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In blessed memory of the martyrs of Islam Maksud hajji Ibnugadzharovich Sadikov, rector of the Institute of theology and international

relations, and his nephew Ahmad hajji Musaev. All we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return.

Never take those killed in the way of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, well-provided Quran 3:169



(Islamic Stories)

2011
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PART I

TRUE LIFE STORIES

Story 1 There is always a better way.....9 Story 2 Square watermelons.....10 Story 3 Don't treat the evildoer with evil....11 Story 4 A neighbor.....13 Story 5 The caravan to hajj..15 Story 6 A lesson to the sons...16 Story 7 Cookies..17 Story 8 Math`s lesson....18 Story 9 A true wealth....19 Story 10 There is no superiority for a white over a black.....20 Story 11 The ant prays for rain....21 Story 12 Two survivors.....23 Story 13 Story from a police officer.....24 TASKS FOR PART I..26

PART II

FAMILY VALUES

Story 1 A mothers advice to her daughter.....28 Story 2 How deep is your love?.......................................................................29 Story 3 A brother like that....31 Story 4 Don't be selfish..33
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Story 5 How to stay happily married?............................................................34 Story 6 How to stay young after marriage?....................................................35 Story 7 Secrets of happy married couples...36 Story 8 Four wives story...38 Story 9 Why a woman can't marry more than one husband?......................40 TASKS FOR PART II.....42

PART III

STORIES ABOUT PROPHET MUHAMMAD (S.A.W.)

Story 1 The first boy to become a Muslim..44 Story 2 The boy who threw stones at trees.45 Story 3 Isra and Miraj..47 Story 4 A great friend of children....51 Story 5 Tit for tat!..............................................................................................53 Story 6 Who is the strongest?.........................................................................54 Story 7 The Bedouin and the Prophet (s.a.w.)...55 Story 8 Blessed money...57 Story 9 The story of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and the Jew beggar.......................59
FAMILY TREE OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD (S.A.W.)...........................................62

TASKS FOR PART III...63

PART IV

COLLECTION OF ISLAMIC JOKES....65

Stories of Mullah Nasruddin..69 TASKS FOR PART IV...74

PART V

PEARLS OF WISDOM

Story 1 Only for Allah...75 Story 2 A wise man....76

Story 3 Three tough questions..77 Story 4 Clever fisherman and king..79 Story 5 The beggar's well-deserved dinner.....81 Story 6 Fox and Stork...82 Story 7 Shop-keeper and Malik Ashtar..83 Story 8 A red rose and a cactus...84 Story 9 World of smile..86 Story 10 Be careful what you plant.....87 Story 11 Trust in Allah....90 TASKS FOR PART V.....93

PART VI

RAMADAN STORIES

Story 1 What are we going to do this Ramadan?...........................................95 Story 2 A wonderful Ramadan Eid..97 Story 3 Why do we fast?..................................................................................99 Story 4 The sweetest sound....101 Story 5 Mysterious helping hands..103 TASKS FOR PART VI ....107

Vocabulary..109 Literature.....119

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, , . . 6 , . , . . . , , . , . . , , . , . . . . , - , , . , , , , , . !!!

PART I

True Life Stories


Story 1 There is always a better way

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: "I am blind, please help." There were only a few coins in the hat. A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words. Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The blind boy recognized his footsteps and asked, "Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?" The man said, "I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way." What he had written was: "Today is a beautiful day and I cannot see it." Do you think the first sign and the second sign were saying the same thing? Of course both signs told people the boy was blind. But the first sign simply told people to help by putting some money in the hat. The second sign told people that they were able to enjoy the beauty of the day, but the boy could not enjoy it because he was blind. The first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective? Questions: 1. Explain the title of the story. 2. What would you do if you see such a boy in the street?
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3. What lesson can we take from the story?

Story 2 Square watermelons


Japanese grocery stores had a problem. They are much smaller than shops in the USA and therefore don't have room to waste. Watermelons, big and round, wasted a lot of space. Most people would simply tell the grocery stores that watermelons grow round and there is nothing that can be done about it. That is how majority of people would respond. But some Japanese farmers took a different approach. If the supermarkets wanted a square watermelon, they asked themselves, 'How can we provide one?' It wasn't long before they invented the square watermelon. The solution to the problem of round watermelons was solved as the farmers did not assume it was impossible and simply asked how it could be done. They found out that if you put the watermelon in a square box when they are growing, the watermelon will take on the shape of the box and grow into a square fruit. This made the grocery stores happy and had the added benefit that it was much easier and cost effective to ship the watermelons. Consumers also loved them because they took less space in their refrigerators which are much smaller than those in the USA meaning that the growers could charge a premium price for them. Moral: When faced with a problem, be creative in looking for a solution. Being creative and looking at things in different ways in all portions of your live will help you find solutions to many problems where others can't see them. Get into the habit of asking yourself, 'Is there a better way I could be doing this?' and you will find there often is. If you begin with the notion that something is
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impossible, then it obviously will be for you. If, on the other hand, you decide to see if something is possible or not, you will find out through trial and error. The story of square watermelons shows that we can change our life if we really want to.

Questions: 1. Did you like the story? Why? 2. What do you think of Japanese farmers` innovation? 3. Comment on the moral at the end of the story. Are these pieces of advice useful for you?

Story 3 Don't treat the evildoer with evil


There was a companion of the king who visited him all the time. He would sit beside him and say, 'Treat the good-doer with good and don't treat the evil-doer with evil for his evil will be sufficient for him.' Another man envied his position with the king and his good speech. The envious man came to the king and related: 'Your companion that sits beside you claimed that you had a bad smell.' The king inquired, 'But how can I verify this?' The man replied, 'Call him to you. He will put his hand on his nose as he gets closer to you.' The king said, 'Leave, and I will see!' This man left the king and invited the king's companion to a meal that he had placed much garlic in. The companion of the king ate and then went to the king as usual and said, 'Treat the good-doer with good and don't treat the evil-doer with evil, for his evil will be sufficient for him.' The king said to him, 'Get closer to me!' The man moved closer, and placed his hand over his mouth so that the king would not smell the odor of garlic. The king thought to himself, 'That man was truthful.' The king then hand-wrote a letter and
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gave it to the companion. The king never wrote anything unless he wanted to give someone a prize or gift. But this letter was written to one of his administrators and contained the following message: 'When the bearer of this letter comes to you, slaughter him and skin him. Then fill his skin with straw and send him back to me.' Later, the envious man met the companion of the king on his way and asked, 'What is this letter?' The companion of the king replied, 'The king has given me a gift.' The envious man asked, 'Would you give it to me.' The companion of the king said, 'It's yours.' The envious man took it and went to the administrator. The administrator said to him, 'This letter is a command from the king to slaughter you and skin you.' The envious man announced, 'This letter is not mine. I beseech you in the Name of Allah to check with the king before you do anything.' The administrator informed him that there would be no changes to what the king had written. Then he slaughtered him, skinned him, filled his skin with straw, and sent him back to the king. In the meantime, the companion of the king returned to the king as usual. The king was shocked and demanded, 'What happened to the letter?' Companion of the king said, 'So-and-so met me and asked me for it, so I gave it to him.' The king then challenged, 'Have you said that I have a bad smell?' The companion of the king rebutted, 'No!' So the king asked, 'Then why did you place your hand over your mouth?' The companion of the king answered, 'So-and-so provided me with food that had much garlic in it and I hated that you might smell it.' The king declared, 'You are truthful. The evil of the evildoer is sufficient for him.'

Questions: 1. How do you understand the title of the story?


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2. Why did the story end the way it is? Give your views on the final. 3. What lesson can be learnt from the story?

Story 4 A neighbour
There was a very active Muslim man with a non-Muslim neighbour. They argued and debated every day. Finally the non-Muslim man embraced Islam and converted. One night after midnight he heard a person knocking on the door: The convert: "Who's there?" The Muslim: "It's me, open up!" The convert: "What do you want at this time of the night?" The Muslim: "Let's go to the mosque and pray. Prophet (pbuh) has said there is a great reward in the mid-night prayers." So he took the man to the mosque and they prayed all night. When it got close to dawn the Muslim said: "Don't go anywhere, the morning prayer is close. Here [handed him the Qur'an], read this until the morning prayer." The convert agreed. They performed morning prayer. Then the Muslim told the convert: "Wait, read some more suras of the Qur'an and let's do Nafila (extra prayers)." He agreed. The Muslim: "Oh, by the way. I suggest you fast today, it is highly recommended and rewarding." So he agreed. The Musilm: "Stay here because noon prayer is not that far ahead, read some Qur'an in the meanwhile." And he stayed for the noon prayer. The Muslim: "Now that we prayed noon prayer let's learn about some hadith." The convert agreed and stayed for hadith discussion. Muslim: "Stay here for `Asr prayer, it's almost time for that and afternoon prayer is one of the best prayers." The convert agreed and stayed. After they made afternoon prayer, the Muslim said: "Stay here, because soon it will be time for breaking the fast." So, he stayed.
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After they made the night prayer and ate, the Muslim: "Let's pray until the time comes for the evening prayer." The convert stayed for the evening prayer and then went home. Next night the convert heard knockings on his door again. The convert: "Who's there?" The Muslim: "It's me, your neighbour. Let's go to the mosque and pray." The convert: "I`m sorry, but I have to say - go ahead and find someone else who does not have a life and can spend all his time in the mosque, I have a wife and children to feed!"

Questions: 1. Was the Muslim right offering his neighbour to perform all these actions? 2. The Muslim wished good to his neighbour, but the reality turned to be different. Give your reasons to explain why this happened. 3. In what way should Muslims behave to attract other people to Islam? 4. How would you help if you have a converted neighbor?

Story 5 The caravan to hajj


A caravan of Muslims was headed towards Mecca. As it arrived in Madina, it rested a few days, and continued on towards Mecca. On their way from Madina to Mecca, a man joined the group. This man noticed one of them who had the appearance of a guided person. He was eagerly busy in service of the passengers. The man recognized him. With much surprise, he asked the pilgrims if they knew this man who was at their service.
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"No, we don't know him. He joined us in Madina. He is a descent and pious man. We haven't asked him for help. But he has been eager in helping us." "Obviously you don't know him. For if you did, you would never have allowed a man like him to be at your service." "Who is this person?" "This is 'Ali ibn al-Hussein, Zain al-'Abideen." The group stood with shame and apologized to the Imam. Then complaining to him, they said: "Why did you treat us as such? We may have gone beyond our bounds in our ignorance, and would have committed a big sin in being disrespectful to you." Imam answered: "I intentionally joined your group, for you didn't know me. When I join a group, where people know me, for the sake of the Prophet (pbuh&hf), they are very kind to me. They don't allow me to be of some service. Thus I was eager to join a group where I will be anonymous, so that I may have the honor of being of some service to my brethren."

Questions: 1. Did you like the story? Why? 2. Why did Imam want to stay anonymous? 3. What moral can be received from it?

Story 6 A lesson to the sons


There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe
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what they had seen. The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son said no it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment. The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree's life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up. If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall. Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest. Don't judge life by one difficult season. Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come sometime or later.

Questions: 1. Was the father a wise man? Prove it. 2. What lesson did he want to teach his sons? 3. Did he achieve his aim? 4. Comment on the words of the last paragraph of the story. 5. Would you read this story to your children?

Story 7 Cookies
A young lady was waiting for her flight in the boarding room of a big airport. As she would need to wait many hours, she decided to buy a book to spend her time. She also bought a
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packet of cookies. She sat down in an armchair, in the VIP room of the airport, to rest and read in peace. Beside the armchair where the packet of cookies lay, a man sat down in the next seat, opened his magazine and started reading. When she took out the first cookie, the man took one also. She felt irritated but said nothing. She just thought: "What a nerve! If I was in the mood I would punch him for daring!" For each cookie she took, the man took one too. This was infuriating her but she didn't want to cause a scene. When only one cookie remained, she thought: "ah... What will this abusive man do now?" Then, the man, taking the last cookie, divided it into half, giving her one half. Ah! That was too much! She was much too angry now! In a huff, she took her book, her things and stormed to the boarding place. When she sat down in her seat, inside the plane, she looked into her purse to take her eyeglasses, and to her surprise, her packet of cookies was there, untouched, unopened! She felt so ashamed! She realized that she was wrong... She had forgotten that her cookies were kept in her purse. The man had divided his cookies with her, without feeling angered or bitter. "While she had been very angry, thinking that she was dividing her cookies with him. And now there was no chance to explain herself, nor to apologize." There are 4 things that you cannot recover: The stone... after the throw! The word...after it's said! The occasion...after the loss! The time...after it's gone!

Story 8 Math`s lesson


A teacher teaching Math's to seven-year-old Kazim asked him, "If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?" Within a few seconds Kazim
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replied confidently, "Four!" The dismayed teacher was expecting an effortless correct answer (three). She was disappointed. "Maybe the child did not listen properly," she thought. She repeated, "Kazim, listen carefully. If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?" Kazim had seen the disappointment on his teacher's face. He calculated again on his fingers. But within him he was also searching for the answer that will make the teacher happy. His search for the answer was not for the correct one, but the one that will make his teacher happy. This time hesitatingly he replied, "Four..." The disappointment stayed on the teacher's face. She remembered that Kazim liked strawberries. She thought maybe he doesn't like apples and that is making him loose focus. This time with an exaggerated excitement and twinkling in her eyes she asked, "If I give you one strawberry and one strawberry and one strawberry, then how many you will have?" Seeing the teacher happy, young Kazim calculated on his fingers again. There was no pressure on him, but a little on the teacher. She wanted her new approach to succeed. With a hesitating smile young Kazim enquired, "Three?" The teacher now had a victorious smile. Her approach had succeeded. She wanted to congratulate herself. But one last thing remained. Once again she asked him, "Now if I give you one apple and one apple and one more apple how many will you have?" Promptly Kazim answered, "Four!" The teacher was aghast. "How Kazim, how?" she demanded in a little stern and irritated voice. In a voice that was low and hesitating young Kazim replied, "Because I already have one apple in my bag." Moral of the story: "When someone gives you an answer that is different from what you expect, don't think they are wrong. There maybe an angle that you have not understood at all. You will have to listen and understand, but never listen with a predetermined notion."
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Story 9 A true wealth


One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the purpose of showing his son how the poor people live so he could be thankful for his wealth. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?" "It was great, Dad." "Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked. "Oh yeah" said the son. "So what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father. The son answered, "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end." "We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night." "Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon." "We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight." "We have servants who serve us, but they serve others." "We buy our food, but they grow theirs." "We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them." With this the boy's father was speechless. Then his son added, "Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are."

Questions: 1. How do you understand the title of the story? 2. What is a true wealth for you? 3. How do you think, did the father expect his son`s reaction to the trip or not? 4. Comment on the last words said by the boy.

