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Abdullah ibn Abbas

Abdullah was the son of Abbas, an uncle of the blessed Prophet. He was born three years before the Hijrah. When the Prophet died, he was thirteen years old.

When he was born, his mother took him to the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). The Prophet put a drop of his saliva on the babys tongue. So the first thing that went into his stomach was the blessed and pure saliva of the Prophet.

At the age of seven, Abdullah began serving Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). He carried water for the Prophets wudu. During salah he stood behind the Prophet. On journeys Abdullah followed behind him. He was like the Prophets shadow.

Abdullah was attentive and alert to whatever the Prophet did and said. He became one of the most learned of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam)s companions. He memorized around one thousand six hundred and sixty sayings of the Prophet!.

One day, the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) patted him on the shoulder and prayed,

"O Lord, make him acquire a deep understanding of Islam. Instruct him in the meaning and interpretation of things".

Abdullah told this story about his time spent with the Prophet:

Once the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) wanted to perform wudu. I hurried and prepared water for him. He was pleased with me. He was beginning salah, and he told me to stand beside him. I stood behind him.

After salah he turned to me and said, 'Abdullah, why didnt you stand at my side?'

I said, You are too great in my eyes for me to stand beside you.

The Prophet raised his hands to heaven and prayed, O Lord, grant him

wisdom.

During the lifetime of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam), Abdullah did not miss any of his meetings. He memorized whatever the Prophet said. After the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam)s death he visited as many

companions as possible. He learned from them what Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had taught. Whenever he heard that someone knew a hadith, Abdullah went quickly to them and recorded it.

Once he heard about a hadith that he didnt know. Abdullah went to the companions house. He waited for the man to wake up from his afternoon nap. When the companion came out and saw Abdullah he said, "Cousin of the Prophet, why didnt you call me? I would have come to your house".

Abdullah replied, "Its better for me to come. One must go to the foot of

knowledge. Knowledge doesnt come to ones foot."

Abdullah had great admiration for learned men like Zaid bin Thabit (radiAllahu anhu). Zaid was a recorder of revelation, a judge and a man of great knowledge. He was an expert on the laws of inheritance.

One day Zaid was setting off on a trip. Abdullah stood at his side and held the reins like a servant. Zaid said, "Cousin of the Prophet, dont do that".

Abdullah replied, "This is how we should treat learned men".

"Show me your hand," Zaid said to Abdullah. Abdullah stretched out his hand. Zaid took his hand and kissed it.

"This is how we should treat members of the Prophets family".

People had nothing but praise for Abdullah. Masruk bin Ajda said about Abdullah:

"When I saw him, he was the most handsome of men. When I heard him, he was the most eloquent of men. When I listened to him, he was the most knowledgeable of men".

Umar ibn Al-Khattab (radiAllahu anhu) often asked his advice on important matters of state. He described Abdullah as a mature young man.

Abu Waqqas said," I have never seen anyone quicker in understanding, more knowledgeable or wiser than Abdullah".

Abdullah educated the Muslim community. His house was like a university, but with only one teacher. This is how one of Abdullahs companions described the scene in front of his house like this:

"I saw people waiting on the roads leading to his house. The roads were very crowded. I went into his house to tell him about the waiting people. Abdullah asked me to bring him water for wudu. He made wudu and sat down.

Then he said, "Go out and tell whoever wants to ask about the Quran and its letters to come in." I did this. People entered until the house was full. He answered all their questions and gave some more information. Those people left.

Then he said to me, "Tell whoever wants to learn about the Quran and its interpretation to enter." I did as he said. Again the house was full of people. He answered their questions and passed on his knowledge. This continued all day long. Abdullah answered questions about Islamic law, halal and haram, inheritance laws, the Arabic language and poetry.

The crowds continued to gather in front of Abdullahs house. He decided to discuss a different subject each day. He spoke about the Quran, law, battles of the Prophet, poetry and Arab history all on different days. His explanations were clear, precise and logical".

During the caliphate of Ali ibn Abu Talib (radiAllahu anhu) there was a problem between Ali and Mu'awiya. A group of supporters left Ali. Abdullah went to Ali (radiAllahu anhu) and asked for permission to speak to them. At first Ali was afraid they would harm Abdullah. But finally he gave permission.

Abdullah went to the group. Some didnt want to listen to him. But others did. "Tell me", said Abdullah, "why are you angry with the cousin of the

Prophet, the husband of the Prophets daughter and one of the first Muslims?"

"For three reasons", they replied.

"What are they?" asked Abdullah.

"First, he appointed men as judges in Gods religion", they said. "Second, he fought with A'isha and Mu'awiya but he didnt take booty or prisoners of war. Third, he did not use the title of Commander of the Believers even though Muslims made him commander".

Abdullah asked them, "If I prove that Ali is right from the Quran and hadiths, will you change your minds?"

"Yes, we will", they said.

"Lets look at your first complaint. Ali has appointed men as judges in Gods religion. God says in the Quran:

O you who believe! Do not kill game while you are dressed as a pilgrim. If any of you do so on purpose, you must sacrifice a similar animal as judged by two just men.

Now answer me. Which is more important? The life of a rabbit or the lives

of Muslims?"

"You are right", they said. "The lives of Muslims are more important".

Abdullah went on. "You say Ali fought and did not take prisoners of war. Do you really want to take your mother A'isha as a prisoner of war? If your answer is yes, then you have fallen into disbelief. If you say that she is not your mother, you have also fallen into disbelief. God says in the Quran:

The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves. His wives are their mothers.

Have we finished with this point?"

"Yes", they said.

"Thirdly, you say Ali didnt use the title Commander of the Believers. Remember, at the truce of Hudaybiah the Prophet wanted the pagans to write this is what the Messenger of God agreed to. But the pagans refused. They didnt believe Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was Gods Messenger. The Prophet said, Even if you dont believe it, I am the Messenger of God. Then he agreed not to write it in the truce. Have we finished with this point, too?" "Yes", they said. Then because of Abdullahs great knowledge and good arguments, two thousand men returned to Ali. Four thousand men still refused.

Abdullah preferred peace over war and logic over violence. He was also very generous and hospitable. Others said about him, 'We have not seen a house which has more food, drink or knowledge than the house of Abdullah bin Abbas'.

Abdullah once said, "When I hear of a Muslim ruler who deals fairly, I am happy for him and I pray for him". He also said, When I hear of rains that fall on Muslim lands, I am filled with happiness".

Abdullah fasted regularly and often spent the night in prayer. He cried when he prayed and read the Quran. When Abdullah read verses about death and the next life, he wept.

Abdullah passed away at the age of seventy in the city of Taif.

