abdullah bin Mubarak called out these names in the caravan and immediately three young people came walking quickly over to them.

The lady: (addressing her children) Now send one of you with this your silver coin unto the city. And let him see what food is purest there and bring you a supply thereof [Kahf 18/19]. In other words, she instructed them to feed bin Mubarak.

When the food was brought, she told Abdullah bin Mubarak: Eat and drink at ease for that which ye sent on before you in the past days. [Haqqah 69/24], and with this ayah she recited another ayah to convey her gratefulness to him for his good conduct and courtesy. The ayah was: Is the reward of goodness anything other than goodness? [Rahman 55/60]. And their conversation ended on this ayah.

The lady’s son informed Abdullah bin Mubarak that his mother has been speaking in this manner, using only the ayat of the Quran in her speech, for the last 40 years.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Short Story


Here is a short story I wrote about a boy name Jamaal, who learns the importance of honesty and that no matter where he is or what he does, Allah Knows and sees everything. Click here, to read the story.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Top Five! Books!

Greetings readers, writers and lovers of stories. Last year, I did something I never thought was possible, write a novel length story! While I'm in the long process of editing and revisions, what better way to improve my own understanding of what a good novel is than by reading good novels. So this year, I will do my best to read one novel a month (or two, I don't want to set myself up for failure!) Now, I love mystery novels, sci-fi novels, and historical fiction. However, my top five books I would like to read this year are:

1. Messenger of Truth, A Maisie Dobbs Novel ~ Jacqueline Winspear
2. The Gift ~ Zaipah Ibrahim
3. The Tale of the Hawthorne House ~ Susan Albert
4. Atlantis ~ David Gibbins
5. Nefertiti ~ Michelle Moran

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Submission Call: Muslim American Girl magazine

As Salaamu Alaikum

Here is a wonderful writing opportunity for young muslim girls everywhere!!

Muslim American Girl magazine is seeking submissions for a unique online magazine for muslim girls growing up in America. It was created by a 14 year old muslimah, Shabnam M, to help young muslimahs feel like they are not alone, that there are other young muslimahs out there going through some of the same obstacles that young muslims go through growing up in America. MAGazine will give young muslimahs an arena to showcase their creativity and share their experiences and grow to be upstanding muslim women leaders in the future.


submission categories:

submission guidelines:

Send submissions to:

I highly encourage mothers, especially those who home-school, to encourage their daughters to submit to this unique magazine. There are a wide variety of topics needed, crafts, photography/art, recipes, school, faith, health, book reviews, letter to the editor, and so much more!! Check out the website with your daughters! It is a worthwhile adventure!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

HEART Women & Girls

Check out this website!

HEART Women & Girls is committed to empowering women and girls in faith-based and community settings by providing health promotion programming and services and promoting strategies teaching women and girls to connect a healthy mind, body, and soul and achieve an overall sense of well-being.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Personal Tips from a Novice Amateur

Writing is fun when your imagination is on a roll and your pen (or keyboard) is writing away. But every once in a while, a writer slams into a wall of blanks. That wall is called writer's block, a massive blockade that subdues creativity, drains imagination and tires the pen (or keyboard.) But every block is meant to be overcome. Every writer, amateur or professional, has his or her own way of creatively getting pass writer's block. Here are a few of my techniques of over coming the creative blockade.

* Find your writing zone. I like to find a comfortable place to be in before I write.
Everyday is different. Sometimes, I like to write in my room curled up on my bed
where it is quiet. Other times, I like to be in an open area where I can find
inspiration all around me.

* Try to write everyday, even if it is in a journal. Writing everyday allows you to
keep your creativity at its maximum. I write about everything, that happens at
work, things I see in my day, or sometime I even describe a pretty flower or cute

* Write about things you like or are familiar with. Writing about something you
don't like or have no knowledge about can be a chore and sometimes
unpleasant. I try to write about things I like, usually stories, poems or activities
geared towards children as I am a teacher of young children. But if you have to,
give yourself adequate time to learn as much as you can about the subject you
are writing about before you start writing.

* Read other writings for inspiration and motivation. Sometimes, I find it beneficial
and helpful to read other writings. Reading is very important to the writer. You
can't be a good writer if you are not a good reader. Read writing that is both
similar to your genre and writing that is different. I like to write children's fiction,
but I love to read fiction for adults and non-fiction. The satisfaction of reading a
good book, story, poem or article also reminds the writer why they should keep

* Use writing prompts when you hit writer's block. Writer's Block is bound to
happen, so don't let it get you down. If you happen to find that you don't know
what to write about or that you just don't have anything to write about, use
writing prompts to give you a jump start. Prompts can also be a lot of fun and be
wonderful starts to other writing projects.

* Give yourself writing incentives. Writing incentives are great and fun! I love to
buy new writing pads and pencils or pens. I have also taken writing classes to
motivate me to write more and even started blogs and a website to share my
work. It is important, however, to make sure your incentives are important to you
or else you wont be motivated by them.

* Surround yourself with positive reinforcement and encouragement. Nothing is
more important that being around like minded people who support and
encourage you. Join writing groups and clubs. It is a wonderful way to meet
other writers and share writing tips and advice from both amateurs and
professionals. I belong to a few writing groups that have proven very beneficial.
Everyone gives constructive criticism and encouragement to help me
increase my writing skills.

* If all else fails, take a break from writing. There are times when no matter what,
your brain just does not want to cooperate with your creativity and imagination.
When that happens, don't force it; take a break. Relax your mind; enjoy other
activities or, one of my favorites, simply take a nap. God has given your body
rights over you, that includes your brain, where your creative processing occurs.

Happy Writing!

Friday, January 1, 2010

~!"My Masjid" Contest!~

"My Masjid" Art contest.

Do you like to draw? Art is a wonderful way to express ones creativity. If you like to draw, then this contest is just for you. Family Reads is hosting an art contest featuring local masajid around the world. Young artists, you are invited to participate in the contest by submitting hand-drawn or computer drawn illustrations of the local masjid you attend. Please include a 50-100 word description of your masjid, ie name, location, history, what makes your masjid unique or special. Winning art work will be featured on Family Reads. Please send submissions to and type "My Masjid art contest" in the subject line.

We look forward to seeing your creativity!
Family Reads Team