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Story 10 There is no superiority for a white over a black


The following scene took place on a BA flight between Johannesburg and London. A white woman, about 50 years old, was seated next to a black man. Obviously disturbed by this, white woman called the air Hostess. Madam, what is the matter, the air hostess asked? You obviously do not see it then? White woman responded. You placed me next to a black man. I do not agree to sit next to someone from such a repugnant group. Give me an alternative seat. Be calm please, the air hostess replied. Almost all the places on this flight are taken. I will go to see if another place is available. The air Hostess went away and then came back a few minutes later. Madam, just as I thought, there are no other available seats in the economy class. I spoke to the captain and he informed me that there is also no seat in the business class. All the same, we still have one place in the first class. Before the white woman could say anything, the air hostess continued. It is not usual for our company to permit someone from the economy class to sit in the first class However, given the circumstances; the captain feels that it would be scandalous to make someone sit next to someone so disgusting. Air Hostess turned to the black man, and said. Therefore, Sir, if you would like to, please take your hand luggage because a seat awaits you in the first class. At the moment, the other passengers who were shocked by what they had just witnessed stood up and applauded. This is a true story and we can take a good lesson from it. According to the teachings of Islam, all mankind is from Adam and Eve; an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black, nor does a black have any superiority over white except by piety and good action.
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Story 11 The ant prays for rain


Once there was a big famine in Palestine. It was during the time of Prophet Sulaiman (King Solomon). He came out with his people and proceeded to an open place in the desert to pray for the rains to come. Suddenly, he saw an ant standing on its two legs, raising its hands up towards the sky and saying, "Oh Allah! We are but very small among all Thy creatures. We cannot survive without Thy grace. Please bestow upon us Thy sustenance and do not punish us because of the sins of human beings. Please send down the rains so that trees can grow, farms become green and grains become available and we have our food to eat." Prophet Sulaiman knew the language of all animals. He told his people, "Let us go home. The prayer of this ant is enough." It then rained heavily and all the land became green and productive. The ant is an intelligent creature. During warm days it collects and stores grain inside the holes. It knows that during wet and cold months, it would not be able to go out to search for food. For fear that grain may start growing because of wetness, it splits it into two or more pieces. At times, during moonlit nights, it brings the split grains out of the stores for drying and preservation against decay. The holes under the ground are made very carefully and covered with shelter to prevent the rain water from getting inside the holes. The ant, unlike the other animals, can lift a burden twice its own weight. It is not a selfish creature. When an ant finds some store of food grains, it runs up to its group and takes its fellow ants to that place. They always behave in this manner. They work and live in co-operation with each other. This shows how the ant works for the group and how each of them fulfils the needs and livelihood of its fellow-beings. How shameful it is for a man, who has no regard for another man; who has no concern for his fellow human beings who could be starving because of want of food. Once, while Prophet Sulaiman was travelling together with hosts of men, jinn and birds, they reached a valley of ants.
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When the chief of these ants witnessed the pomp and the glory with which Prophet Sulaiman and his companions were approaching toward it. He warned all the ants to get into their holes lest they got trampled and crushed unknowingly by the approaching men and Jinn. Prophet Sulaiman smiled at this warning sounded by the ants' chief, and ordered his companions to wait till the ants went inside their holes. "None of us should hurt any ant while passing over their land", he said. It is said that Prophet Sulaiman addressed the chief of the ants and said: "How could my people hurt you or your fellow ants when they are floating through air! Don't you know that I am a messenger of God and would never act unfairly?" The chief of the ants replied: "O Messenger of God! My cautioning for the ants was not because that they would suffer but to prevent them from getting astray and forgetting the glory of God after seeing your pomp and show." There is a deep meaning in this event. It shows that even the most humble and smallest of creatures has been endowed with the necessary wisdom to live safely and avoid being hurt as far as possible. It also shows how even a small ant does have the natural understanding of the true position of Allah. It imparts a lesson that one should not forget the true might and glory of Allah when one experiences a great power and dignity of any creature in this world.

Questions: 1. Prove that ants are intelligent creatures.


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2. Why did Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) said that the prayer of the ant was enough? 3. What lesson can be learnt from the story?

Story 12 Two survivors


A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island. The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agreed that they had no other recourse but to pray to Allah. However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island. The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man's parcel of land remained barren. After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was nothing. Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes, more food. The next day, like magic, all of these were given to him. However, the second man still had nothing. Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that he and his wife could leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the island. The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second man on the island. He considered the other man unworthy to receive Allah's blessings, since none of his prayers had been answered. As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from heaven booming, "Why are you leaving your companion on the island?" "My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them," the first man answered. "His prayers were all unanswered and so he does not deserve
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anything." "You are mistaken!" the voice rebuked him. "He had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings." "Tell me," the first man asked the voice, "What did he pray for that I should owe him anything?" "He prayed that all your prayers be answered".

For all we know, our blessings are not the fruits of our prayers alone, but those of another praying for us. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said that when one prays, he should pray not only for himself but pray for others as well. Such prayers will be answered.

Story 13 Story from a police officer


A police officer in a Muslim country wrote the following letter describing the events that led to his return to Allah. He recalls: Seeing accidents and crash victims was a normal part of my day, but one incident was different. My partner and I had parked on the shoulder of the highway and began to chat. In a random second, the scene shattered to the hideous sound of metal bodies becoming one. We threw our heads back to see what had happened: a head-on collision, the result of a vehicle slipping into the lane of the oncoming traffic. You couldn`t describe the carnage. Two young men sprawled in the first car, both in critical condition. We carried them gently away from the car and rested them on the ground. Quickly we returned to assist the owner of the second car. He was dead. Back we went to the two young men lying side by side on the pavement. My partner began dictating the Shahadah to them. Say: Ashhadu la iIaha illAllah (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah), wa ashhadu anna Muhamada rrasulullah (and I bear witness that Muhammad (pbuh) is His messenger) But their tongues wouldn`t acknowledge. They started humming the hypnotic
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lyrics of some song. I was terrified. My partner had experience however and he kept repeating his instruction. I stood watching, no movement, eyes locked. Never in my life had I seen anything similar to what was going on before me. In fact, I`ve never actually seen someone die, and never in such a satanic way. My partner continued to instruct them to say the Shahada but there was no use. The hum of their song came to a slow silence, slowly. The first one stopped and then the other. Not a stir. Dead. We carried them to our patrol car, my partner made no effort to speak. Not a whisper between us two as we carried the corpses to the nearest hospital. Later I pronounced my shahada and became a Muslim.

Questions: 1. Was it anything unusual in this story for you? What? 2. Why couldn`t these men pronounce shahada in your opinion? 3. Why did the police officer become a Muslim?

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TASKS FOR PART I


1. Translate the following word combinations taken from the stories of Part I (two combinations from each story): , ; , ; , ; , ; , ; - , ; , ; , ; , , ; , ; , ; , ; , . 2. There are some important moments in each story. Translate the following sentences (taken from all 13 stories) and comment on them. 1. The first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective? 2. Being creative and looking at things in different ways in all portions of your live will help you find solutions to many problems where others can't see them. 3. Treat the good-doer with good and don't treat the evil-doer with evil for his evil will be sufficient for him.' 4. I`m sorry, but I have to say - go ahead and find someone else who does not have a life and can spend all his time in the mosque, I have a wife and children to feed 5. Thus I was eager to join a group where I will be anonymous, so that I may have the honor of being of some service to my brethren. 6. If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall. Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest. 7. There are 4 things that you cannot recover: the stone... after the throw! The word...after it's said! The occasion...after the loss! The timeafter it`s gone!
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8. You will have to listen and understand, but never listen with a predetermined notion. 9. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them. 10. A white has no superiority over a black, nor does a black have any superiority over white except by piety and good action. 11. How shameful it is for a man, who has no regard for another man; who has no concern for his fellow human beings who could be starving because of want of food. 12. For all we know, our blessings are not the fruits of our prayers alone, but those of another praying for us. 13. Never in my life had I seen anything similar to what was going on before me. In fact, I`ve never actually seen someone die, and never in such a satanic way. 3. Choose one story from Part I, which you liked most of all. Retell it and say why it is your favourite story. 4. Act out any two stories from Part I. 5. Make a group discussion on the following topics (based on stories 4, 8 and 12). 1. How a Muslim should treat his neighbour. 2. Everyone has a right for his own opinion. 3. Du`a for other people. 6. Analyzing all stories from Part I, say in general to what conclusions you have come. What lessons can be learnt from these true life stories? 7. Write a short essay taking any story from Part I and describe your feelings, emotions and attitude to facts that touched you most in the story. 8. Tell any other true life story you know, so that your group mates could learn some positive lesson from it.

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PART II

FAMILY VALUES
Story 1 A mothers advice to her daughter

Abd al-Malik (radiyallaahu anhaa) said: Awf ibn Muhallim al-Shaybani, one of the most highly respected leaders of the Arab nobility during the jahiliyyah, married his daughter Umm Iyas to al-Harith ibn Amr al-Kindi. She was made ready to be taken to the groom, her mother, Umamah came into her room to advise her and said: O my daughter, if it were deemed unnecessary to give you this advice because of good manners and noble descent, then it would have been unnecessary for you, because you possess these qualities, but it will serve as a reminder to those who are forgetful, and will help those who are wise. O my daughter, if a woman were able to do without a husband by virtue of her fathers wealth and her need for her father, then you of all people would be most able to do without a husband, but women were created for men just as men were created for them. O my daughter, you are about to leave the home in which you grew up, where you first learned to walk, to go to a place you do not know, to a companion to whom you are unfamiliar. By marrying you, he has become a master over you, so be like a servant to him, and he will become like a servant to you. Take from me ten qualities, which will be a provision and a reminder for you:

The first and second of them are: be content in his company, and listen to

and obey him, for contentment brings peace of mind, and listening to and obeying ones husband pleases Allah.

The third and fourth of them are: make sure that you smell good and look

good; he should not see anything ugly in you, and he should not smell anything but a pleasant smell from you.

The fifth and sixth of them are: prepare his food on time, and keep quiet

when he is asleep, for raging hunger is like a burning flame, and disturbing his sleep
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will make him angry.

The seventh and eight of them care of his servants (or

are: take

employees) and children, and take care of his wealth, for taking care of his wealth shows that you appreciate him, and taking care of his children and servants shows good management.

The ninth and tenth of them are: never disclose any of his secrets, and

never disobey any of his orders, for if you disclose any of his secrets you will never feel safe from his possible betrayal, and if you disobey him, his heart will be filled with hatred towards you. Be careful, O my daughter, of showing joy in front of him when he is upset, and do not show sorrow in front of him when he is happy, because the former shows a lack of judgment whilst the latter will make him unhappy. Questions: 1. What do you think of the advice given by the woman to her daughter? 2. Which of them is the most important and necessary in your opinion? 3. What would you say if your daughter gets married?

Story 2 How deep is your love?


From the very beginning, girl's family objected strongly on this guy, saying that it has got to do with family background, and that the girl will have to suffer for the rest of her life if she were to be with him. After they got married and due to family's pressure, the couple quarreled very often. Though the girl loved the guy
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deeply, she always asked him: "How deep is your love for me?" As the husband is not good with his words, this often caused the girl to be very upset. With that and the family's pressure, the girl often vents her anger on him. As for him, he only endured it in silence. After a couple of years, he graduated and decided to further his studies overseas. Before leaving, he said to his wife: "I'm not very good with words. But all I know is that I love you. If you allow me, I will take care of you for the rest of my life. As for your family, I'll try my best to talk them round. Will you go with me?" The girl answered that she would wait for him, and they could contact each other through emails and phone calls. Though it was hard, but both never thought of giving up. One day, while the girl was on her way to work, she was knocked down by a car that lost control. When she woke up, she saw her parents beside her bed. She realized that she was badly injured. Seeing her mum cry, she wanted to comfort her. But she realized that all that could come out of her mouth was just a sigh. She had lost her voice... The doctor says that the impact on her brain has caused her to lose her voice. Listening to her parents' comfort, but with nothing coming out from her, she broke down. During the stay in hospital, besides silent cry, it's still just silent cry that accompanied her. Upon reaching home, everything seems to be the same, except for the ringing tone of the phone which pierced into her heart every time it rang. She does not wish to let her husband know and not wanting to be a burden to him, she wrote a letter to him saying that she does not wish to wait any longer. With that, she sent the ring back to him. In return, her husband sent millions and millions of reply and countless phone calls. All the girl could do besides crying is still crying... The parents decided to move away, hoping that she could eventually forget everything and be happy. With a new environment, the girl learnt sign language and started a new life, telling herself everyday that she must forget the guy. One day, her friend came and told her that he's back. She asked her friend not to let him know what happened to
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her. Since then, there wasn't any more news of him. A year has passed and her friend came with an envelope from her husband, containing the letter with her name on it. When she was about to ask her friend what was going on, she saw the guy standing in front of her... He used sign language to tell her, "I've spent a year to learn sign language. Just to let you know that I've not forgotten our promise. Let me have the chance to be your voice. I Love You." With that, he slipped the ring back into her finger. The girl finally smiled... Treat every moment as if it's the last day, then you'll know how to Treasure. Treasure what you have right now, or else may regret one day...

Questions: 1. What is your favourite part of this story? 2. What lesson can be taken from it? 3. Retell this story from the girl`s and her husband`s sides. 4. Explain the last sentences of the story.

Story 3 A brother like that


Shuaib received an automobile from his brother as an Eid present. On Eid day when Shuaib came out of his house, a boy was walking around the shiny new car, admiring it. "Is this your car, sir?" he asked. Shuaib nodded. "My brother gave it to me for Eid." The boy was astounded. "You mean your brother gave it to you and it didn't
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cost you anything? Oh Allah, I wish..." He hesitated. Of course Shuaib knew what he was going to wish for. He was going to wish he had a brother like that. But what the lad said jarred Shuaib all the way down to his heels. "I wish," the boy went on, "that I could be a brother like that." Shuaib looked at the boy in astonishment, then impulsively he added, "Would you like to take a ride in my automobile?" "Oh yes, I'd love that." After a short ride, the boy turned and with his eyes aglow, said, "Sir, would you mind driving in front of my house?" Shuaib smiled a little. He thought he knew what the boy wanted. He wanted to show his neighbours that he could ride home in a big automobile. But Shuaib was wrong again. "Will you stop where those two steps are?" the boy asked. He ran up the steps. Then in a little while Shuaib heard him coming back, but he was not coming fast. He was carrying his little crippled brother. He sat him down on the bottom step, then sort of squeezed up against him and pointed to the car. "There it is, little brother, just like I told you upstairs. His brother gave it to him for Eid and it didn't cost him a penny. And some day I'm gonna give you one just like it...then you can see for yourself all the pretty things in the shop windows that I've been trying to tell you about." Shuaib got out and lifted the boy to the front seat of his car. The shining-eyed older brother climbed in beside him and the three of them began a memorable ride. That Eid, Shuaib learned what the RasulAllah (peace and blessings be upon him) meant when he had said: "Love for your brother what you love for yourself". Questions: 1. Retell the story from the part of the boy. 2. What is the most touching thing in the story? 3. What moral can be learnt from it? 4. Explain the last sentence of the story.
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Story 4 Don't be selfish


A couple, whom we shall call John and Mary, had a nice home and two lovely children, a boy and a girl. John had a good job and had just been asked to go on a business4 trip to another city and would be gone for several days. It was decided that Mary needed an outing and would go along too. They hired a reliable woman to care for the children and made the trip, returning home a little earlier than they had planned. As they drove into their home town feeling glad to be back, they noticed smoke, and they went off their usual route to see what it was. They found a home in flames. Mary said, "Oh well it isn't our fire, let's go home." But John drove closer and exclaimed, "That home belongs to Fred Jones who works at the plant. He wouldn't be off work yet, maybe there is something we could do." "It has nothing to do with us," protested Mary. "You have your good clothes on, let`s not get any closer." But John drove up and stopped and they were both horror stricken to see the whole house in flames. A woman on the lawn was in hysterics screaming, "The children! Get the children!" John grabbed her by the shoulder saying, "Get a hold of yourself and tell us where the children are!" "In the basement," sobbed the woman, "down the hall and to the left." In spite of Mary's protests John grabbed the water hose and soaked his clothes, put his wet handkerchief on his head and bolted for the basement which was full of smoke and scorching hot. He found the door and grabbed two children, holding one under each arm like the football player he was. As he left he could hear some more whimpering. He delivered the two badly frightened and nearly suffocated children into waiting arms and filled his lungs with fresh air and started back asking how many more children were down there. They told him two more and Mary grabbed his arm and screamed, "John! Don't go back! It's suicide! That house will cave in any second!" But he shook her off and went back by feeling his way down the smoke filled
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hallway and into the room. It seemed an eternity before he found both children and started back. They were all three coughing and he stooped low to get what available air he could. As he stumbled up the endless steps the thought went through his mind that there was something strangely familiar about the little bodies clinging to him, and at last when they came out into the sunlight and fresh air, he found that he had just rescued his own children. The baby-sitter had left them at this home while she did some shopping. Questions: 1. Explain the title of the story. 2. What lesson can be learnt from it?