RadiAllahu anhu.

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Ali's Sacrifice

"There! I found the moon," exclaimed six year old Ali to his father.

"Where?" asked Alis ten year old brother, Abdullah.

"See that big tree? Its right next to it," replied Ali.

The boys were trying to sight the new moon for the beginning of the Islamic month of Dhul-hijjah. Eid would be ten days from the day they saw the new moon.

"Oh, I see it now," said Abdullah.

"Daddy, can we go tomorrow to buy a goat?" asked Ali.

"Sure, well go tomorrow after the Zuhr prayer," replied their father.

The next day, all of the boys got in to the car with their father. They were going to the neighboring hills to buy a goat to slaughter on the day of Eid in commemoration of what Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (alayhis salam) did.

"Were going to bring the goat home this time," said their father, "so you will have to take care of it and feed it. You can also play with it."

"Yahoo! Ill take care of it," said Ali, "Ill even teach it tricks!"

The boys and their father finally found a goat and took it home. The next day, Ali woke up early long before the time he used to wake up. He washed and dressed, then went outside to play with the goat. His brothers Usman and Abdullah were already outside playing with the goat.

"Assalamu alaikum," they said together. "Wa-alaikum assalam," replied Ali.

"We have decided that we will take turns to feed the goat. Everyone will take care of the goat for one day. You can be the first one to feed him," said Abdullah.

"Okay," said Ali, "where is the food?"

"Right here," replied Abdullah, pointing to the food hidden in a corner.

"Make sure, you give him enough water and hay," said Usman.

Ali then called the goat. The goat came to him obediently and ate the food. Then he drank a little water.

The boys kept on taking turns until the Eid day. Many times they took it for walks around their neighborhood. One time, as Abdullah was getting out of his house to go for the Maghrib prayer, the goat followed him. Abdullah then had to force the goat back into the backyard, which the goat resisted very much. The boys started liking the goat very much.

After the Eid prayer, on the Eid day, the family returned home. It was time to slaughter the goat. "D-d-daddy, why are you going to k-k-kill the goat?" asked Ali, who was nearly crying, as his father sharpened his knife.

"We have to kill him, because Allah has ordered us to," came the reply, "Every Eid-ul-Adha, Muslims all over the world, who can afford, slaughter a goat, sheep, lamb, cow, or camel. Prophet Ibrahim, alayhi salam, was ordered by Allah to slaughter his son as a test. He was about to do that because it was Allahs order, but then Allah provided him with a ram to slaughter, and Ibrahim, alayhi salam, slaughtered that. As a commemoration of that great sacrifice, Muslims are asked to slaughter an animal. You will also be slaughtering an animal when you grow up."

Ali did not reply but rather watched his father as he slaughtered the goat. Then he ran into the house, because he could not stand watching the goat die.

Abdullah went after him and explained everything to him again that his

father had said before. Ali finally understood, but he still seemed sad.

The boys then helped their father in doing the rest of the work. As he kept thinking about it, Ali realized he had just learned the word "sacrifice" now:

you give up something you love for a higher purpose. He had become happy now because he knew they had killed the goat because Allah had commanded them to do so. Then he skipped into his house and started helping his mother clear up the meat.

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Ali becomes 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 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!", though 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 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 had finished his prayer, Ali asked him what he had been doing. Muhamad (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 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 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."

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Allah Knows Everything

Mr Hasan had three sons: Faruq, Abdullah and Qasim. He loved them very much. He wanted to see them grow up as good Muslims. Mr Hasan himself was a good Muslim. He did his best to obey all commands of Allah. One day, Mr Hasan thought to test his sons. He gave each of them some sweets and said, "Eat the sweets in such a place where no one can see you, and when you have done so, come back to me." Faruq took the sweets and went to his room. He shut the door from the inside and ate the sweets thinking that no one could see him there. Abdullah went to the cellar of the house and he was sure that nobody was there. He ate the sweets in the darkness of the cellar. Qasim thought and thought about a place where he could eat the sweets without anyone seeing him. He could think of no such place. Every time he thought about a place, he remembered that Allah could see him, and he did not eat the sweets. Faruq and Abdullah came back and told Mr Hasan about what they did. Qasim came and returned the sweets to his father saying, "There is no place which is secret from Allah, and so I did not eat the sweets." Mr Hasan was very pleased with Qasim. he told Faruq and Abdullah to learn a lesson from their brother Qasim. Mr Hasan also said, "My dear sons, always keep in mind that Allah knows everything and He sees everything. He is with us all the time. So we should not do anything bad, even in secret - because Allah Knows."
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The Story of Alqamah

At the time of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam), there was a young man named Alqamah. He was very diligent in obeying Allah by engaging in prayer and fasting and spending in charity.

Then one day, he fell ill and his illness became serious. His wife went to the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and said, "My husband, Alqamah, is on his deathbed. I therefore came to tell you, Messenger of Allah, about his condition."

The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) (then) sent for Ammar or Suhaib and Bilal (radiAllahu anhum), and told them to go to him (Alqamah) and have him repeat the Shahadah. Thereupon they went to him and found him in the agony of death. They asked him to say, "La illaha illa Allah," but his tongue was unable to pronounce it. At that, they came and told the Messenger of Allah that he was unable to repeat the Shahadah.

The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) asked, "Is either of his parents alive?"

He was told, "Messenger of Allah, his mother is, but she is very old." The

Prophet sent her a message that if it was convenient for her (that is, is she was able to go out), she should come to him; otherwise she should stay in her house and the Prophet would come to her.

The Prophet's messenger came to her and informed her of the Prophet's message.

She said, "May my life be a ransom for him, it is my pleasure to go to him!"

She then stood up, leaning on her walking stick, and came to the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and greeted him. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) returned her greeting and said to her, "Umm Alqamah, tell me the truth, for otherwise Allah Most High will reveal the truth to me! What is the situation concerning your son, Alqamah?"

She replied, "Messenger of Allah, he prays much, fasts a great deal, and spends a great amount in charity."

"And what about yourself?," asked the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam)

"Messenger of Allah, I am angry with him," she said

"Why?," asked the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam)

"Messenger of Allah, he has preferred his wife to me and has disobeyed me." Then Allah's Messenger said, "Umm Alqamah, surely your anger has

prevented Alqamah's tongue from pronouncing the Shahadah."

He then turned to Bilal and said, "Bilal, go out and collect a quantity of firewood." "Messenger of Allah, what do you plan to do?, asked Umm Alqamah

He replied, "I will burn him in front of your eyes."