Story 5 How to stay happily married?


A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They shared everything. They talked about everything. They kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoebox in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about. For all of these years, he never thought about the shoebox, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoebox and took it to his wife's bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the shoebox. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $25,000. He asked her about the contents. "When we were to be married," she said, "my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll." The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious
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dolls were in the shoebox. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness "Honey," he said, "that explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?" "Oh," the little old woman said, "That's the money I made from selling the dolls." Questions: 1. Describe your feelings while reading this story. 2. What is a secret of happy marriage according to the story? Do you agree with it? 3. Prove that the wife was a wise woman. 4. Give your own opinion on the facts that can help married couples to live happily.

Story 6 How to stay young after marriage?


A group of people went to ask the three brothers of Banu Ghannam for a solution for their complicated question. As they met the first one, who was old man, and asked him for a solution, he referred them to his brother saying, 'You may find a solution with him because he is older than I am.' When they went to meet his brother, they found a middle-aged man. Having sought a solution from him, he said, 'You may see my third brother and, because he is older than I am, you can find a solution with him.' Hence, they went to the third brother to meet a young man. As they could no longer conceal their astonishment, they asked him about his two brothers and his manner. He answered: My brother whom you first met is the youngest among us. Unfortunately, he had to suffer the misbehaviors of his ill-tempered wife
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because he anticipated an intolerable matter if he would divorce her. His wife therefore has been the main reason beyond his growing old at an earlier time. The second one you met is the middle among us. His wife has gathered both good and bad mannerism.

She sometimes pleased him, but she also displeased him. Hence, you can see him as middle-aged man. I have a well-mannered wife who never shows misbehavior with me. Hence, I could keep my youth with her. Questions: 1. Why did the 3rd brother stay young after marriage? 2. In your opinion, is the reason given in the story a good one to keep youth? 3. Give your own ideas on the discussed topic. 4. Do you have any relatives or friends who were married for many years and lived happily together? Tell your group mates about it.

Story 7 Secrets of happy married couples


A man and his fianc got married. It was a large celebration. All of their friends and family came to see the lovely ceremony and to partake of the festivities and celebrations. A wonderful time was had by all. The bride was gorgeous in her white wedding gown and the groom was very dashing in his black tuxedo. Everyone
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could tell that the love they had for each other was true. A few months later, the wife comes to the husband with a proposal: "I read in a magazine, a while ago, about how we can strengthen our marriage." She offered. "Each of us will write a list of the things that we find a bit annoying with the other person. Then, we can talk about how we can fix them together and make our lives happier together." The husband agreed. So each of them went to a separate room in the house and thought of the things that annoyed them about the other. They thought about this question for the rest of the day and wrote down what they came up with. The next morning, at the breakfast table, they decided that they would go over their lists. "I'll start," offered the wife. She took out her list. It had many items on it. Enough to fill 3 pages, in fact. As she started reading the list of the little annoyances, she noticed that tears were starting to appear in her husband`s eyes. "What's wrong?" she asked. "Nothing," the husband replied, "keep reading your list." The wife continued to read until she had read all three pages to her husband. She neatly placed her list on the table and folded her hands over top of it. "Now, you read your list and then we'll talk about the things on both of our lists." She said happily. Quietly the husband stated, "I don't have anything on my list. I think that you are perfect the way that you are. I don't want you to change anything for me. You are lovely and wonderful and I wouldn't want to try and change anything about you." The wife, touched by his honesty and the depth of his love for her and his acceptance of her, turned her head and wept. IN LIFE, there are enough times when we are disappointed, depressed and annoyed. We don't really have to go looking for them. We have a wonderful world that is full of beauty, light and promise. Why waste time in this world looking for the bad, disappointing or annoying things when we can look around us, and see the wonderful things before us? Nobody's perfect but we can find perfection in them to
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change the way we see them. It is necessary to understand the difficulties and be a helping hand to each other....THAT BRIGHTENS THE RELATIONSHIP.

Story 8 Four wives story


Once upon a time there was a rich merchant who had four wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to delicacies. He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best. He also loved the 3rd wife very much. He's very proud of her and always wanted to show off her to his friends. However, the merchant is always in great fear that she might run away with some other men. He too, loved his 2nd wife. She is a very considerate person, always patient and in fact is the merchant's confidante. Whenever the merchant faced some problems, he always turned to his 2nd wife and she would always help him out and tide him through difficult times. Now, the merchant's 1st wife is a very loyal partner and has made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and business as well as taking care of the household. However, the merchant did not love the first wife and although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her. One day, the merchant fell ill. Before long, he knew that he was going to die soon. He thought of his luxurious life and told himself, "Now I have 4 wives with me. But when I die, I'll be alone. How lonely I'll be!" Thus, he asked the 4th wife, "I loved you most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?" "No way!" replied the 4th wife and she walked away without another word. The answer cut like a sharp knife right into the merchant's heart.
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The sad merchant then asked the 3rd wife, "I have loved you so much for all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?" "No!" replied the 3rd wife. "Life is so good over here! I'm going to remarry when you die!" The merchant's heart sank and turned cold. He then asked the 2nd wife, "I always turned to you for help and you've always helped me out. Now I need your help again. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?" "I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!" replied the 2nd wife. "At the very most, I can only send you to your grave." The answer came like a bolt of thunder and the merchant was devastated. Then a voice called out: "I'll leave with you. I'll follow you no matter where you go." The merchant looked up and there was his first wife. She was so skinny, almost like she suffered from malnutrition. Greatly grieved, the merchant said, "I should have taken much better care of you while I could have!" Actually, we all have 4 wives in our lives. The 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it'll leave us when we die. Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, they all go to others. The 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how close they had been there for us when we're alive, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave. The 1st wife is in fact our soul, often neglected in our pursuit of material wealth and sensual pleasure. Guess what? It is actually the only thing that follows us wherever we go. Perhaps it's a good idea to cultivate and strengthen it now rather than to wait until we're on our deathbed to lament. Questions: 1. Did you like the story? Why? 2. Explain who were 4 wives according to the story.
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3. What positive and useful lessons can we take from it? 4. Act the story out.

Story 9 Why a woman can't marry more than one husband?


In a delightful report about how Imam Abu Hanifa received his name (his original name was Numan bin Thabit bin Zuta bin Mah), an account of why the wife is forbidden to take more than one husband is recounted. 'Abu Hanifa' is an unusual name because it means 'the father of Hanifah', and Hanifah was his daughter. It was not the custom in those days to do this. Normally, the name would be 'the father of the name of a son.' How this came about is quite edifying. One day Imam Abu Hanifa was asked a question that, for the first time in his illustrious career, he was unable to answer. The question was, "Why were women forbidden to marry more than one husband at a time?" To make a long story short, Abu Hanifa's daughter said that she knew the answer and would solve this question if her father would make a promise to her that if she succeeded in solving this problem, he would then assure her a place in history. Abu Hanifa agreed. So she gathered a group of women together and gave each of them a cup. Then she brought in a large bowl of milk and asked each of them to dip their cups in the milk and to fill their cups. They did so. She then asked them to pour back the milk into the bowl. They did this too. She then asked them to re-fill their cups taking back only their own milk that they had poured into the bowl. This, obviously, was impossible to do. Hanifah had clearly demonstrated the kind of predicament that would be created if a woman had several husbands. With
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more than one husband, if she were to become pregnant, she would have exceptional difficulties determining who the actual father was? Identifying parentage and lineage would then be insurmountable for the offspring. Imam Abu Hanifa was so pleased with her answer that he took the name 'Abu Hanifa', 'the father of Hanifah', so his daughter did indeed earn a place in history.

Questions: 1. Did you find the story informative? Why? 2. Describe the wise way by which Abu Haifa`s daughter proved her point of view. 3. How would you yourself answer the question given in the title of the story? 4. Retell the story from Abu Haifa`s daughter`s part.

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TASKS FOR PART II


1. Translate the following word combinations taken from the stories of Part II (two combinations from each story): , ; , ; , ; , ; , ; , ; , ; , ; , . 2. There are some important moments in each story. Translate the following sentences (taken from all 9 stories) and comment on them. 1. O my daughter, you are about to leave the home in which you grew up, where you first learned to walk, to go to a place you do not know, to a companion to whom you are unfamiliar. By marrying you, he has become a master over you, so be like a servant to him, and he will become like a servant to you. 2. Treat every moment as if it's the last day, then you'll know how to Treasure. Treasure what you have right now, or else may regret one day... 3. That Eid, Shuaib learned what the RasulAllah (peace be upon him) meant when he had said: "Love for your brother what you love for yourself". 4. As he stumbled up the endless steps the thought went through his mind that there was something strangely familiar about the little bodies clinging to him, and at last when they came out into the sunlight and fresh air, he found that he had just rescued his own children. The baby-sitter had left them at this home while she did some shopping. 5. The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the shoebox. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. 6. I have a well-mannered wife who never shows misbehavior with me. Hence, I could keep my youth with her. 7. Nobody's perfect but we can find perfection in them to change the way we see
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them. It is necessary to understand the difficulties and be a helping hand to each other....THAT BRIGHTENS THE RELATIONSHIP. 8. The 1st wife is in fact our soul, often neglected in our pursuit of material wealth and sensual pleasure. Guess what? It is actually the only thing that follows us wherever we go. Perhaps it's a good idea to cultivate and strengthen it now rather than to wait until we're on our deathbed to lament. 9. Hanifah had clearly demonstrated the kind of predicament that would be created if a woman had several husbands. 3. Choose one story from Part II, which you liked most of all. Retell it and say why it is your favourite story. 4. Act out any two stories from Part II. 5. Make a group discussion on the following topics (based on the indicated stories). 1. Bringing up children (stories 1 and 3) 2. Secrets of happy marriage (stories 5, 6 and7) 3. Wise women (story 9) 6. Analyzing all stories from Part II, say in general to what conclusions you have come. What lessons can be learnt from these stories? 7. Write a short essay taking any story from Part II and describe your feelings, emotions and attitude to facts that touched you most in the story. 8. Tell any other story of family values in Islam that you know, so that your group mates could learn some positive lessons from it.

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PART III

STORIES ABOUT PROPHET MUHAMMAD (S.A.W.) Story 1 The first boy to become a Muslim

One day, when Ali (radiAllahu anhu) was ten years old, he came home and saw something strange. Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was standing with his head bent forward and his hands folded on his chest. His wife Khadijah (radiAllahu anha), was also standing beside him, doing the same thing. As Ali watched them, Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and Khadijah bowed towards the ground. They stayed in that position for a moment and then stood up straight again. Ali wondered what they were doing. Then he saw them go down on their knees and touch the ground with their foreheads. "What a strange thing to do!", thought Ali (radiAllahu anhu). "I have often seen people bowing down before stone idols, but there is no idol here. Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and Khadijah (radiAllahu anha) are certainly not worshipping an idol, but they are worshipping Someone." Ali was a sensible boy. Although he did not completely understand what Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was doing, he knew that he was praying. He thought that Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was praying to a God whom he could not see. Ali very much wanted to know who this unseen God was. As soon as Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had finished his prayer, Ali asked him what he had been doing. Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was pleased when the boy asked him to explain. He smiled at Ali and said to him, "Listen carefully my boy! Khadijah and I were worshipping Allah. He is the One and only True God. There is no God but He. Allah has chosen me to be His Messenger. He has ordered me to take His message to my people. This is His message and this is what I have to tell the people. They should give up all false gods and worship only Him. They must obey Him alone, because He is the One and only True God." Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) then looked Ali straight in the eyes
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and said to him, "You know how much I love you. I have looked after you as if you were my own son. I have never told you a lie - I have never deceived you. I want you to believe the truth that I have just told you. There is no God but Allah; He has chosen me as His prophet." Ali (radiAllahu anhu) knew at once that Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was speaking the truth, and so he believed what Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had said. The Blessed Prophet was delighted. "Welcome Ali," he said. "You know in your heart what I have said is true. I can see you have accepted Allah as the One and only True God. You are the first boy to become a Muslim."

Questions: 1. This is a great story about Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Please find the facts in the story, proving his knowledge of people. 2. Why did Ali believe Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)? 3. What moral can be taken from the story?

Story 2 The boy who threw stones at trees


There was a boy who lived in the city of Madinah, who loved the taste of dates. He would do almost anything to enjoy dates fresh from the tree. Just outside the city was a beautiful pool, an oasis. Round the pool there were many palm trees. And on the palm trees grew the dates which the boy loved so much.
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Each day the boy slipped away from his friends and went by himself to the oasis. There he took out a handful of stones which he had collected during the day. He chose a tree where he could see the dates hanging, ready to eat. Selecting a stone with care, the boy took aim and threw it hard at the tree. With luck he would hit the tree just right, and a date would fall to the floor, ripe and juicy. Then he would choose another stone, and another, until lots of dates lay in the sand around, leaning against the tree and ate his fear of fresh dates. He never thought about the damage he had caused to the trees. He never imagined that the trees might never grow fruit again, at that they might even die. When the people who owned the trees came to check their fruit, they were very surprised. Each day there were fewer dates to be seen. Each day the trees looked less and less healthy. They decided to watch the trees for a whole day, to see what was happening. They were curious when the boy arrived to throw his stones and eat his dates. They were angry when they saw what he was doing to the beautiful trees. No wonder they did not look healthy. The owners stepped out of their hiding place and took hold of the boy. He was surprised, and a little frightened. They were angry, and a little confused. They did not know what to do, "lets take him to Prophet Muhammad," one said "He will know what is right." Standing in front of The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam), the boy was afraid. He was usually very well behaved and had never been in serious trouble before. But he did love fresh dates. And it was easy to knock them out of the branches with stones. Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) looked at the boy. He spoke very quietly, because he was not angry. He could tell that the boy loved dates so much that he did not think about damage he had caused to the trees. "Why do you throw stones at trees? Dont you know it hurts them?" The boy said he was sorry. He had not thought about the trees. He only thought about the delicious taste of the dates.
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"Why dont you wait," said Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam), "until the dates are really ripe, and fall from the trees themselves. They will taste even better." The boy smiled. He could still enjoy his dates. The trees would stay healthy, and grew more dates next year. And sure enough, the boy found that the dates he picked up from the sand under the trees tasted wonderful. Questions: 1. Prove by the facts from the story that Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) took a wise and right decision in the boy`s case. 2. There are several great lessons that can be learnt from the story. Name them and say what touched you most in it.