"Messenger of Allah, he is my son! My heart cannot bear your burning him in front of me!," exclaimed Umm Alqamah "Umm Alqamah, Allah's punishment is more severe and more lasting! Therefore, if you want Allah to forgive him, be reconciled to him. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, the prayer, fasting, and spending in charity (which he has done) are of no benefit to Alqamah as long as you are angry with him!," replied the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam).

Thereupon she said, "Messenger of Allah, I call upon Allah Most High and His angels and the Muslims who are present to be my witnesses that I am pleased with my son Alqamah."

Allah's Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, "Bilal, go to him and see whether he is now able to say, "La illaha illa Allah" or not. It may be that Umm Alqamah is saying something for my sake which is not in her heart."

Thereupon Bilal went, and while entering the door he heard Alqamah saying, "La illaha illa Allah." (Concerning this), Bilal remarked, "It is surely true that

while Alqamah's mother was angry with him his tongue was tied, and now that she is pleased with him his tongue is freed."

Alqamah died the same day. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) came to him and gave the order for his washing and shrouding, and then prayed the funeral prayer for him and buried him.

He then stood by the side of his grave and said, "You company of Muhajireen and Helpers, if anyone favors his wife over his mother, Allah and His angels and all the people curse him! Allah does not accept his spending (in charity) and his uprightness unless he repents toward Allah, the Glorious and Majestic, and reconciles with her and attains her pleasure, because Allah's pleasure consists in her pleasure and Allah's anger consists in her anger."

Source: Reported in Tabarani and Ahmed.

We must always be good, respectful and obedient to our parents.

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The Angry Woman

It was the month of Ramadan, when all good Muslims were trying very hard to keep the fast. This meant that they did not eat anything during the hours of daylight. From sunrise to sunset no food or drink must pass their lips, they should be good and try and read more Qur'an, and become better Muslims.

Fasting is difficult, especially when it is a hot day. It was on such a hot day that Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) sat down to rest. He had not eaten since it was dark, and the sun was now high in the sky. He wanted a few moments of peace.

Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had only been sitting down for a few moments when the peace was broken.

Someone was shouting loudly, just a little way down the street. A woman was obviously very angry. Her voice was loud, and the angrier she became the louder and shriller her shouting became. Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) decided to investigate.

As he came closer, he saw one of the richest women in the town, berating a servant for something he should have done, but had not. She was furious! Her face was red, she was shaking her fist, and it seemed as if she was fit to burst.

The servant was standing uncomfortably, his head bowed low, not daring to move or reply. The woman was so busy with her anger that at first she did not notice Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) standing beside her.

Slowly she became aware that someone was standing beside her. She turned, saw that it was the Prophet Muhammad, and calmed down a little. Why dont you go indoors, and have something to eat?

The woman was shocked. She did not know what to say. She always kept the fast. She wondered if Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) realised what he was saying. But I always keep the fast, she said. I have not eaten anything today.

The prophet spoke quietly. If you were keeping the fast properly, he said, you would be kind to others. You would be trying hard to do Allahs will. Getting angry with your servant is as bad as eating during the fast. You might as well go and eat.

Based on a hadith, teaching: One of the Pillars of Islam, fasting & what

breaks the fast, kindness, treatment of others, adab and tarbiyyah.

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Jahangir was one of the Mughal Emperors of India, ruling from 1605-1627.

King Jahangir and the baby

Jahangir was a wise and fair king. He was well loved by the people in his kingdom. Everyone knew that Jahangir would listen to their problems, no matter how small.

Outside his palace there was a special bell, with a great, thick rope. Anyone who wanted to talk to the king could simply come to the palace and pull on the rope. Jahangir would hear the bell, and come to listen.

One fine sunny day two women arrived at the palace. They wanted the kings wise advice, so they pulled on the bell. Neither woman looked very happy. One of them was carrying a small child. The other women was crying. Both told King Jahangir that the baby belonged to them.

The women stood before the king, hoping he would make a decision. But the king could not make a decision straight away. Either woman might be the babys mother. Both of them looked very upset.

King Jahangir thought for a while. Then he sent a servant to bring a sharp knife. I will settle the problem. I shall cut the baby into two pieces. Then you can have exactly half each.

One of the women began to cry and sob. She came and knelt before the king. Please do not cut my baby in half. Give him to the other woman, only do not harm him.

The King now knew the answer to his problem. He said to the woman who was kneeling, It is easy to see that you are the babys mother. Here, take your baby. Keep him safe.

Key Ideas: Love of mothers to their children, wisdom, sacrifice

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Bad Habits

Once a man came to the prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and said, "Oh prophet of Allah, I have many bad habits. Which one of them should I give up first?" The prophet said, "Give up telling lies first and always speak the truth." The man promised to do so and went home.

At night the man was about to go out to steal. Before setting out, he thought for a moment about the promise he made with the prophet. "If tomorrow the prophet asks me where have I been, what shall I say? Shall I say that I went out stealing? No, I cannot say that. But nor can I lie. If I tell the truth, everyone will start hating me and call me a thief. I would be punished for stealing."

So the man decided not to steal that night, and gave up this bad habit.

Next day, he felt like drinking wine, when he was about to do so, he said to himself, "What shall I say to the prophet if he asks me what did I do during the day? I cannot tell a lie, and if I speak the truth people will hate me, because a Muslim is not allowed to drink wine." And so he gave up the idea of drinking wine.

In this way, whenever the man thought of doing something bad, he

remembered his promise to tell the truth at all times. One by one, he gave up all his bad habits and became a good Muslim and a very good person.

If you always speak the truth, you can be a good person, a good Muslim whom Allah likes and favors. If Allah - our Creator - is pleased with us, He will reward us with Jannah (Paradise), which is a place of happiness and joy.

Make a promise: I shall always speak the truth

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The Prophet and The Bedouin Father

As you know, the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) always enjoyed the company of children. One day, he was sitting with a crowd of them, talking to them. Every now and then, he patted some of them on the head and kissed them.

The children were delighted at the love, which the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) bestowed on them. The youngest children were especially pleased because they knew that whenever the Prophet got the seasons new fruit, he usually gave it to the youngest.

Suddenly, a Bedouin appeared close by. He stood watching the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) surrounded by happy, laughing children. It was the sort of scene that makes most people smile and feel happy. But the Bedouin was not smiling. He was not at all happy, and when he spoke the Prophet discovered why I have ten children the Bedouin said but I have never kissed any of them.

This was a terrible thing. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) felt great sorrow for the unfortunate Bedouin. To have ten children ten gifts from

Allah and not love them of show them love was very sad indeed. Loving and caring for dear ones is a blessing from Allah, and the Bedouin did not know that blessing.

The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) wanted to help the man but he knew there was a great obstacle in the way. How can I help you the Prophet said if Allah has taken away all the love and kindness from your heart?

At this the Bedouin felt even sadder before for to receive help and advice from the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was a wonderful thing, and this is what he could not receive. But on reflection he also realized that he could become kind and loving. He would deserve getting help from the Prophet and deserve more from Allah.

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A leper, A blind man and A bald-headed man

Abu Huraira said that he heard Allah's Apostle saying, "Allah willed to test three Israelis who were a leper, a blind man and a baldheaded man. So, he sent them an angel who came to the leper and said, 'What thing do you like most?' He replied, "Good color and good skin, for the people have a strong aversion to me.' The angel touched him and his illness was cured, and he was given a good color and beautiful skin. The angel asked him, 'What kind of property do you like best?' He replied, 'Camels (or cows).' (The narrator is in doubt, for either the leper or the bald-headed man demanded camels and the other demanded cows.) So he (i.e. the leper) was given a pregnant shecamel, and the angel said (to him), 'May Allah bless you in it.' The angel then went to the bald-headed man and said, 'What thing do you like most?' He said, 'I like good hair and wish to be cured of this disease, for the people feel repulsion for me.' The angel touched him and his illness was cured, and he was given good hair. The angel asked (him), 'What kind of property do you like best?' He replied, 'Cows,' The angel gave him a pregnant cow and said, 'May Allah bless you in it.' The angel went to the blind man and asked, 'What thing do you like best?' He said, '(I like) that Allah may restore my eye-sight to me so that I may see the people.' The angel touched his eyes and Allah gave him back his eye-sight. The angel asked him, 'What kind of property do you like best?' He replied, 'Sheep.' The angel gave him a pregnant sheep. Afterwards, all the three pregnant animals gave birth to young ones, and multiplied and brought forth so much that one of the (three) men had a herd of camels filling a valley, and one had a herd of cows filling a valley, and one had a flock of sheep filling a valley. Then the angel, disguised in the shape and appearance of a leper, went to the leper and said, I am a poor man, who has lost all means of livelihood while on a journey. So none will satisfy my need except Allah and then you. In the Name of Him Who has given you such nice

color and beautiful skin, and so much property, I ask you to give me a camel so that I may reach my destination. The man replied, 'I have many obligations (so I cannot give you).' The angel said, 'I think I know you; were you not a leper to whom the people had a strong aversion? Weren't you a poor man, and then Allah gave you (all this property).' He replied, '(This is all wrong), I got this property through inheritance from my fore-fathers' The angel said, 'If you are telling a lie, then let Allah make you as you were before.' Then the angel, disguised in the shape and appearance of a bald man, went to the bald man and said to him the same as he told the first one, and he too answered the same as the first one did. The angel said, 'If you are telling a lie, then let Allah make you as you were before.' The angel, disguised in the shape of a blind man, went to the blind man and said, 'I am a poor man and a traveler, whose means of livelihood have been exhausted while on a journey. I have nobody to help me except Allah, and after Him, you yourself. I ask you in the Name of Him Who has given you back your eye-sight to give me a sheep, so that with its help, I may complete my journey.' The man said, 'No doubt, I was blind and Allah gave me back my eyesight; I was poor and Allah made me rich; so take anything you wish from my property. By Allah, I will not stop you for taking anything (you need) of my property which you may take for Allah's sake.' The angel replied, 'Keep your property with you. You (i.e. 3 men) have been tested and Allah is pleased with you and is angry with your two companions." Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 4.670 Narrated by Abu Hurairah

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Blue Cheese

Fatima, the goat, stood in a field of white jasmine flowers that were blowing gently in the wind. She ripped the petals off with her teeth and chewed them up.

She loved to eat other things too, but jasmine was her favorite. The most fragrant and thickest bushes grew along the muddy banks of ther river Nile.

During the day Fatima wandered closer to the swiftly flowing Nile to find the tastiest flowers. At night, she'd be taken into a shed and Farmer Maher would milk her. Her milk was always the creamiest, thickest, whitest milk of all Farmer Maher's goats.

One beautiful spring morning, Fatima arose from the pile of hay she slept on, happy about being alive, and happy that she could eat jasmine flowers.

She wandered down to the riverbank looking for some. She spotted a large clump and began to munch away. Hidden among the jasmine was a cluster of purple violets. Not seeing them, she reached her head down and pulled up a few bites.

"Yummy. This is the best jasmine I've ever tasted!" she said. She bent over and pulled up a few more petals, then noticed the violets. "So, that's what is so delicious. It's not just the jasmine. It's those purple flowers. They're yummy."

That whole day long the goat went up and down the riverbank looking for violets. She found many of them hiding in the grasses and reeds, and ate every last one.

That night, when she was taken into the shed to be milked, she was excited. She knew that the violets would make her milk much creamier.

When Farmer Maher began to milk her, he let out a scream. "Purple milk!" he cried. "I can't sell purple milk!"

Fatima looked down into the pail. The milk was as purple as the violets she'd munched on during the day.

"No more violets!" Farmer Maher ordered, then sent her to her pile of hay in the back of the shed.

The next morning, Fatima woke up to the rain pounding down on the roof of the shed. When she went outside, the rain pelted down on her, dripping into

her eyes, her nose, and her mouth.

She walked over and stood under a thick-trunked pistachio tree. She stood there, watching the river flow by, wishing she could start munching away. She couldn't wait to chew on some jasmine petals. But it kept on raining for hours.

Fatima sat down and was soon so bored that she started looking at all the things near the tree, getting hungrier with every passing minute. She couldn't reach the leaves on the pistachio tree, or any of its seeds or nuts, and she couldn't eat the bark.

Then she noticed a flowering bush off to the side of the tree. It had brilliant green leaves and was covered with huge crimson roses. She stood up and wandered over to the bush.

"Baaaa," she went. She could smell the fragrant flowers, and they looked so beautiful too. The rain drops cascaded down each delicate petal. When she touched them with her tongue, they felt like soft velvet.

She grabbed one in her mouth and chewed it up. "Yummy," she said. "These are pretty good; almost as good as the violets." Farmer Maher had told her not to eat any more violets, but he hadn't said that she couldn't eat roses, so, forgetting about everything else, she munched down every single red rose on the bush.

By the time the rain had stopped, Fatima didn't feel hungry any more. She walked down to the river and stood, letting the sun beat down on her long black hair.

That night she couldn't wait to be milked. She went to the shed and Farmer Maher began to milk her.

"Red milk! What is this?" he asked Fatima, showing her the milk in the bucket.

She let out a loud "Baaaa," and looked down into the bucket. The milk was as red as the roses she'd eaten from the bush under the pistachio tree.