Story 3 Isra and Miraj


One night, a long, long time ago in Makkah, angel Gabriel came to Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). He cut open his chest, took out his heart, washed his heart in Zam Zam water, and then filled it with Belief. Then he put his heart back into his body. Then a white animal smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to the Prophet. It was called al-Buraq. The Prophet got on Buraq and it took him to al Aqsa - the farthest mosque. Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) prayed two ra'kah in al-Aqsa and then came outside. There, Gabriel held out two containers. The Prophet took one and Gabriel said, "The other container holds wine and this one, which you chose, holds milk. This is the religion of Islam to which you and your followers submit."
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Then Gabriel and Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) ascended to the closest heaven. Gabriel asked for the gate to be opened. "Who is it?" Gabriel answered, "Gabriel". "Who is with you?" Gabriel replied, "Muhammad." "Has Muhammad been called?" Gabriel answered that yes, Muhammad had been called. "He is welcome. What an excellent visit it is!" The gate was opened. When he entered, Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) saw Adam (alayhi wasalam). Gabriel said to him: "This is your father, Adam. Give him salaams." So Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) gave salaams and Adam (puh) returned his salaams and also said, "You are welcome, O pious son and pious prophet." Then Gabriel and Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) ascended to the second heaven. Gabriel asked for the gate to be opened. When Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) entered, he saw Prophet Yahya (alayhi salam) and Prophet Isa (alayhi salam). Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) exchanged salaams with them and then Gabriel and he ascended to the third heaven where Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) exchanged salaams with Prophet Yusuf (alayhi salam). After exchanging salaams, Gabriel and Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) ascended to the fourth heaven where he again exchanged salaams, this time with Prophet Idris (alayhi salam). Then they ascended to the fifth heaven where Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) exchanged salaams with Prophet Harun (alayhi salam). Then Gabriel and Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) ascended to
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the sixth heaven. There, the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) exchanged salaams with Prophet Moses (alayhi salam). As Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) left, Prophet Moses (puh) began to cry. Someone asked Moses why he was crying. "I cry because there was sent after me a young man whose followers will enter Paradise in greater numbers than my followers." Then Gabriel and Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) ascended to the seventh heaven. After exchanging salaams with Prophet Abraham (pbuh) who welcomed him in the same way that the other prophets had, Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) saw the most wonderful sight. It was the Lote Tree of the farthest limit. There were four rivers there - two were hidden and two could be seen. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) asked, "What are these two rivers, Gabriel?" "The two hidden rivers are rivers of Paradise and the rivers that can be seen are the Nile and the Euphrates." Then Al Bait-ul-Mamur (the Sacred House) was shown to the Prophet. This is where 70,000 angels are always giving praises to Allah. It is under Allah's throne. Then the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was told that Muslims should pray fifty times a day. When Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) returned down to the sixth heaven, Moses (pbuh) asked him what Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had been ordered to do. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) told him that fifty prayers should be offered a day. "Muhammad (pbuh), your followers cannot do fifty prayers a day. By Allah, I have tested people before you, but Banu Israel could not do it. Go back to your Lord and ask Him to reduce your followers' burden." So Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) went back up and Allah reduced the number of prayers to forty. When he came back to Moses (pbuh), he said the same thing - that forty was still too many prayers. So the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) went back up and Allah reduced the number of prayers to thirty.
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But Moses (pbuh) said the same thing. So again, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) went back up and Allah reduced the number of prayers to ten. Again, Moses (pbuh) said the same thing. So the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) went back up and Allah reduced the number of prayers to five. Moses said the same thing - "Five prayers is too much of a burden on your followers. I speak from experience with Banu Israel." But the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not go back up. He said, "I have requested so much from my Lord. I feel ashamed. I am satisfied now and submit to Allah's Order." As the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) left the heavens, a voice said, "I have passed My Order and have reduced the burden of My Worshippers." We must never forget the night when Allah was so merciful to His slaves and the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) showed his love for his ummah. Questions: 1. This story of a night journey of our Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) is wellknown and we give it here for barakah. Please retell it so that you could remember it better. 2. Why did prophet Musa (alayhi salam) ask our Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) to reduce the number for prayers for his ummah? 3. What is your favourite part in the story?

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Story 4 A great friend of children


Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was a very great man. He was also a very busy man, for it was his great task to guide his people so that they were sure to follow the way of Allah. There was so much for the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) to do and so much time, which he had to spend teaching his people giving them advice and making decisions when they came to him for judgment in some disputes. But the Prophet was never too busy to give some of his time to children to make friends with them and show how much he loved them. So, even though he was the greatest man, his people had ever known anyone could call upon him for help and advice at any hour of the day. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, always managed to find time to tell stories to children, to give them presents or simply to talk with them. On some occasions, the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) showed great favour towards small children. One of these lucky children was a small boy called Jabir bin Sumrah. One day, Jabir went to a mosque where the Prophet was praying and said his prayers with him. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) noticed Jabir. When the prayers were finished and the Prophet left the Mosque to go home, he let Jabir accompany him. As they walked through the streets other children saw them. Very soon, a large crowd ran towards the Prophet to join Jabir at his side. They were still a little distance away when the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) saw them approaching. He stopped and waited until they had reached him. The children were very pleased. They were even more delighted when the Prophet began chatting and talking to them. Then, he kissed them all one by one of course little Jabir got a kiss too, and like the others. He went off home a very happy little boy. So it is easy to understand why children loved Prophet Muhammad so much it
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was because he was so kind and generous to them. This was a wonderful thing for great and busy men are usually preoccupied and they do not have time to spend with little kids. It was especially wonderful because the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) bore enormous responsibilities. Quite apart from the task of leading his people in everyday life, as you have already learned, Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) led them in prayers. He was also their teacher and as well as teaching them their religion, he taught them good manners and good conduct towards others. Many people came to see the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and he received delegations. He spent a great number of hours with the visitors, and had many long discussions with them about matters, which concerned them so you can see that Prophet Muhammad who was the head of the state had a great number of things to do. That even included leading his people into battle against their enemies here too he taught them valuable lesions showing by his conduct in battle that victory should be followed by mercy towards defeated foes. Yes, despite all he had to do and all time that was occupied in these important tasks the Prophet never failed to great boys and girls whenever he met them if the Prophet was returning from a long journey and met children on the way, he would always stop and talk and laugh with them. And he always gave them a bid treat by letting them ride with him on his camel. This was why the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) could be seen which children sitting in front of him and behind him as his camel plodded along the road towards his home. It was a truly joyous and cheering sight to see. Questions: 1. Prove using word combinations and expressions from the story that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) is a great example for his followers in everything. 2. What lessons can be taken from the story happened with the boy?

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Story 5 Tit for tat!


It is a law of nature that whatever action we take in this world, there is always a reaction. If we do well, we stand to gain a good reward. If we do badly, we should expect a bad outcome ultimately. "What you sow, so you reap," is a popular saying. The Noble Qur'an has also guided us on this subject, it says: "If you do good, you do good to yourselves. Likewise, if you do evil, you do evil to yourselves." (17:7). One of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was very fond of this verse of the Noble Qur'an. He used to recite it loudly and repeatedly wherever he went. A Jewish woman who had heard him once wanted to prove him wrong and thus make him unpopular among his people. She thought up a plot against him. She prepared some sweets mixed with poison and sent them to him as a present. When he received them, he went out of the city taking sweets with him. On the way, he met two men who were returning home from a long journey. They appeared tired and hungry, so he thought of doing them a good turn. He offered them the sweets. Of course, he was not aware that they were secretly mixed with poison. No sooner had the two travelers taken the sweets, they collapsed and died. When the news of their death reached Medina, the city where Prophet Muhammad (SAW) resided, the man was arrested. He was brought in front of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and he related what had actually happened. The Jewish woman, who had mixed poison with the sweets, was also brought to the court of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). She was stunned to see the two dead bodies of the travelers there. They in fact turned out to be her two sons who had gone away on a journey. She admitted her evil intention before Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and all the people present. Alas, the poison she had mixed in the sweets to kill the companion
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of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had instead killed her own two sons. What a splendid example of a tragic reaction to a bad action; it shows how one reaps what he sows. "Do as you would be done by," are the words of wisdom from the learned and wise men of the past. They teach us to do well to others in the same way as we like others to do good to us. Questions: 1. Retell the story and give your opinion on the facts given in it. 2. Read the last paragraph and comment on the words of the moral. 3. How do you understand the title of the story?

Story 6 Who is the strongest?


Truly Every King Has a Sanctuary, and Truly Allah's Sanctuary is His Prohibitions. Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be whole, all the body is whole and which, all be diseased, all of it is diseased. Truly it is the Heart. - Hadith The Muslim youth were busy competing in lifting a heavy rock. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him & his family) passed by and asked: "What are you doing?" One of the youth answered: "We are measuring our strength." Prophet (pbuh&hf): "Do you want me to tell you which one of you is the strongest?" The youth got excited and said that it would be their honor that Prophet (pbuh&hf) judge the round. Everyone was waiting excited to see what the Prophet (pbuh&hf) would say and whom he's going to chose. Prophet (pbuh&hf) said: "Those people are strong if: When they like something and get attracted to it, they do not lose themselves and do not cross Allah's boundaries and do not commit something shameful.
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And if they get angry, keep the control of themselves and do not lose themselves, while angry do not say bad words, do not lie, and tell the truth. And if they get in power, do not become greedy asking for more than what they deserve." Benefits derived from this story: The importance of controlling yourself from that you like, or wish you had, but is prohibited by Allah. Importance of controlling yourself when angry. Importance of not lying even when you are angry, and to tell the truth at anytime! Importance of not over thinking or imagining your power, for truly that is what Fir`awn did, and it leads nothing but to destruction. Importance of staying away from greedy!

Allah (swt) knows better!

Story 7 The Bedouin and the Prophet (s.a.w.)


The Bedouin entered Madina, and went directly to the Masjid, so that he may get some money or gold from the Prophet (pbuh&hf). When he arrived, he saw the Prophet (pbuh&hf) sitting among his companions. He asked his need. The Prophet (pbuh&hf) gave his something. He was not content, and moreover he used harsh and inappropriate language against the Prophet

(pbuh&hf). The companions became very angry, and were ready to hurt him. But the Prophet (pbuh&hf) prevented them from haste. The Prophet (pbuh&hf) took the Bedouin to
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his home, and gave him some more. The Bedouin saw that the residence of the Prophet (pbuh&hf) wasn't like those of the heads of governments, and there is no luxury in his home. The Bedouin became content with the share, and thanked the Prophet. At this time, the Prophet (pbuh&hf) asked him: "You said a harsh word yesterday, which caused anger in my companions. I fear that they will hurt you. Would you be willing to show your appreciation in front of them, so that their anger be resolved, and they don't hurt you?" The Bedouin said: "Sure." The next day, the Bedouin came to the Masjid. The Prophet (pbuh&hf) addressed his companions: "This man says, he is content with his share, is it true?" The Bedouin said: "That is true." Then he repeated the appreciation that he had shared with Prophet (pbuh&hf). The companions smiled. The Prophet addressed the group: "The parable of me and these types of individuals is like that of the man whose camel was running away from him. With the [thought] they could help the owner, people were running after the camel. The camel was frightened and ran faster. The owner called on the people, please leave my camel alone, I know better how to calm it. When the people stopped chasing the camel, the owner followed it calmly, with a fistful of grass. Then without the need for running, yelling, he showed the grass to it. Questions: 1. Did you like the story? Why? 2. Comment on the story told by Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) in the end. Do you think it was a good example to teach people a lesson? Why? 3. Retell the story.

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Story 8 Blessed money


At the request of the Prophet (SAW) of Islam, Hadrat Ali (AS) went to buy a shirt for him. Hadrat Ali (AS) went to the market and bought a shirt for twelve Dirhams. Hadrat Muhammad (SAW) asked. "For how many Dirhams did you buy it?" "For twelve Dirhams." "I didn't like it, I want a cheaper one. Would the shopkeeper take it back?" "I don't know, O Messenger (SAW) of Allah." "Please go and see if he agrees to take it back." Hadrat Ali (AS) took the shirt to the shopkeeper and said to him: "The Messenger (SAW) of Allah wants a cheaper shirt; would you agree to take it back and give back the money?" The shopkeeper agreed to do so and he gave the money back to Hadrat Ali (AS). Hadrat Ali (AS) took the money to the Prophet (SAW). After this, Hadrat Muhammad (SAW) and Hadrat Ali (AS) went to the market together. While on the way, the Prophet (SAW) saw a slave-girl, who was crying. He went to her and asked: "Why are you crying?" "My master gave me four Dirhams to buy things from the market. I don't know where that money got lost. Now, I don't have the courage to go home. Out of twelve Dirhams, Hadrat Muhammad (SAW) gave four Dirhams to the slave-girl and said: "Buy whatever you had to buy and go back home." Prophet (SAW), himself, went to the market and after buying a shirt for four Dirhams, he put it on. While coming back from the market, he saw an undressed man. He quickly took off his shirt and gave it to him. He again went to the shop and bought another shirt for four Dirhams. He put it on. On his way, he again saw the same slave-girl, who was sitting scared and troubled. He asked: "Why didn't you go home?"
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"O Messenger (SAW) of Allah, it's too late for me and I am scared that they might beat me and ask as to why I took so long." "Tell me the address of your house and come with me, so that I might request that no one should say anything to you." Hadrat Muhammad (SAW) took the slavegirl with him. As soon as they reached near the house, the girl said: "This is the house." With a loud voice, the Messenger (SAW) of Allah said: "My salaam to you, the inhabitants of this house." He didn't get any reply; so he again said, salaam. But still he got no reply. He said salaam for the third time and then everyone replied saying: "Assalamu alaykum, O Messenger of Allah (SAW)." "Why didn't you people respond me for the first time? Did you not hear my voice?" "Yes! After hearing your voice for the first time itself, we came to know that it was you." "Then what was the reason for the delay in response?" "O Messenger (SAW) of Allah, we loved to hear your voice (salaam) again and again. Your salaam is virtuous, peace and blessing for us." "Your slave-girl has taken long in coming back. Hence, I have come to request that you don't punish her." "O the Messenger (SAW) of Allah! By the blessing of your gracious coming over to our place, we have set this girl free." The Prophet (SAW) said: "Thanks a million to Allah. How blessed these twelve Dirhams were; with which two undressed persons got dressed as well as a slave-girl got free." Questions: 1. Why was the money blessed? 2. Read the last paragraph of the story and comment on it. 3. What do you like most in the story?