"I can't sell red milk either!" Farmer Maher said angrily. He slapped Fatima softly on the leg so she'd go to the back of the shed.

When she woke up the next morning she knew that she couldn't eat anything but the jasmine that grew along the riverbank, no matter what.

But when she neared the flowing waters of the Nile river, she saw that Farmer Maher had chopped all the tall grasses and jasmine bushes down. All that was left was stubble; lots of stubble. Fatima couldn't eat stubble. She'd not eaten anything since her rose petal meal the day before and was feeling very hungry. What was she to do? It would take days for the bushes

to grow tall enough for her to eat.

That day, in a nearby field, she found and ate some yellow sunflowers. That night, her milk was yellow. The day after that she ate some blue delphinium. That night, her milk was blue. And so it went, with orange bougainville, orange milk; pink carnations, pink milk.

Farmer Maher was getting angrier each night. Finally he told Fatima that he couldn't use her milk anymore. There would be no more cream, and no more cheeses. Who wants to eat blue cheese?

All night long Fatima stayed awake. She was so sad that her head hung down and her nose touched the dirt. She stood up all night, crying so much that her tears made a puddle around her feet. When the sun came up in the morning, Fatima, still feeling sad, wandered over to the riverbank. What she saw changed her frown into a smile.

She kicked her back legs up into the air and went "Baaaa," loudly. Growing along the bank were the most tender looking, tall green grasses and little blossoming jasmine flowers that she'd ever seen. No more stubble!

She ate, and ate, and ate. She walked up and down the bank eating the petals off of every flower.

That night she went into the shed. Farmer Maher was about to shoo her out but thought that he'd give her one more chance. He began to milk her. Out came the creamiest, richest, thickest, whitest milk he'd ever seen.

"Fatima, my sweet, sweet goat. Now that's my girl," he said, standing up and patting her long black hair softly.

As she stood there, watching the bucket fill with white milk, she knew that never again would she eat anything but jasmine flowers, no matter what! And she never did. "Baaaaa!"

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The Boy and the Apple Tree

A long time ago, there was a huge apple tree.

A little boy loved to come and play around it everyday. He climbed to the treetop, ate the apples, took a nap under the shadowhe loved the tree and the tree loved to play with him.

Time went bythe little boy had grown up and he no longer played around the tree every day. One day, the boy came back to the tree and he looked sad.

"Come and play with me" the tree asked the boy. "I am no longer a kid, I do not play around trees any more" the boy replied. "I want toys. I need money to buy them." "Sorry, but I do not have money but you can pick all my apples and sell them. So, you will have money."

The boy was so excited. He grabbed all the apples on the tree and left happily. The boy never came back after he picked the apples. The tree was sad.

One day, the boy who now turned into a man returned and the tree was excited "Come and play with me" the tree said. "I do not have time to play. I have to work for my family. We need a house for shelter. Can you help me?"

"Sorry, but I do not have any house. But you can chop off my branches to build your house." So the man cut all the branches of the tree and left happily. The tree was glad to see him happy but the man never came back since then. The tree was again lonely and sad.

One hot summer day, the man returned and the tree was delighted. "Come and play with me!" the tree said.

"I am getting old. I want to go sailing to relax myself. Can you give me a boat?" said the man.

"Use my trunk to build your boat. You can sail far away and be happy." So the man cut the tree trunk to make a boat. He went sailing and never showed up for a long time.

Finally, the man returned after many years. "Sorry, my boy. But I do not have anything for you anymore. No more apples for you " the tree said.

"No problem, I do not have any teeth to bite" the man replied. "No more trunk for you to climb on" "I am too old for that now" the man said. "I really cannot give you anything... the only thing left is my dying roots" the tree said with tears.

"I do not need much now, just a place to rest. I am tired after all these years" the man replied.

"Good! Old tree roots are the best place to lean on and rest, Come, come sit down with me and rest." The man sat down and the tree was glad and smiled with tears

This is a story of everyone. The tree is like our parents When we were young, we loved to play with our Mum and Dad... When we grow up, we leave themonly come to them when we need something or when we are in trouble. No matter what, parents will always be there and give everything they could just to make you happy. You may think the boy is cruel to the tree, but that is how all of us treat our parents. We take them for granted we don't appreciate all they do for us, UNTIL it's too late.

Allah has said;

"And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour."

Allah (ta'ala) tells us to be good and kind to our parents. Here is a du'a that you can learn to make du'a for them:

Rab-bir ham-huma kama Rabba-yani Sagheera

My Lord! Place on them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood


[surah bani Isra'il; 17: 2]

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The Boy and the Dog

Once Abdullah Bin Jafar (radiAllahu anhu) was passing through a forest when he went by an orchard where an Abyssinian (Ethiopian) slave was working. Someone brought him his food and, at the same time, a stray dog came into the garden, and stood by the slave, who threw a loaf of bread to the dog, which ate it but did not go away.

The slave-boy threw it a second loaf and a third one, thus letting it eat the whole of his daily provision of food, keeping nothing back for himself. Abdullah bin Jafar, who had been watching this, said to the boy, "How much bread do you get as your daily ration of food?" The boy said, "I get three loaves everyday, as you have just seen." Ibn Jafar asked, "Then, why did you prefer a dog to yourself and feed it all the three loaves?" The boy said, "There are no dogs living round here. The poor creature must have travelled a long distance to reach here and it must be feeling very hungry. So, I felt ashamed to send it away, without serving it any food." Ibn Jafar said, "What will you have for food today?" The boy said, "I shall go without food for a day, which I don't mind." Ibn Jafar said to himself, "People criticise you for spending too liberally, but this slave-boy is far more generous than you."

After this he came back to the town and, after purchasing the slave-boy, the garden and all the other effects therein from the owner, he set free the slaveboy and gave him the garden as a gift.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said "Whoever is kind to the creatures of God is kind to himself"
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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.

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 knew what to do, "lets take him to Prophet Muhammad," one said "He will knew 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 damaged 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.

"Why dont you wait," said Prophet Muhammad, "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 the trees tasted wonderful.

Key Ideas: Respect for nature, Respect for other people's wealth and property, correct adab and tarbiyyah.

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The Masjid al-Nabi is Built

Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) bought a piece of land. It was in front of the house of Abu Ayyub (radiAllahu anhu).

The Blessed Prophet with his Sahabah, started building a Masjid on it. Thus, Rasulullah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) again showed how important it is for Muslims to build a Masjid wherever they go. He said, Whoever builds a Masjid on earth, Allah will reward him with a

palace in Paradise.

All the Muhajirun (Muslims who travelled and moved to Madinah) and the Ansar (The helpers who lived in Madinah) worked very hard. Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) himself worked day and night with them.