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Story 9 The Story of the Prophet and the Jew Beggar


This is a very beautiful true story about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) because it gives strength to be kind to those who are unkind to us In the corner of the marketplace of Madinah, was a blind Jewish beggar, who would cry out daily to all those who came near him," O my brothers, don't be near Muhammad! He's a lunatic, he's a liar, a sorcerer! If you are to be close to him, you will be influenced by him!" No matter whoever approached him, the blind Jewish beggar will definitely not waste his chance to incite them to hate the Prophet Muhammad, Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam (peace and blessings be upon him)! All kinds of curses would spew forth from the beggar's lips even though he had never known the Prophet personally! The news about the blind Jewish beggar's daily cursing and badmouthing him came to the knowledge of the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam)! Even then, the Holy Prophet Muhammad did not get angry and he ignored the blind Jewish beggar's insults against himself! On the contrary, from that day onwards, at each morning, the Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam visited the blind beggar and brought food for him! Without saying a single word, the Blessed Messenger(peace be upon him) would feed the beggar with his own hand! The blind beggar would chew the food being fed to him and eat contentedly. Once he was full, he'd express his gratitude without knowing that the one who had fed him was the Holy Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam)! The Prophet Muhammad (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam) continued to feed the blind beggar without fail each day till the day he died! Throughout his service to the blind beggar, he never identified himself to the blind Jewish beggar! After the Prophet Muhammad (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam) had passed away, no one brought food to the blind beggar anymore! The blind Jewish beggar waited daily and was perplexed as to why the kind man did no longer come to feed him and provide for him as he had done all this while. The blind beggar waited in vain for the kind gentleman who had never
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missed visiting him each and every morning all these while. One day, the closest Companion of the Holy Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam), Abu Bakr As Siddiq (the truthful one), Radhiallahu Anhu (May Allah be pleased with him) visited the home of his daughter, Aishah, Radhiallahu Anha (May Allah be pleased with her), the widow of the Blessed Messenger (SAW). Abu Bakr asked Aishah, " O my child, is there any habit of my beloved (Prophet) that I have yet to carry on?" Aishah replied, "Dear Father, you are verily a follower of the Sunnah (Habits) of the Prophet and there is none that you have yet to do except for one deed only!" "What is that?" asked Abu Bakr. "Every morning, the Prophet of Allah will go to the end of the marketplace, bringing food to a blind old Jewish beggar who lives there and feed him by his hand," said Aishah. The next day, Abu Bakr As Siddiq went to the marketplace with food for the blind beggar. Abu Bakr As Siddiq approached the beggar and started to feed him. At the first handfull of food being fed to him, the blind Jewish beggar became angry and shouted out ," Who are you?" Abu Bakr answered ". I am the one who usually feeds you every morning". "No! Don't you lie to me!" objected the blind beggar. Abu Bakar was shocked, thus he asked" Why do you say so?" Answered the blind Jewish beggar," Because when he comes to me, I always felt it easy to hold his hand and found it easy to chew the food he fed me! The man who used to feed me would make the food fine before feeding it to me!" Abu Bakr As Siddiq could not hold back his tears anymore and he burst out crying and had to disclose who he actually was to the beggar. "Verily, I am not the one who used to come and feed you. I am one of his Companions for the noble one is alive no more! He was none other than the Blessed Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam)!" "Muhammad?" asked the blind old Jewish beggar, totally shocked with what he had just heard. "You mean to tell me that the one who
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came each morning without fail and fed me by his hand was Muhammad?" asked the beggar. "Yes! It was Muhammad!" answered Abu Bakr. Immediately, the blind old Jewish beggar wailed out in despair and cried so pitifully coming to realise that it was none other than the Holy Prophet who had been feeding him all this while. "All these while!...all these while, I had been cursing him, I had been slandering him! Not once has he ever scolded me! He kept coming every morning to feed me! He is so noble!.." cried the old blind Jewish beggar as he wiped away his flowing tears on his cheeks. The blind beggar reached out to Saiyidina Abu Bakr As Siddiq, the first Caliph of the Muslims and testified before him Shahadah, declaring that There is No God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah! From that moment onwards, the blind old Jewish beggar became a Muslim.

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FAMILY TREE OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD (S.A.W.)

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TASKS FOR PART III


1. Translate the following word combinations taken from the stories of Part III (two combinations from each story): , ; , ; , ; , ; , , ; , ; , ; , ; , . 2. There are some important moments in each story. Translate the following sentences (taken from all 9 stories) and comment on them. 1. Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) then looked Ali straight in the eyes and said to him, "You know how much I love you. I have looked after you as if you were my own son. I have never told you a lie - I have never deceived you. I want you to believe the truth that I have just told you. There is no God but Allah; He has chosen me as His prophet." 2. Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) looked at the boy. He spoke very quietly, because he was not angry. He could tell that the boy loved dates so much that he did not think about damage he had caused to the trees. 3. We must never forget the night when Allah was so merciful to His slaves and the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) showed his love for his ummah. 4. Prophet Muhammad who was the head of the state had a great number of things to do. That even included leading his people into battle against their enemies here too he taught them valuable lesions showing by his conduct in battle that victory should be followed by mercy towards defeated foes. 5. "Do as you would be done by," are the words of wisdom from the learned and wise men of the past. They teach us to do well to others in the same way as we like others to do good to us. 6. Importance of not over thinking or imagining your power, for truly that is what Fir`awn did, and it leads nothing but to destruction. 7. The Prophet (pbuh&hf) took the Bedouin to his home, and gave him some more.
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The Bedouin saw that the residence of the Prophet (pbuh&hf) wasn't like those of the heads of governments, and there is no luxury in his home. 8. The Prophet (SAW) said: "Thanks a million to Allah. How blessed these twelve Dirhams were; with which two undressed persons got dressed as well as a slave-girl got free." 9. This is a very beautiful true story about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) because it gives strength to be kind to those who is unkind to us 3. Choose one story from Part III, which you liked most of all. Retell it and say why it is your favourite story. 4. Act out any two stories from Part III. 5. Make a group discussion on the following topics (based on the indicated stories). 1. How we should treat our children (stories 1, 2 and 4) 2. Be kind to others (stories 5, 7, 8 and 9) 6. Analyzing all stories from Part III, say in general to what conclusions you have come. What lessons can be learnt from these stories? 7. Write a short essay taking any story from Part II and describe your feelings, emotions and attitude to facts that touched you most in the story. 8. Tell any other story of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) that you know, so that your group mates could learn some positive lessons from it. 9. At the end of Part III there is a family tree of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). Please learn it by heart.

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PART IV

COLLECTION OF ISLAMIC JOKES

A man is taking a walk in Central park in New York. Suddenly he sees a little girl being attacked by a pit bull dog. He runs over and starts fighting with the dog. He succeeds in killing the dog and saving the girl's life. A policeman who was watching the scene walks over and says: "You are a hero, tomorrow you can read it in all the newspapers: "Brave New Yorker saves the life of little girl" The man says: - "But I am not a New Yorker!" "Oh, then it will say in newspapers in the morning: 'Brave American saves life of little girl'" the policeman answers. "But I am not an American!" says the man. "Oh, what are you then? " The man says: - "I am a Saudi!" The next day the newspapers say: "Islamic extremist kills innocent American dog.

Here is the story of an Imam who got up after Friday prayers and announced to the people:"I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building program. The bad news is, it's still out there in your pockets."

An Imam shocked his community when he announced that he was resigning from that particular Masjid and moving to a drier climate. After the session, a very distraught lady came to the Imam with tears in her eyes, "Oh, Imam, we are going to miss you so much. We don't want you to leave!" The kind hearted Imam said "Now, now, sister, don't carry on. The Imam who takes my place might be even better than me". "Yeah", she said, with a tone of disappointment in her voice, "That's what they said the last time too . . ."

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True Incident (1)


During a Jumah Khutbah in a small town, an Imam talked about the significance of saying "Insha Allah" (which means if Allah wills) when planning to do something in the future. After a few days, a man who had also attended the Khutbah was going to buy a cow from the market. On the way, he met a friend who asked him where he was going. He told him about buying the cow but did not say Insha Allah in the end. His friend reminded him about the Khutbah and told him to say Insha Allah. However, this individual said that he had the money he needs and the energy to go to the market, thus, there is no point of saying Insha Allah as he will certainly buy the cow. He thought that saying Insha Allah will not make any difference. When he reached the market, he found a cow that met his expectations. He bargained with the seller and came to a reasonable price. Finally, he decided to pay for the cow but was dumbfounded when he discovered that his money was missing. A thief had stolen the money while he was walking through the busy market. The cow seller asked him whether he was going to buy the cow or not. "Insha Allah, I will buy it next week," he said. When he reached home, his wife inquired about the cow. He told her about how he forgot to say Insha Allah, and also added, "Insha Allah, I wanted to buy the cow. But Insha Allah, my money was stolen. Insha Allah, I will buy it next week." His wife clarified to him that we should say Insha Allah for things that are yet to happen, not for those things that had already happened. He never forgot his "Insha Allah" again.

True Incident (2)


A young man in a village refused to believe that Allah has total control of everything. He claimed that Allah cannot make him eat food if he didn't want to eat. To prove his point, he decided to stay hungry for a day and see if Allah can make
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him eat. His mother tried her best to stop this foolishness but he paid no attention. Annoyed of his mother in the evening, he decided to climb a tree and isolate himself there. Being compassionate, his mother decided to leave the food under the tree incase her son finally gives up and wants to eat. When the night fell, a group of robbers were passing by that tree. They noticed a plate of delicious food placed under the tree. They looked at each other in amazement and thought that someone must be playing a trick on them. May be someone is trying to poison them with good food. They looked around to see if there was anyone nearby and noticed the young man on top of the tree. The robbers got him down and told him to eat the food to see if it is poisoned. But the young man refused to eat as he is still carrying on his challenge against Allah. The robbers became suspicious and started beating the young man to eat. He gave up and started eating. Seeing that the food was not poisoned, the robbers left him and went away. Finally, the young man admitted that yes, Allah has total control of everything!

An elderly lady was well-known for her Iman and for her confidence in talking about it. She would stand in front of her house and say Alhamdulilah "Allah be praised" to all those who passed by. Next door to her lived an atheist who would get so angry at her proclamations he would shout, "There ain't no Lord!!" Hard times came upon the elderly lady, and she prayed for Allah to send her some assistance. She would pray out loud in her night prayer" Oh Allah! I need food!! I am having a hard time, please Lord, PLEASE LORD, SEND ME SOME GROCERIES!!" The atheist happened to hear her as she was praying, and decided to play a prank on her. The next morning the lady went out on her porch and noted a large bag of
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groceries and shouted, "Alhamdulilah, Allah be praised!." The neighbor jumped from behind a bush and said, "Aha! I told you there was no Lord. I bought those groceries, God didn't." The lady started jumping up and down and clapping her hands and said, "ALHAMDULILAH WA SHUKRILLAH. He not only sent me groceries, but he made the devil pay for them!"

An Imam was selling his horse in the market. An interested buyer came to him and requested if he could get a test drive. The Imam told the man that this horse is unique. In order to make it walk, you have to say Subhanallah. To make it run, you have to say Alhamdulillah and to make it stop, you have to say Allahu Akbar. The man sat on the horse and said Subhanallah. The horse started to walk. Then he said Alhamdulillah and it started to run. He kept saying Alhamdulillah and the horse started running faster and faster. All of a sudden the man noticed that the horse is running towards the edge of the hill that he was riding on. Being overly fearful, he forgot how to stop the horse. He kept saying all these words out of confusion. When the horse was just near the edge, he remembered Allahu Akbar and said it out loud. The horse stopped just one step away from the edge. The man took a deep breath, looked up towards the sky and said Alhamdulillah!

Two men were on a plane on a business trip when a Muslim couple boarded the plane and were seated right in front of them. The two men, eager to have some fun, started talking loudly. "My boss is sending me to Saudi Arabia", the one said, "But I don't want to go...too many Muslims there!" The Muslim couple noticeably heard and grew uncomfortable. The other guy laughed, "Oh, yeah, my boss wanted
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to send me to Pakistan but I refused...WAY too many Muslims!" Smiling, the first man said, "One time I was in Iran but I HATED the fact that there were so many Muslims!" The couple fidgeted. The other guy responded, "Oh, yeah...you can't go ANYWHERE to get away from them...the last time I was in FRANCE I ran into a bunch of them too!" The first guy was laughing hysterically as he added, "That is why you'll never see me in Indonesia...WAY too many Muslims!" At this, the Muslim man turned around and responded politely, "Why don't you go to Hell?", he asked, "I hear there's not very many Muslims THERE!"

Questions: 1. Did you like the jokes? What is your favourite one? Why? 2. Do you know rules of joking in Islam? What are they? 3. Retell any joke you like. 4. Find any other Islamic joke and tell it to your friends.

Stories of Mullah Nasruddin


Once, the people of the city invited Mulla Nasruddin to deliver a speech. When he got on the minbar (pulpit), he found the audience was not very enthusiastic, so he asked "Do you know what I am going to say?" The audience replied "NO", so he announced "I have no desire to speak to people who don't even know what I will be talking about" and he left. The people felt embarrassed and called him back again the next day. This time when he asked the same question, the people replied "YES" So
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Mullah Nasruddin said, "Well, since you already know what I am going to say, I won't waste any more of your time" and he left. Now the people were really perplexed. They decided to try one more time and once again invited the Mullah to speak the following week. Once again he asked the same question - "Do you know what I am going to say?" Now the people were prepared and so half of them answered "YES" while the other half replied "NO". So Mullah Nasruddin said: "The half who know what I am going to say, tell it to the other half" and he left!

"When I was in the desert," said Nasruddin one day, "I caused an entire tribe of horrible and bloodthirsty bedouins to run." "However did you do it?" asked a person. "Easy. I just ran, and they ran after me."

"One day Molla Nasreddin went to a banquet. As he was dressed rather shabbily, no one let him in. So he ran home, put on his best robe and returned. Immediately, the host came over, greeted him and ushered him to the head of an elaborate banquet table. When the food was served, Nasreddin pushed his sleeves up to his plate and said, "Eat sleeves, eat! It's obvious that you're the real guest of honor today, not me!"

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Good Swimmer? In the old days, men were permitted to have more than one wife. Molla himself took a second wife who was younger than the first one. One evening he came home to find them quarreling about which of them Molla loved more. At first, Molla told them he loved them both, but neither of them were satisfied with his answer. Then the older one asked, "Well, just suppose the three of us were in a boat, and it started to sink. Which of us would you try to save?" Molla thought for a moment, and then said to his older wife, "My dear, you know how to swim, don't you?"

Donkey's Word One day a neighbour called on Molla. "Molla, I want to borrow your donkey." "I'm sorry," Molla said, "but I've already lent it out." As soon as he had spoken, the sound of a donkey braying came from Molla's stable. "But Molla, I can hear your donkey in there." "Shame on you," Molla said indignantly, "that you would take the word of a donkey over my word."

The Doctor's Cure One day Molla fell seriously ill. His wife became very frightened and, thinking Molla might die, ran for the doctor. "Oh, Doctor, my husband is gravely ill. We're very poor and have many children. I'm afraid something might happen to him, and then who will take care of the children?" On hearing the word "poor," the doctor replied, "Why do you create problems for the poor man? Even if I prescribed medicine for him, how would you pay for it if you don't have any money?"
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The wife returned home and told Molla. A few days later Molla recovered. Soon, he headed off to the doctor. "I've come to say 'thank you.' I've recovered, thanks to you." The doctor replied, "How's that? I didn't treat you." "And that's the very reason I recovered. Had your ugly breath touched me that day, who knows which cemetery I would be lying in today?"

The Turkish bath One day Molla went to a Turkish bath but as he was dressed so poorly, the attendants didn't pay much attention to him. They gave him only a scrap of soap, a rag for a loin cloth and an old towel. When Molla left, he gave each of the two attendants a gold coin. As he had not complained of their poor service, they were very surprised. They wondered had they treated him better whether he would have given them even a larger tip. The next week, Molla came again. This time, they treated him like royalty and gave him embroidered towels and a loin cloth of silk. After being massaged and perfumed, he left the bath, handing each attendant the smallest copper coin possible. "This," said Molla, "is for the last visit. The gold coins are for today."

One day Nasruddin repaired tiles on the roof of his house. While Nasruddin was working on the roof, a stranger knocked the door. - What do you want? Nasruddin shouted out. - Come down, replied stranger so I can tell it. Nasruddin unwilling and slowly climbed down the ladder. - Well! replied Nasruddin, what was the important thing? - Could you give little money to this poor old man? - begged stranger.
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Tired Nasruddin started to climb up the ladder and said, - Follow me up to the roof. When both Nasruddin and beggar were upside, on the roof, Nasruddin said, - The answer is no!

One hot day, Nasruddin was taking it easy in the shade of a walnut tree. After a time, he started eying speculatively, the huge pumpkins growing on vines and the small walnuts growing on a majestic tree. - Sometimes I just can't understand the ways of God! he mused. Just fancy letting tinny walnuts grow on so majestic a tree and huge pumpkins on the delicate vines! Just then a walnut snapped off and fell smack on Mullah Nasruddin's bald head. He got up at once and lifting up his hands and face to heavens in supplication, said: - Oh, my God! Forgive my questioning your ways! You are All-wise. Where would I have been now, if pumpkins grew on trees!

Questions: 1. What do you know about mullah Nasruddin? 2. Which of the given stories is the funniest one for you? Why? 3. What morals can be taken while reading these jokes? 4. Retell any joke you like. 5. Find any other story about mullah Nasruddin and tell it to you group mates.

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TASKS FOR PART IV


1. Translate the following word combinations from the stories of Part IV (taken from collection of jokes and stories of Mullah Nasruddin): , - , , , , , , , . 2. There are some important moments Part IV. Translate the following endings of jokes and comment on them. 1. His wife clarified to him that we should say Insha Allah for things that are yet to happen, not for those things that had already happened. He never forgot his "Insha Allah" again. 2. Now the people were prepared and so half of them answered "YES" while the other half replied "NO". So Mullah Nasruddin said: "The half who know what I am going to say, tell it to the other half" and he left! 3. Oh, my God! Forgive my questioning your ways! You are All-wise. Where would I have been now, if pumpkins grew on trees! 3. Choose one story from Part IV, which you liked most of all. Retell it and say why it is your favourite story. 4. Act out any two stories from Part IV. 5. Make a group discussion on the following topics. 1. Islamic humor. How Muslims should joke. 2. Morals of Mulla Nasrudinn`s stories. 6. Write a short essay on the problem of show business in the modern entertainment. Give your arguments what you like and what you dislike in it (taking such TV shows as Comedy Club and so on).

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PART V

PEARLS OF WISDOM Story 1 Only for Allah

There was a pious man among the Banu Israel who always remained busy in the worship of Allah. A group of people came to him and told him that a tribe living nearby worshipped a tree. The news upset him, and with an axe on his shoulder he went to cut down that tree. On the way, Satan met him in the form of an old man and asked him where he was going. He said he was going to cut a particular tree. Satan said, "You have nothing to be concerned with this tree, you better mind your worship and do not give it up for the sake of something that does not concern you." "This is also worship," retorted the worshipper. Then Satan tried to prevent him from cutting the tree, and there followed a fight between the two, in which the worshipper

overpowered the Satan. Finding himself completely helpless, Satan begged to be excused, and when the worshipper released him, he again said, "Allah has not made the cutting of this tree obligatory on you. You do not lose anything if you do not cut it. If its cutting were necessary, Allah could have got it done through one of His many Prophets." The worshipper insisted on cutting the tree. There was again a fight between the two and again the worshipper overpowered the Satan. "Well, listen," said Satan, "I propose a settlement that will be to your advantage." The worshipper agreed, and Satan said, "You are a poor man, a mere burden on this earth. If you stay away from this act, I will pay you three gold coins every day. You will daily find them lying under your pillow. By this money you can fulfill your own needs, can oblige your relative, help the needy, and do so many other virtuous things. Cutting the tree will be only one virtue, which will ultimately be of no use because the people will grow another tree." This proposal appealed to the worshipper, and he accepted it. He found the
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money on two successive days, but on the third day there was nothing. He got enraged, picked up his axe and went to cut the tree. Satan as an old man again met him on the way and asked him where he was going. "To cut the tree," shouted the worshipper. "I will not let you do it," said Satan. A fight took place between the two again but this time Satan had the upper hand and overpowered the worshipper. The latter was surprised at his own defeat, and asked the former the cause of his success. Satan replied, "At first, your anger was purely for earning the pleasure of Allah, and therefore Almighty Allah helped you to overpower me, but now it has been partly for the sake of the gold coins and therefore you lost."

Story 2 A wise man


Once upon a time there was a king and he was a wise man too. In his kingdom used to live many other wise men. Now some of these would not agree to believe that God did exist, while others not only agreed but argued to the satisfaction of the King that there was 'God'. The King, being a wise man, arranged for a discussion. The date and time for discussion was fixed. The king held his court at the appointed time on the appointed date. The non-believers assembled in his presence but the believing wise man did not come at the appointed time. The people waited and waited till they lost their patience and uttered the words: "He has no arguments to advance in support of his conviction, so he will not come. He has lost, we have won." At last, the wise man arrived and there was an up roar in the court of the king. The people cried: "Why are you late? You have lost". The king asked him to explain the cause of his delay. The believing wise man explained, saying: "I started from my home in time, but when I came by the side of the river which I had to cross before reaching here, I did not find a single boat, by which I could cross and reach the opposite bank".
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Up to this point the disbelieving men heard him patiently and did not say a single word. The believing man then continued: "I waited and waited till at last I saw some planks of wood coming out of the river". And the unbelieving men began to shout "O, It is a lie. It is unbelievable. It is unthinkable". Continued the believing wise man: "Plank by plank came out of the river and then I saw the planks were cut to proper size and shape and joined to each other with nails by themselves until they formed a boat. And then I took my seat in it and came over to the other bank. I am late because of the delay in the availability of the boat". Amid a roar of the non-believing men, the believing wise man tried to convince them of the cause of the delay; but the opponents would not believe him. Then he said: "You do not believe what I say. It appears the story of the boat forming by itself is something impossible for you to believe. Now in the name of justice, I ask you. Do you see the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars and the skies? Everything is set according to a plan. But you say it came into existence without a Creator. In other words you deny the existence of God. How far is your statement reasonable and justified? This silenced them all and there was no answer to this. So the non-believers lost and the believer won.

Story 3 Three tough questions


There was a young man who went overseas to study for quite a long time. When he returned, he asked his parents to find him a religious scholar or any expert who could answer his Three Questions. Finally, his parents were able to find a Muslim scholar. "Who are you? Can you answer my questions?," asked the young man "I am one of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala)'s slaves and Insha'Allah (God willing), I will be able to answer your questions," replied the Scholar.
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"Are you sure? A lot of Professors and experts were not able to answer my questions," replied the young boy "I will try my best, with the help of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala)" "I have 3 questions," began the boy 1. Does God exist? If so, show me His shape. 2. What is takdir (fate)? 3. If shaitan (Devil) was created from the fire, why at the end he will be thrown to hell that is also created from fire. It certainly will not hurt him at all, since Shaitan (Devil) and the hell were created from fire. Did God not think of it this far? Suddenly, the Scholar slapped the young man's face very hard! The young man, who was shocked and hurt by the slap became confused, "Why do are you angry at me?" he asked "I am not angry," answered the scholar, "The slap is my answer to your three questions." "I really don't understand," the young man said. He was really confused. The scholar began to explain, "How did you feel after I slapped you?" he asked. "Of course, I felt the pain. it hurt," he replied. "So do you believe that pain exists?" the scholar asked. "Yes." "Now Show me the shape of the pain!" said the wise Scholar. "I cannot," the young man replied. "That is my first answer. All of us feel God's existence without being able to see His shape... Last night, did you dream that you will be slapped by me?" the scholar replied. "No" "Did you ever think that you will get a slap from me, today?" the scholar
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continued. "No." "That is takdir (fate)........" The scholar continued, "My hand that I used to slap you, what is it created from?" "It is created from flesh," replied the young man. "How about your face, what is it created from?" "Flesh, as well" replied the young man. "How did you feel after I slapped you?" "In pain." "Even though Shaitan (satan) and Jahunnum (Hell-fire) were created from fire, if Allah wants, insha'Allah (God willing), the Hell-fire will become a very painful place for Shaitan (Devil)" ended the wise Scholar. The wise Scholar had answered all three of the tough questions by one slap. Questions: 1. How do you think were three questions really tough? Why? 2. What scholar`s words of wisdom did you like most? Why? 3. Act the story out.

Story 4 Clever fisherman and king


As King Parveez and Queen Shireen were sitting in their palace one day, a fisherman who was selling beautiful fish was brought in front of them. King Parveez decided to buy a fish and gave the fisherman 4000 dirham for it. The fisherman was overjoyed. He thanked King Parveez and left. Queen Shireen turned to her husband in anger and scolded him for paying so much for a fish. King Parveez let her have her say but said that the fish was purchased and that there was nothing that could be done about it. However, the Queen Shireen was adamant and insisted that the fisherman be brought back.
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"We will ask the fisherman about the gender of the fish," she said. "If he answers that it is female, we will say that we wanted a male fish and if his response is that it is male, we will say that we wanted a female fish! Either way, we will be able to return the fish and have our money back." So the poor fisherman was called back and was asked the question. Fortunately, he was clever enough not to be caught out. Fisherman replied, "This fish is unique in the sense that it is neutral i.e., it's neither male nor female." King Parveez was so impressed by the ingenuity of the man that he ordered a further 4000 dirham to be paid to him. The fisherman thanked the King Parveez again but as he was about to leave with the heavy bag of money, one of the coins fell onto the floor. The fisherman immediately bent down to look for the coin. Queen Shireen was already upset that the fisherman had been given 8000 dirham. "Look how miserly this man is!" the Queen Shireen exclaimed. "One coin has fallen out of his bag full of money and he searches for it instead of leaving it for some other poor servant to find." The fisherman heard this remark and said, "O Queen, it is not out of miserliness that I search for the coin but rather because it had the picture of generous King Parveez on it. I would not tolerate anyone to cause dishonour to the King Parveez by treading on the coin." King Parveez was so flattered with this response that he immediately called for another 4000 dirham to be given to the fisherman. When Queen Shireen saw all this, she thought it was better to hold her tongue and let the fisherman go with the 12000 dirham before the King decided to increase the amount again.

Story 5 The beggar's well-deserved dinner


Many years ago, there lived two woodcutters, Rahim and Rahman, in a village.
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They would go out every morning to the nearby Bandipur forest to cut firewood and sell it in the nearby town. They earned barely enough to survive. After they had cut wood, they would sit on the bank of the river and eat their lunch from their Tiffin boxes. Next they would sell the firewood till the end of the day in the marketplace before going home. One sunny day, the woodcutters were eating their lunch. It was at that time, Rahim noticed a thin and exhausted beggar, coming out of the forest. His clothes were torn and his hair was disheveled. The beggar hungrily eyed the packets of lunch. "I see that you are having an excellent day my friends," said the beggar, addressing them. I wonder if you can spare a few morsels of food for me." Rahim, who felt sorry for the beggar, quickly reached for his packet of lunch and was about to give a part of it to the beggar, but Rahman immediately grabbed his elbow and pulled him back "We have no food to spare," Rahman told the beggar. "We work hard throughout the morning and pack enough food for ourselves to see us through the day. At the end of the day, we buy food and other essentials for our families. So you see we cannot give you what we are eating. But if you wish, I can lend you my axe and we both will teach you how to cut firewood and sell it. Insha Allah at the end of the day, you will have enough to eat and buy yourself a new Axe to cut more firewood tomorrow. This way, you can earn a livelihood with dignity." The beggar joined Rahman and they both went inside the forest. Patiently, Rahman showed the poor man how to cut the firewood and make it into a neat pile. Thereafter they took him to the market and told him how to sell it. At first, the beggar had no success. He began to mutter angrily: "It would have been so much simpler if these men had been generous, and shared their food with me". As he was thinking, a carriage pulled up before him. A person stepped out. He purchased the whole bundle from the beggar. While making an exit, he pulled out a bundle of currency notes from his pocket and pressed it into his hands. The beggar
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was delighted and grinning happily, he proudly took the money to Rahman to show them his earnings. Rahman took him to another shop and purchased him a brand new axe with a part of his money. After thanking Rahman and Rahim for their help, he headed towards an inn to eat his dinner and catch up with some badly needed rest. After he had gone, Rahman told Rahim, "Had you given the beggar some food, he would have eaten it quickly and would have been again hungry tonight. By teaching him how to start his own trade in firewood, we have both taught him a skill, which will last him a lifetime. Now he will never go hungry again. In doing this, we have followed the teachings and the example that has been set for us by the Holy Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him)." As a very famous saying goes, "Don't give them fish but teach them how to catch the fish." Lessons from Life: "We make a living by what we get; and we make a life by what we give." Questions: 1. Which of two brothers is wiser? Why do you think so? 2. Why was the beggar angry with the brothers at first? 3. How do you understand the end of the story? 4. What touched you most in the story?

Story 6 Fox and Stork


A selfish fox once invited a stork to dinner at his home in a hollow tree. That evening, the stork flew to the fox's home and knocked on the door with her long beak. The fox opened the door and said, "Please come in and share my
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food." The stork was invited to sit down at the table. She was very hungry and the food smelled delicious! The fox served soup in shallow bowls and he licked up all his soup very quickly. However, the stork could not have any of it as the bowl was too shallow for her long beak. The poor stork just smiled politely and stayed hungry. The selfish fox asked, "Stork, why haven't you taken your soup? Don't you like it?" The stork replied, "It was very kind of you to invite me for dinner. Tomorrow evening, please join me for dinner at my home." The next day, when the fox arrived at the stork's home, he saw that they were also having soup for dinner. This time the soup was served in tall jugs. The stork drank the soup easily but the fox could not reach inside the tall jug. This time it was his turn to go hungry. MORAL: A selfish act can backfire on you.

Questions: 1. This is a well-known children fable. How do you like it? 2. What kind of lesson did the fox receive? 3. Act the story out.