There were many Muslims, and they did not want their Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) to work. You are our leader and Prophet, they told Rasulullah. We want you to rest and relax.

The leader of the people is their servant, Rasulullah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) replied. Thus, the Blessed Prophet set an example for everyone. The leaders of the Muslims are the servants of the Ummah. They should

work even harder than others.

The Walls of the Masjid al-Nabi were made of Mud and Stone, the roof made of Palm trees and stalks, and the floor of sand. It was a lot of hard work, but eventually it was finished. All the Muslims were happy when the Masjid was completed. They started performing Salat in the Masjid five times daily.

On one side of the Masjid, rooms were built for Rasulullahs family. This made it easy for the Muslims to reach the Blessed Prophet. They met him five times each day at the time of Salat.

After Fajr Salat, he sat with his Sahabah and taught them. After maghrib Salat, the women of Madinah came to his house, to learn Islam from him.

People could come to him anytime. In this way, the Blessed Prophet showed that those who want to serve Muslims and teach them islam should live with them. Muslims are not allowed to leave the world and their families, and go to live in forests or mosanstaries.

In the Masjid al-Nabi, there was a platform in the Masjid called Suffah. Poor Muslims, who had no families and no homes, stayed there. They were called Ashab as-Suffah, or the People of Suffah. Rasulullah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had special love for Ashab as-Suffah and he wanted them to stay

close to him.

When Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) died, he was buried in the room of his wife, A'isha (radiAllahu anha), next to the Masjid an-Nabi.

His two friends, Abu Bakr and Umar (radiAllahu anhum) , are also buried there. Today, the Masjid al-nabi is a big Masjid. Thousands of Muslims go there every year to offer Salat. They also go to the graves of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and his Sahabah (radiAllahu anhum) and offer their Salam.

Those Who Build and Visit a Masjid, Allah says,

"Only he will build and visit Allahs Masajid who believes in Allah and the Day of Judgement, who observes Salat, pays Zakat, and does not fear anyone except Allah." [Surah At-Tawbah, 9: 18]

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The Caliph's Clothes


Umar (radiAllahu anhu), who was the second Caliph, received the same salary as Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu). He used to dress simply and eat frugally. He used to wear old clothes, which had patches and were threadbare. His shows often had holes in them. He often had nothing to eat but barley bread and olive oil. And yet, under him, the Islamic government extended as far and as wide as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and even North Africa. The Roman and Iranian empires crumbled and their riches and treasures flowed into Madinah. Umar was a wise, just and popular Caliph. He has many friends who loved him because he was such a good man. But even so, his friends could not understand why he dressed so badly and sate so poorly. It is not right, they used to say. Dont you see how he dresses and how he lives. We Muslims have entered Iran and Iraq. We now rule over fertile lands. We have wealth and riches. There is no need for our Caliph to go around in old clothes and have almost nothing to eat. Kings and princes and ambassadors and deputations come here from many lands and mighty empires and they wear tunics of the finest silk. Why cannot our Caliph be like them? Umar has just got to say the word and our tailors will make him the finest clothes in the world. And our cooked will cook the finest foods which will be brought to him in the morning and in the evening. One day an ambassador of the Roman Empires came to Madinah. He wanted

to obtain an audience with Umar. He was used to palaces and kings. So he asked people in the streets, Where does your king live? We have no king said the Muslims to whom he had put the question. But you have someone who is the head of your government? asked the bewildered ambassador. Yes, we have appointed one from amongst us who looked after the affairs of state. If you go up this road you might find him somewhere. The Roman ambassador went up the rod to which he was directed. Finally, he found Umar (radiAllahu anhu) resting under the shade of a tree wearing two garments, one of which had twelve patches. Finally, people could not take it any longer. Knowing that Umar (radiAllahu anhu) was facing extreme hardship, they assembled and began discussing the matter. I think we should propose to Umar (radiAllahu anhu) that his salary be increased so that he may dress more appropriately, thereby making a better impression on visiting ambassadors and deputations. Also, he would be able to buy and prepare good food for himself as well as for others who come to visit him, said Zubair, one of the close followers of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). I fully agree with you. I was also thinking along the same lines, said Ali (radiAllahu anhu).

Believing that Ali (radiAllahu anhu) would be the most suitable man to talk to Umar (radiAllahu anhu) about this matter, they asked Ali to place the matter before him. But Ali (radiAllahu anhu) said, I certainly do not dare go to Umar (radiAllahu anhu) and talk to him about this. So Uthman (radiAllahu anhu) came forward with a suggestion, We all know how Umar (radiAllahu anhu) is. He will hardly like the idea of taking more from the treasury. Let us first somehow find out how he will take the proposal. Let us go to Hafsa (radiAllahu anha) his daughter and seek her help. All those present agreed with Uthman (radiAllahu anhu)s suggestion, and so they went to find Hafsa. Now, Hafsa (radiAllahu anha) had also been one of the wives of the blessed Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). For this reason, they felt that Hafsa could persuade her father to give up wearing old clothes, or at least she could find out how he would react to their proposal. Hafsa (radiAllahu anha) listed to them and said, I agree with you. But even I do not find the courage to go to him and talk about this matter. I want to help you but let us seek the help of A'isha. A'isha (radiAllahu anha) was the daughter of Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu) and had also been one of the wives of the Blessed Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). Umar (radiAllahu anhu) greatly respected her. They found her in agreement with their proposal as she also realised the hardships which Umar (radiAllahu anhu) was facing. 'I shall go to Umar and have a word with him and find out how he feels about this proposal,' said A'isha (radiAllahu anha). 'I don't think he will ever agree,' added Hafsa (radiAllahu anha), 'but at least we shall know.'