Story 7 Shop-keeper and Malik Ashtar


Malik Ashtar was a famous commander under the rule of Imam Ali. He was a strong warrior and a powerful man who was gifted in the tactics of warfare. Once a shop-keeper was sitting outside of his shop in the major street of a city. He was chatting with his friends and cracking jokes. Then he saw a man with bruises on his face, with old cloth and a dusty face passing by. So just for fun, the shop-keeper threw a piece of junk at the dirty man so that his friends would laugh.
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A friend of his said: "Oh my God! didn't you know who this man was?" Shop-keeper: "No. Probably an ordinary man who was just walking by." Friend: "No. That was Malik Ashtar...the brave commander of Imam Ali's army!" Shop-keeper: "No way! Oh my God! He is a warrior. What is going to happen to me?! he might punish me really bad...I better apologize to him." So the shop-keeper followed Ashtar and saw that he is going to the Masjid. Then he saw that Malik Ashtar is performing a prayer...so he waited until his prayer was over. Then he approached Malik and said: " I came here to apologize, I am the one who threw that piece of junk at you for amusement!" Malik Ashtar: " I swear to Allah that the only reason I came to this Masjid was because of you. I saw how lost and ignorant you were so I came here to pray for you so that Allah might guide you to the right path, because you hurt people with no good reason. And no, I am not thinking the way to thought about me (meaning punishing him)." Questions: 1. Did you like the story? Why? 2. Read the last paragraph and comment on Malik Ashtar`s words. 3. Act this story out.

Story 8 A red rose and a cactus


One beautiful spring day a red rose blossomed in a forest. Many kinds of trees and plants grew there. As the red rose looked around, a pine tree nearby said, "What a beautiful flower. I wish I was that lovely." Another tree said, "Dear pine, do not be sad, we cannot have everything."

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The rose turned its head and remarked, "It seems that I am the most beautiful plant in this forest." A sunflower raised its yellow head and asked, "Why do you say that? In this forest there are many beautiful plants. You are just one of them." The red rose replied, "I see everyone looking at me and admiring me." Then the red rose looked at a cactus and said, "Look at that ugly plant full of thorns!" The pine tree said, "Red rose, what kind of talk is this? Who can say what beauty is? You have thorns too." The proud red rose looked angrily at the pine and said, "I thought you had good taste! You do not know what beauty is at all. You cannot compare my thorns to that of the cactus." "What a proud flower", thought the trees. The red rose tried to move its roots away from the cactus, but it could not move. As the days passed, the red rose would look at the cactus and say insulting things, like: This plant is useless? How sorry I am to be his neighbor. The cactus never got upset and he even tried to advise the rose, saying, "God did not create any form of life without a purpose." Spring passed, and the weather became very warm. Life became difficult in the forest, as the plants and animals needed water and no rain fell. The red rose began to wilt. One day the red rose saw sparrows stick their beaks into the cactus and then fly away, refreshed. This was puzzling, and the red rose asked the pine tree what the birds were doing. The pine tree explained that the birds got water from the cactus. "Does it not hurt when they make holes?" asked the red rose. "Yes, but the cactus does not like to see any birds suffer," replied the pine. The red rose opened its eyes in wonder and said, "The cactus has water?" "Yes, you can also drink from it. The sparrow can
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bring water to you if you ask the cactus for help." The red rose felt too ashamed of its past words and behavior to ask for water from the cactus, but then it finally did ask the cactus for help. The cactus kindly agreed and the birds filled their beaks with water and watered the rose's roots. Thus the red rose learned a lesson and never judged anyone by their appearance again. Questions: 1. Sometimes we judge people too quickly. This story illustrates how we should treat others. Was it useful for you? 2. Can you retell the story?

Story 9 World of smile


About ten years ago when I was an undergraduate in college, I was working as an intern at my University's Museum of Natural History. One day while working at the cash register in the gift shop, I saw an elderly couple come in with a little girl in a wheelchair. As I looked closer at this girl, I saw that she was kind of perched on her chair. I then realized she had no arms or legs, just a head, neck and torso. She was wearing a little white dress with red polka dots. As the couple wheeled her up to me I was looking down at the register. I turned my head toward the girl and gave her a wink. As I took the money from her grandparents, I looked back at the girl, who was giving me the cutest, largest smile I have ever seen. All of a sudden her handicap was gone and all I saw was this beautiful girl, whose smile just melted me and almost instantly gave me a completely new sense of what life is all about. She took me from a poor, unhappy college student and brought me into her world; a world of smiles, love and warmth.
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That was ten years ago. I'm a successful business person now and whenever I get down and think about the troubles of the world, I think about that little girl and the remarkable lesson about life that she taught me. Questions: 1. This is a very touching story, isnt it? What do you like most of all? 2. How do you understand the following words She took me from a poor, unhappy college student and brought me into her world; a world of smiles, love and warmth.? 3. How should Muslims accept difficulties of life?

Story 10 Be careful what you plant


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 after 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
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youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. 3 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. "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,
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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!" If you plant honesty, you will reap trust. If you plant goodness, you will reap friends. If you plant humility, you will reap greatness. If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory. If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony. If you plant hard work, you will reap success. If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation. If you plant openness, you will reap intimacy. If you plant patience, you will reap improvements. If you plant faith, you will reap miracles. But If you plant dishonesty, you will reap distrust. If you plant selfishness, you will reap loneliness. If you plant pride, you will reap destruction. If you plant envy, you will reap trouble. If you plant laziness, you will reap stagnation. If you plant bitterness, you will reap isolation. If you plant greed, you will reap loss. If you plant gossip, you will reap enemies. If you plant worries, you will reap wrinkles. If you plant sin, you will reap guilt. So be careful what you plant now, It will determine what you will reap tomorrow,
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The seeds you now scatter, Will make life worse or better, your life or the ones who will come after. Yes, someday, you will enjoy the fruits, or you will pay for the choices you plant today.

Questions: 1. What did you love most in the story? 2. What morals can we take from it? 3. There are some morals at the end of the story. Read, translate and comment on them.

Story 11 Trust in Allah I used to live in the vicinity of Mecca, may ALLAH the Exalted protect it, so one day I was stricken with severe hunger and I did not find anything to fight against this hunger. So I found a bag made from silk, tied with a tassel that was also made from silk, so I grabbed it and took it to my house. When I unfasten it I found in it a necklace made from pearl such that I had not seen the like of it before. So when I exited my house I saw an old man that was seeking this bag. With him was a torn rag containing five hundred dinar and he was saying, This is for the one who returns to me the bag containing the pearls. So I said, I am in need, I am hungry, so I will take this money and benefit from it and return to him the bag. So I said to him, Come to me, so I took him and brought him to my home. So he gave me the description of the bag, and the
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description of the tassel, and the description of the pearls along with their number, and the description of the thread that fasten it. So I removed it from the bag and gave it to him, so he gave me the five hundred dinar, but I did not take it. Then I said to him, It is incumbent upon me to return this to you and I will not take any reward for it. He said to me, You must take it, and he persisted in this, but I would not take it from him so he left me and went about his way. As for me, I didnt have anything so I left Mecca and began sailing in the sea. So the ship tore apart and everyone aboard it drowned and their wealth was destroyed. I was saved by holding onto a piece of the ship. So I remained for a time period in the sea not knowing where I was going. I then arrived at an island that was inhabited by people. I sat in some of the masjids and the people heard me reading, and there did not remain anyone on the island except that he came to me and said, Teach me the Koran, so I acquired from the people a lot of wealth. Then I saw in the masjid some paper from a Mushaf, so I took it and began to read it. They said to me, Do you have good handwriting? I said yes. So they said, Teach me handwriting. So they came to me with their children from amongst the small kids and the young men and I used to teach them. I acquired from this also, a lot of wealth. After this they said to me, We have a young orphan girl who has some things from the dunya, (worldly wealth) we would like for you to marry her. I refused, but they said, It is a must! And they made this incumbent upon me, so I agreed. After they married her to me, I turned my glance toward her and I found that exact same necklace hanging around her neck! At this time I did not busy myself with anything except staring at this necklace. So they said to me, Oh Sheik! You have broken this young orphan girls heart by looking at this necklace, and you have not even looked at her. So I relayed to them the story of the necklace. So they screamed and yelled out, There is no deity worthy
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of worship except ALLAH, ALLAHU AKBAR, until it reached everyone on the island. So I said, What is with you? They said, The old man that took the necklace from you is the father of this young girl. He used to say, I have not found in the dunya (world) a Muslim (what is meant here is a trustworthy, kindhearted, one who knows the rights of found property) except the one who returned to me this necklace. And he used to make dua (supplication) saying, Oh ALLAH, join me and him together so that I may marry him to my daughter, and now it has happened. So I remained with her for a time period and I was provided with two sons by her. Then she passed away, so I inherited the necklace, me and my two sons. Then my two sons died, therefore the necklace became mine. So I sold the necklace for one hundred thousand dinar, and the money that you see me with now is what is left over from that money.

Questions: 1. How do you understand the title of the story? 2. In your opinion how should a Muslim trust in Allah? 3. Retell the story.

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TASKS FOR PART V


1. Translate the following word combinations taken from the stories of Part V (two combinations from each story): , ; , ; , 3 ; -, ; , ; , ; , ; , ; , , ; , ; , , . 2. There are some important moments in each story. Translate the following sentences (taken from all 9 stories) and comment on them. 1. A fight took place between the two again but this time Satan had the upper hand and overpowered the worshipper. The latter was surprised at his own defeat, and asked the former the cause of his success. 2. Do you see the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars and the skies? Everything is set according to a plan. But you say it came into existence without a Creator. In other words you deny the existence of God. How far is your statement reasonable and justified? 3. The wise Scholar had answered all three of the tough questions by one slap. 4. When Queen Shireen saw all this, she thought it was better to hold her tongue and let the fisherman go with the 12000 dirham before the King decided to increase the amount again. 5. As a very famous saying goes, "Don't give them fish but teach them how to catch the fish." Lessons from Life: "We make a living by what we get; and we make a life by what we give." 6. A selfish act can backfire on you. 7. I swear to Allah that the only reason I came to this Masjid was because of you. I saw how lost and ignorant you were so I came here to pray for you so that Allah might guide you to the right path, because you hurt people with no good reason.
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And no, I am not thinking the way to thought about me (meaning punishing him)." 8. Thus the red rose learned a lesson and never judged anyone by their appearance again. 9. She took me from a poor, unhappy college student and brought me into her world; a world of smiles, love and warmth. I'm a successful business person now and whenever I get down and think about the troubles of the world, I think about that little girl and the remarkable lesson about life that she taught me. 10. Someday, you will enjoy the fruits, or you will pay for the choices you plant today. 11. I have not found in the dunya (world) a Muslim (what is meant here is a trustworthy, kindhearted, one who knows the rights of found property) except the one who returned to me this necklace. And he used to make dua (supplication) saying, Oh ALLAH, join me and him together so that I may marry him to my daughter, and now it has happened. 3. Choose one story from Part V, which you liked most of all. Retell it and say why it is your favourite story. 4. Act out any two stories from Part V. 5. Make a group discussion on the following topics (based on the indicated stories). 1. Trust in Allah (stories 1, 10 and 11) 2. How to act smart? (stories 4, 5, 8) 6. Analyzing all stories from Part V, say in general to what conclusions you have come. What lessons can be learnt from these stories? 7. Write a short essay taking any story from Part V and describe your feelings, emotions and attitude to facts that touched you most in the story. 8. Find in the Internet any other story from the category PEARLS OF WISDOM, so that your group mates could learn some positive lessons from it.

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PART VI

RAMADAN STORIES

Story 1 What are we going to do this Ramadan?


Laying down the book I looked up at Tessniem. "OK, so what are we going to do this Ramadan?" Her cheerful face lit up. "Paint the windows." Looking at my pretty white sheers I forced my head to nod. "OK, what else do we do during Ramadan?" Omar jumped off the couch "Not eat, ah, I mean fast." "That's right, we fast for a whole month," said Tessniem, gently wrapping her arms around her chest and hugging herself. "I love Ramadan, it's fun." Omar said, "Yea, it's great, we get to choose whatever we want to break our fast with." I could tell by his eyes that he was remembering steaming corn dogs out of the oven dipped in ketchup with a glass of chocolate milk. "And what makes that food taste so especially good?" I asked sitting upon the couch. Omar raised his hand high into the air like he was in class. "I know, I know," he screamed. "Omar you can put your hand down, we aren't in class now." Omar lowered his arm and smiled "because we are doing it for Allah and when we eat we remember Allah." Tessniem jumped in, "and the poor people who don't have any food like the ones in Somailia and Ba" Omar turned to her, "you mean Bosnia." Tessniem looked up at Omar, "yea Bas, that place Omar said." Omar's head lowered and his mouth's edges dipped down. Taking his hand. he asked: "What's wrong Omar?" "I just remember the stories about the Bosnians eating grass because there was
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nothing to eat during the war." Breathing deep, "yea, there is a lot to be thankful for." Tessniem walked up to me with her shoulder raised close to her ears. "Remember that picture of the Somali baby on the ground and the vulture waiting for him to die?" I needed not even have to think back, the picture is forever seared in my memory. Placing my arms around Tessniem, I brought her close to me on the couch. Omar scooted over to me and hugged my other arm. Looking at the floor he leaned his cheek against my arm. "Mama?" he whispered. I made a soft hm to let him know I was listening. "Can we send them some money so they can buy food?" Sitting up I smiled, "Yes, every year we give them Zakat." Rubbing his eyes I could see his wheels spinning in his brain, got up and ran to his bedroom. I thought for a minute he was going off to cry. I could hear the closet door open and the sound of jingling down the hallway. He quickly turned the corner and stopped abruptly in front of me holding out a plastic spice container filled with paper riyals and change. With his face solemn he moved it closer to me so I could take it from him. "Omar, what do you want me to do with it?" With puzzled expression he looked at me like I was seriously confused. "Mom... It's for the poor people, who don't have any food." Taking the plastic container, I started slowly unscrewing the red lid. "And how much do you want to give to them?" Omar scrunched up his face and held out his right hand upward as if to say "you still don't get it?" He sighed heavily and took the container and dumped it onto my lap. "All of it Mom!" I thought I should get into the concept of percentages for Zakat, but it just didn't seem appropriate. Looking down on my lap, I knew he had been saving his money for a
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Spiderman at Wonder World. I was getting ready to tell him about the reward from Allah when Tessniem appeared in the living room with her spice container bank. Smiling she untwisted the red lid and dumped the money on my lap too. Too touched for words I hugged them. Looking at the money, Tessniem laid her hand on her cheek thinking. Softly she whispered, "Maybe it will buy enough food for that little boy so he can get up and the vulture won't eat him!" Of course the most logical thing to tell her is that the picture was taken over two years ago and most probably the child never got up and was never buried. But only Allah knows what happened, and this little girl needed to know that by the mercy she receives from Allah there was still hope.

Questions: 1. What touched you most in this story? 2. Do you agree with Mother`s methods of bringing up her children? Why? 3. Can you retell the story?