'Don't tell him who we are,' they requested as they left. The next day, A'isha and Hafsa went to Umar (radiAllahu anhu). Hafsa, seeing her father sitting there in clothes which were old and patched, shook her head and signed. A'isha said to Umar, 'O chief of Muslims, do i have permission to talk to you about a certain matter?' 'Yes, with great pleasure, O mother of Muslims,' said Umar (radiAllahu anhu). A'isha (radiAllahu anha) chose her words carefully. 'Allah has blessed you with the conquest of the treasures and cities of heraclius, the emperor of Byzantium, and Chosroes, the emperor of Persia. Ambassadors from Important foreign powers and deputations from within Arabia come to visit you, and stay with you. And you are wearing a cloak which has twelve patches. If only you would wear fine, handsome clothing and serve more succulent meals, you would make a better impression on those who visit you.' 'Father,' said Hafsa (radiAllahu anha). 'Please frgive me for interupting, but I have a serious question to ask you.' 'Please ask your question, my child,' replied Umar (radiAllahu anhu). 'Dear father, what i want to know is this,' she said. 'Why ever do you wear such old clothes? Why do you go about with clothes that are patched and threadbare? When people come to the Caliph they expect to see someone dressed like a Caliph. And what is more, you don't seem to notice that you are

wearing old clothes!' For a while Umar (radiAllahu anhu) kept silent. A'isha and Hafsa (radiAllahu anhuma) thought that the Caliph surely must be angry. Then tears began to well up in Umar's eyes. He wiped away the tears with his sleeve and then smiled sadly. He knew how much courage it took for A'isha and his daughter to speak out to him like this. For a long while he said nothing. Then he looked at them carefully and said to them, 'You were the wives of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). If anyone knows how he lived, you do.' Then he turned to A'isha (radiAllahu anha), 'Tell us, O mother of Muslims, did the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) ever eat wheat bread for three days running? Was his stomach ever full? Or did he ever have complete meals both in the morning and in the evening?' 'No,' said A'isha (radiAllahu anha), 'Not til the day he died. 'And you know, A'isha, that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had a cloak without a lining which he used to put on in the daytime and on which he used to sleep at night?' said Umar. 'Yes,' said A'isha (radiAllahu anha) Umar continued, 'And there was a mat in his house on which the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) used to sit in the daytime and when night came, he used to sleep on the same mat?' A'isha (radiAllahu anha) could not contradict him. 'Yes, you are right, Umar.

And then Umar turned to Hafsa (radiAllahu anha). 'Tell me, when the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) went to sleep, what did he use for a bed? Didn't you tell me, Hafsa, something like this: "I had a mat in my room. When the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) wanted to go to sleep I used to spread the mat out on the floor. So he would lie down on that mat. But the mat was rough and the floor hard. Very often he woke up with the marks from the mat on his back. In fact, I felt he did not sleep at all well on the mat." And didn't you, Hafsa (radiAllahu anha), also tell me: "One night I folded the mat over double to make it more comfortable for him to sleep on. And that night the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) slept so well, in fact, that he did not et up for the pre-dawn prayer. Only when Bilal called the Adhan did he wake up. As soon as he woke up he asked me, 'O Hafsa, what did you do with the mat last night?' When I told him, he asked me not to fold the mat over double again. He wanted to sleep on the mat as it was before." 'And don't you know, Hafsa, that all the Propeht's errors were forgiven. Still he used to be hungry when evening came, and used to stand and bow and prostrate himself before Allah for long hours during the night. 'You have both been the wife of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). You both are the mothers of Muslims,' said Umar to A'isha and Hafsa (radiAllahu anhuma). 'Have you come to me in order to lead me to the comforts of this world, to give up the rewards of the Hereafter? The only example I would like to follow is the example of my two friends, Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu). I know I wear old clothes and I know my friends all talk about me for doing so. My clothes are unconfortable and look awful. So is my food which many do not want to share with me. But I also know that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and Abu Bakr

(radiAllahu anhu) lived a very simple life and cared little for their own comfort. 'So answer me this question. When the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) lived like this caring so little for his own comfort, how can we his followers want to live in luxury? And can't you see I do this for the love of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala)?' 'And finally, will you tell me who sent you to me with this proposal?' asked Umar. 'This I cannot tell you,' said Hafsa. But neither A'isha nor Hafsa (radiAllahu anhuma) could say a single word. Nor could any of the Caliph's friends who were told of what Umar (radiAllahu anhu) has said.

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The cat who went to Makkah


A fable from Jordan

A long time ago, the leader of the cats went on a pilgrimage to Makkah. When he returned, the leader of the mice felt like he should come and pay him the traditional visit of congratulations on his safe return as a Hajji, or pilgrim. He said to his fellow mice, Tradition demands that we go to his house and welcome him back formally.

But the mice were not convinced. The cat is our enemy; how can we go near him in safety?

The leader of mice explained, Now that he has been to Makkah, and become a Hajji, he is no longer free to do what he used to do before. These days, he remains in prayer from morning till night, and he always makes dhikr on his prayer beads.

The mice were not persuaded. You go and call him, and see if he changed, they said. We shall wait for you here.

So the leader of the mice set out for the home of the cat. When he reached it, he found a crack in the wall which he just managed to squeeze through.

When he poked his head out the other side and looked around, he saw the leader of the cats with a white kufi on his head. He was praising Allah, murmuring prayers, and every now and then bowing in sajdah and glorifying his Maker.

The leader of mice decided that the cat had really changed his ways and strode confidently towards him, saying all the customary greetings. But as soon as the leader of the cats caught sight of him, he dropped his dhikr beads and pounced towards him! And but for Allah the Preserver, he would have bitten the mouses tail right off.

The leader of the mice jumped back into the crack in the wall and ran all the say back to his fellow mice. How is the leader of the cats after his Hajj? they asked. Lets hope he changed for the better. Never mind the Hajj, said the leader of the mice. He may pray like a Hajji, but he still pounces like a cat.

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The Youth of the Cave


This is a story related in Surah Kahf (18), Al Qur'an. About 400 years after Prophet Isa (Jesus) (alayhis salam), there was a ruler who was very cruel. His name was Decius the Emperor, and he ruled the vast Roman Empire which stretched from Spain to the Persian Gulf. He was an Idol worshipper, and the people who lived in this empire were forced to believe and in many gods and goddesses, and offer sacrifices to them. There was the god of war, the goddess of love, the sun-god, the god of the oceans, and many others. Some of these gods were symbolized by statues and the people were forced to pay special tribute to them or face the possibility of losing their lives. The people included many good Christians, who had believed in the one true God, Allah and in Isa (alayhis salam) as His messenger. The Emperor did not want the people to follow the religion of Allah as was revealed to Prophet Isa (alayhis salam). Within the Roman Empire there was a city called Ephesus located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It was a bustling city with a great seaport where merchants from all over the Empire came to buy and sell their goods. In the heart of this city lived a few youths (about 7) that all believed in the one true God, Allah. They formed a small group and prayed to Allah for guidance in this land of oppression and injustice. They did not want to worship these idols that Decius the Emperor was forcing everyone to worship. Allah heard their prayers and gave strength to their hearts so that they would not be afraid to proclaim their belief to the people of Ephesus.