Story 2 A wonderful Ramadan Eid


It was the day of celebration and a day of rejoicing. There was an air of festivity in the streets of Madina. All the people, both young and old were dressed in their best clothes, especially for this special day of Ramadan Eid. As it was time for early morning Ramadan Eid prayers everyone made their way to an open piece of land on the outskirts of the city of Madina.
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Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) arrived and led the prayers. After they had finished they all greeted each other and everyone was walking back home. The children running and playing in excitement, smiling and laughing, without a care in the world. As Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) walked back home, he suddenly became aware of a little boy (Zuhair Bin Saghir) sitting by himself on the side of the path. The little boy was crying and looked very sad. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) bent down and patted him on the shoulders and asked 'why are you crying?' 'Please leave me alone' sobbed the little boy. The boy didn't even see who was talking to him. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ran his fingers through the boy's hair and very gently and kindly asked him again why he was crying. This time the boy said, 'My father was martyred fighting, and now my mother has married again and my stepfather does not want me to live at home any more. Today is Ramadan Eid and everyone is happy. All the children have new clothes and nice things to eat, but I don't have any clothes except what I am wearing. I have no food and I don't even have a place to live. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said to him, 'I know how you feel, I lost both my mother and father when I was a little boy.' The boy was surprised to hear that it was an orphan who was comforting him, and when he looked up to his great surprise it was the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and he immediately jumped up to his feet out of love and respect. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said to him 'If I were to become your new father and my wife you new mother, and my daughter your new sister, would that make you feel better?' 'Oh yes, that would be the best thing in the world!' The boy started smiling. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) took him home and gave him new clothes and good food on this beautiful day of Ramadan Eid. The boy indeed had a wonderful Ramadhan Eid that day.
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Moral: We should think of others that are less fortunate than ourselves on this beautiful day of Ramadan Eid. Not everyone has such a wonderful day. It is a day of celebration, but take a moment to stop and think of those who are less fortunate than ourselves by following the Sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Fasting teaches you many things. It helps you become a better Muslim. It's not easy! You feel hungry, thirsty, sleepy and so on. But these are seeds you plant in the Garden of Ramadan. You will harvest the beautiful tasty fruits of Jannah. Tasks: 1. This is a very touching story, isn`t it? Say what you liked most in it. 2. Comment on the moral at the end of the story. 3. Retell it.

Story 3 Why do we fast?


"But, Mum, I do not want to eat. I am a big boy and I can fast," Thabit told his mother. "But you are fasting, Thabit. 7-year-old children eat in the morning and a little in the afternoon and then they don't eat anything else till evening." "But you do not fast like that, Mum," the little boy insisted. "I am older, Thabit. Grown-ups fast that way." The young gentleman sat deep in thought and then asked, "Mum, why do we fast?" "That's a good question, Thabit." She got up and went to the kitchen cupboard. She removed something from it. "Do you know what this is, Thabit?" "It's a blender."
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"Do you know what it is supposed to do?" "It blends fruit for juice." His mother laughed. "Yes, it does blend. Our body does the same thing. It grinds the food we eat; it takes what it needs and removes the rest. It does this every day, day in day out." "Doesn't the body get tired, Mum?" "It does. Just like the blender. When we have blended juice for too long, it refuses to work. Then it needs fixing. So we have to give our body a rest so it can work better for us. That's why we fast in Ramadan and some other days in the year." "Does everybody fast, Mummy?" "Not everybody. If you are ill or expecting a baby or if you are old and weak like Daddy's grandpa or if you are 7 years old then you don't fast. The little boy thought some more. He ate the food his mother had set before him without much fuss. "What if you don't want to fast?" "What is your sister Nur's favorite color?" "Pink". "And what is the color of her uniform for Madrassa (School)?" "Blue". But she says she'd like to wear her pink hijab when she goes." "And why doesn't she?" "She is afraid Ustaadh (Teacher) will punish her." "You see, she was afraid Ustaadh would punish her. Ustaadh will punish her because she has broken the rule of the madrassa by wearing pink. You see, Thabit, Allah knows what is good for us and so we have to do as He commands, because He sees and knows everything. We love Him and fear Him and we don't want Him to be displeased with us." "But don't you get hungry, Mum?" "Of course we do. But we keep ourselves busy on other important things to take our mind away from the food. We read the Qur'an, or we visit the sick people or we go to the mosque and listen to imam. You see there's plenty to do and before you know it, it's time to eat!" "Is there another reason why Muslims fast?"
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"Yes. You are lucky, Thabit, because you have food every day. Not everyone has food to eat." "Like the poor people at Baroda Road?" "Yes, like them. If we go hungry like them, we will be able to understand that they need help." The little boy seemed satisfied with the answers, his mother had given him. "Mum, can I go with you and Daddy to help the poor?" "By the Grace of Allah, you can." Questions: 1. What do you think of Mother`s attitude to her son? How does she treat him? 2. What useful lessons have you received from the story? 3. Make up your own story connected with Ramadan.

Story 4 The sweetest sound


This story comes from Persia, an area now known as the countries of Afghanistan and Iran. Once there was a King of Persia who liked to ask riddles. He particularly liked to ask his four advisors riddles. Sometimes the King knew the answer. Other times he didnt. The King asked those riddles to hear what his advisors would say. One day, just before the beginning of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, the King of Persia asked his four advisors, "What is the sweetest sound?" The first advisor immediately said, "Oh, your Majesty, that is such a simple riddle. The sweetest sound is the sound of a flute." The second advisor disagreed. "Yes, the sound of a flute is sweet. But the sweetest sound is the sound of a harp." The third advisor shook his head and declared, "The flute and the harp do make sweet sounds. However, I have heard a violin. And that is, by far, the sweetest
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sound." The King looked at his fourth advisor who merely smiled. The King nodded at him, saying, "Hmm, it looks as if my fourth advisor is not yet ready to give his answer. I will wait until he is ready." Days passed. The month of Ramadan started. The King of Persia stopped asking riddles and spent more time in prayer, as is the custom during Ramadan. You see, during the month of Ramadan, all Muslim adults refrained from eating and drinking between daybreak and sunset. This fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The fasting serves many purposes. First, the time and energy normally spent preparing food and eating can be spent contemplating and praying. Second, the fasting reminds people of the poor and how it feels to be hungry. Charity is another of the Five Pillars of Islam. Third, fasting helps teach people self-control. If they can avoid things which are good for them, think of how much easier it will be to avoid things which are bad for them. After sunset each day, the fast is broken by a meal, called the Iftar. Often people invite friends over for the Iftar. So it was not unusual when the fourth advisor invited the King and the other three advisors over for the Iftar one evening. When the King and the three other advisors arrived, they were quite surprised. The fourth advisor ushered them into the dining room, but there were no platters of food on the table, just empty plates and silverware. Nor could they smell any cooking smells from the kitchen. They looked at each other questioningly. Just then, a man came in playing the flute. It was a sweet sound. He was followed by a man playing the harp, then by another playing the violin. Finally, the three musicians played together, beautiful, intricate music, which was also somewhat loud. That was just as well, because all their stomachs were growling. Finally, one of the lesser kitchen servants came in, carrying a simple pot and a
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ladle. As the ladle, brimming with stew, hit the first plate, the King smiled broadly and said, "Yes, yes, my fourth advisor. You are right. The sweetest sound is the sound of silverware hitting a plate when you are hungry. As the proverb says, the most delicious meal is the meal that you eat when you are hungry." Questions: 1. Please share your emotions while reading the story. Do you find anything amusing here? 2. Comment on the fourth advisor`s actions. What do you think of the man? 3. There is a moral at the end of the story. What useful meaning can be taken from it?

Story 5 Mysterious helping hands Iram, and her brother, Ahmad, were excited about the upcoming days. It was Ramadan, a time to learn appreciation for the things they had, and to think of others who didn't have as much. They had both been saving their money all year long. Iram, who was seven years old, sat on her bed and dumped out her money jar. Coins ran all over the blanket. "This is a lot of money. Momma says we are supposed to help someone. She wants us to think about how much we have and then think of someone who doesn't have very much, and do something nice for them," Iram said, gathering the money into a pile. "Dump out your jar, Ahmad," she told her brother. The coins came spilling out of his jar onto the bed. "Wow! We can do a lot for someone with all this money," Ahmad said, smiling. "This is such a special time of year. I'm glad we can help others." "But we have to do it secretly, Ahmad, remember. We have to pick someone and do something very nice without them knowing it is from us. Who should we pick?" Iram asked.
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"Let's pick our neighbors, Rashid, and Fatima. I noticed that they had holes in their shoes," Ahmad said. "That's a good idea. We could buy some new shoes for them. They aren't as blessed as we are. We have a lot of shoes, don't we?" Iram asked with appreciation. "I have three pair. You have more. Let's buy some new shoes for them this Ramadan," Ahmad said, smiling. Iram and Ahmad found their mother. She was busy washing some dates. She saw her children come into the kitchen. "I'm going to make some baklawa for tonight," she said, knowing her family loved to eat that during Ramadan. "Your father is at the mosque, in prayer. When he comes home, after the sun sets, we'll have some. In the meantime, you two look like you've got something on your minds." "We want to help the poor. Ahmad and I have been saving our money all year long and we want to help Rashid and Fatima, our neighbors," Iram began. Ahmad, with excitement, interrupted, "We want to buy them some shoes." Momma smiled at her beautiful children. She was so proud of them. "Aren't you hungry, Mommy?" Ahmad asked. He knew she had not had anything to eat or drink since dawn that morning due to Ramadan fasting. "I'm a little bit, but that is good for me. Don't worry about me. When you're older, you will understand more and be able to fast too," she explained. "Would you like me to take you to the store to buy the shoes?" she asked. "Would you, Mommy? Is that all right?" Iram begged. "Why of course. Let's go," she said. They walked to the shoe store and went inside. Iram picked out a pair of shoes for Fatima. Ahmad picked out a pair for Rashid. They were both so proud that they'd saved their money so they could do this to help. Later, they went home and wrapped the shoe boxes in plain brown paper. They waited anxiously for night to come. It would be dark and they could deliver their gifts. The sun began to drop behind the horizon. A little while later, the father came
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home. He and mother had some lentil soup, then tomato and cucumber sandwiches. Momma called to her children, "Iram. Ahmad. Come and have some baklawa, and some fresh dates." The children came running into the kitchen. Mother cut them a big piece. They gobbled it down quickly as they were anxious to do their good deed. "Slow down, children," the father urged, laughing. It was soon dark outside. Mother had the children go and get the boxes they'd wrapped so carefully. They put their coats on and walked quietly over to Rashid and Fatima's house. Mother whispered, "All right, children. We must be very quiet and very fast. Ahmad, you knock on the door and then run over here, to this bush, where Iram and I will be hiding. We'll watch as they come and find their gifts." Iram and Ahmad giggled with delight. Iram and mother hid, and Ahmad tiptoed up to the door. He put both of the boxes down on the porch, and knocked hard. Then he ran, and ran, and ran, as fast as he could, to where Iram and mother were. "Shhh," mother whispered. "Someone opened the door." They watched as Rashid and Fatima came out onto the porch. "Look! There are presents for us. Someone left them here," Rashid cried out with excitement. He and Fatima looked around. It was very dark and they couldn't see anyone. They picked up the boxes and took them inside. After a minute or two, waiting to make sure they wouldn't be seen, mother, Ahmad, and Iram, snuck quietly back to their house. Ahmad started laughing. "Father! We did it! We snuck up and left the presents!" Iram added, "They didn't see us, Daddy. They don't know it was us." She was laughing too. The parents stood back and looked at their children. They were so proud of them. They knew their children knew the real meaning of giving and of sacrifice.
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The next morning, as the parents, Iram, and Ahmad went to their car to drive into town, they saw Rashid and Fatima outside playing. They were both wearing their brand new shoes. Nobody said a thing. Iram and Ahmad just smiled, because it is one of the best Ramadan for them.

Questions: 1. What lessons can be learnt from the story? Please, explain the title of the story. 2. What did you like most here? 3. Act the story out.

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TASKS FOR PART VI


1. Translate the following word combinations taken from the stories of Part VI (two combinations from each story): , ; , , ; , , ; , ; , . 2. There are some important moments in each story. Translate the following sentences and comment on them. 1. Of course the most logical thing to tell her is that the picture was taken over two years ago and most probably the child never got up and was never buried. But only Allah knows what happened, and this little girl needed to know that by the mercy she receives from Allah there was still hope. 2. Fasting teaches you many things. It helps you become a better Muslim. It's not easy! You feel hungry, thirsty, sleepy and so on. But these are seeds you plant in the Garden of Ramadan. You will harvest the beautiful tasty fruits of Jannah. 3. Allah knows what is good for us and so we have to do as He commands, because He sees and knows everything. We love Him and fear Him and we don't want Him to be displeased with us. 4. The sweetest sound is the sound of silverware hitting a plate when you are hungry. As the proverb says, the most delicious meal is the meal that you eat when you are hungry. 5. The parents stood back and looked at their children. They were so proud of them. They knew their children knew the real meaning of giving and of sacrifice. 3. Choose one story from Part VI, which you liked most of all. Retell it and say why it is your favourite story. 4. Act out any two stories from Part VI. 5. Make a group discussion on the following topic.

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Why is the month of Ramadan so important for Muslims? 6. Analyzing all stories from Part VI, say in general to what conclusions you have come. What lessons can be learnt from these stories? 7. Write a short essay taking any story from Part VI and describe your feelings, emotions and attitude to facts that touched you most in the story. 8. Find in the Internet any other story from the category Ramadan Stories, so that your group mates could learn some positive lessons from it.

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Vocabulary
A abruptly

acknowledge

accompany acceptance admit adorn advisor angle

anonymous anticipate

annoyance anxiously announce appreciate

apologize a piece of junk argue

area , astonishment

ascend assemble assume availability


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B backfire battle

beak bearer

beggar benefit be satisfied betrayal booming , brethren burden

caution calculate cemetery clarify coin complain concern collision contentment complicated confidante
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conduct content with -

confidence conviction contemplate create creek crochet crowd curse

D dates damage demand , decay devastated delightful determine delighted descent delicious delicate defeated destruction
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dignity disgusting disclose dispute disappointment dumbfounded

E earn a livelihood effortless enthusiastic environment

endure , exaggerated

exceptional expectation exclaim

F feed

festivity firewood flame foe forbidden


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frightened free fulfillment

G generous glory grain greedy grocery

H haste harsh humble

I irritated infuriating injure impulsively intolerable insurmountable ignore incite


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inquire isolate insist incumbent

J joyous

L lament lavish ,

M malnutrition majestic martyr , memorable merchant merciful misbehavior mysterious

N neglected , noble
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O occasion offspring overpower

P palm tree perplexed pious possession permit predetermined predicament proceed provision pursuit

Q quarrel ,

R reach repugnant rebuke


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rescue , ripe reduce recite reap residence recover retort remarkable reconciliation riddle

S sacrifice , satisfaction set free sensual selfish settlement shameful

skinny slaughter sow solve sorrow


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sob soak stagnation stir stoop strengthen sufficient superiority sustenance submit suspicious suffer substitute

T tassel tiptoe thorn

U unfairly unscrew unworthy ultimately utter


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V virtuous vulture

W wheelchair whimpering worship ,

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Literature
1. A Marriage Proposal by Samira Hingoro 2. Children of Faith by Soumy Ana 3. Faith Is Your Best Friend by Soumy Ana 4. How to Tell Others About Islam, by Yahiya Emerick 5. I Can Color My Muslim World, by Yahiya Emerick 6. Jannahs Story by Nazaahah A. Amin 7. Many Voices, One Faith II Islamic Fiction Stories, Authors: Islamic Writers Alliance 8. Secrets of a Muslim Heart, by Tazmin Mahomed 9. Short Islamic Stories by Corey Habbas 10. The Amana Reading Series and Invincible Abdullah Series and the American Family Series by Uthman Hutchinson 11. The Muslim Womans Handbook by Huda Khattab 12. The Perfect Gift by J. Samia Mair
13.

What Islam is All About (guide to Islam) by Yahiya Emerick

Web-sites

1. www.islamcan.com 2. www.ummah.com 3. www.ezsoftech.com 4. www.muhajabah.com 5. www.islamicboard.com

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(Islamic Stories)

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