One day these youths went to the bazaar where many people gathered to do their shopping. The youths stood up on a platform so that all the people in the bazaar could see and hear them. They said, "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. We shall never call upon any god other than Him because if we did, it would surely be a lie!" The crowd suddenly stopped what they were doing and looked up at the youths that had so boldly proclaimed their faith. There were people in the crowd who agreed with the youths but were too afraid to say it. Whenever someone talked about the one true God, Allah, they were tortured and executed. Other people in the crowd shouted at the youths on the platform. The youths were not afraid and continued, "If our people worship other gods besides Allah, why don't they bring forward an authority clear and convincing for what they do? Who does more harm than the person who invents a lie about Allah?" [18:14-15] When Emperor Decius heard about the change of their faith by seven youth, he called them and questioned them about their faith. They told him that they worshipped only one Allah and made no partners with Him. The king turned furious, and gave them three days to come back to their old faith. He said that if they did not return to becoming Idol worshippers, then he would kill them. The youths ran away to a cave high up on a mountainside a few miles away outside of the city. On the way, a dog also followed them. They did their best to scare it away, but it would not leave them. The dog sat at the entrance.

When the youth sought refuge in the cave they prayed,


Rabbana atina mil-ladunka Rahma, wa hayya lana min amrina rashada
"Lord, grant us mercy and help us to get out of this trouble in a righteous way" [18:10]. After reaching safety in the cave, the youths were tired from running and decided to sleep there for a few hours. In order to protect these brave youths, Allah performed a miracle and kept them asleep for more than three hundred years. One would think them (the youths) awake while, in fact, they were sleeping. We turned their bodies from right to left and their dog stretched its front legs on the ground. [18:18] When they awoke they thought they were only asleep for a couple hours. One of them said, "How long do you think we have stayed here?" "A day or part of a day," they replied. "Your Lord knows better how long we have stayed here. Let us send one of us with this money to the city to get some pure food so that we might eat. He should be careful so that no one will know about us." [18:19]

The youths were hungry so one of them went down to the city to buy some food. Before he left the cave, his friends warned him not to tell the pagans where they were. So the youth went down to the city of Ephesus with some money in his pocket. When he approached the city, he noticed something strange. He didn't recognize any of the people! Also, all of the clothes the people wore were different from his own. The surroundings, the dresses, the language they spoke and the lifestyle, everything had changed. He couldn't believe the city had changed so much in just a few hours. He went to the bazaar and found a shopkeeper selling food. When the youth brought out his money the shopkeeper looked at it very closely. "Where did you get this from?" he asked, peering out the corner of his eye. Remember that the youths had been asleep for over 300 years! "I saved it from my earnings, sir," said the youth. "This money has been out of date for 300 years!!," exclaimed the shopkeeper. The youth was shocked and the people of the bazaar began to gather around him. He now realized that Allah had saved him and his friends from the persecution of the pagans by making them sleep for a long, long time. When he explained his story to the people that had gathered around him, they were overjoyed. The whole city of Ephesus had changed. He informed the youth that he was now living at a time when he will no longer be persecuted. The whole city of Ephesus had changed. The wicked ruler of the Roman Empire, Decius, had died long ago and now a new tolerant Emperor reigned over the land. The whole city came out of their

houses and marched toward the cave where the other youths were. Meanwhile, some officers of the king Theodosius (who was now the ruler) also arrived. When they were told that the stranger in the bazzar was one among the seven youths who had fled during the reign of Decius to escape death, he and a crowd followed him to the cave. Allah then caused the youths of the cave to pass away, just as Allah had caused the youth to sleep for 309 years [18:25], and king Theodosius ordered a monument to be built over the cave. Their story became famous throughout the Roman Empire as one of the true and beautiful miracles of Allah mentioned in the Glorious Qur'an. Print this Page back to the beginning stories Mainpage

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Samir's Christmas Lesson


by Jamil Momand

RINGG!!!!!, "That's it; the bell finally rang," thought Samir. As quick as lightning he jumped out of his seat, struggled to get on his jacket, ran out of the classroom, and flew down the stairs. Winter vacation was here at last and Samir was excited as the rest of his classmates about the two week holiday. He couldn't wait to get home and have all sorts of fun. When he got outside he paused and looked across the playground. From the other school buildings kids were pouring out from every doorway. It was a wonderful sight. "Boy," he thought, "This is going to be the best Christmas ever."

Before going on he waited for his friend Rick to catch up with him. Rick lived next door and was his best friend. They always walked home together after school. Rick came running up saying, "Samir, you sure got out of there in a hurry." "Yeah, I know, I was counting the minutes before the bell rang," said Samir. As they walked, Rick asked, "Hey, Samir, did your parents get a Christmas tree yet?" "No, not yet. They usually wait till just before Christmas. By the way, what do you want for Christmas anyway?" replied Samir. "I asked Santa for a new bike but I don't know if I'll get it. I asked him for that last year but got a pair of roller skates instead. How about you?" "I'm getting an electric train, I hope" said Samir. As they turned the corner both of them spotted a Christmas tree lot with all kinds of blinking neon lights. "Boy, this place gets fancier every year," exclaimed Rick. When Samir got to his house he opened the little gate and walked across the front lawn. He climbed up the steps to the front porch and used his

key to get inside. "Mom, I'm home!" hollered Samir. No answer. "Hmm, must be out shopping," he said to himself. He went to the kitchen and pulled out some milk and a can of Nestle's Quik. Just then he heard a knock. Samir ran to the front door, "Who is it?," he asked. From behind the door Samir heard a muffled voice saying, "Hi, my name is Muhammad. Are your parents home?" "No," Samir replied. He looked through the peephole and saw a man with a new vacuum cleaner in one hand and a big suitcase in the other. "This guy is probably a salesman," thought Samir. "Well, could you give them my card?," said Muhammad, smiling. The boy opened the door and said, "Sure," and took the card. Muhammad began to make his way back to the sidewalk. He glanced at the mailbox and he suddenly stopped and said, "By the way, what's your name?" "My name is Samir." "Oh really? Are you a Muslim?" "That was a strange question," Samir thought. He thought that there were no other Muslims living in Scarlet County except for his parents and himself. After what seemed to be a long time Samir finally said, "Yes, I am." Muhammad told him that there was going to be a little gathering for all the Muslims in Scarlet County at his home and that he should tell his parents about it. When his parents came home Samir told them about Muhammad and the Muslims. His mother and father were very surprised and wanted very much to meet them. So, after dinner they all went over to Muhammad's house and there they found other Muslims. "Assalamu-alaikum," they said as they greeted each other. Muhammad laughed a lot and they all got together and talked. Samir met a boy there whose name was Imran. They played with Tinker Toys and Legos and had all sorts of fun. Samir asked Imran, What are you getting for Christmas?" Imran's eyes grew wide as he said, "We don't celebrate Christmas." Shocked, Samir then asked, "Why not?" "Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus. To Muslims, Jesus is a Prophet. But Christians think that Jesus is the son of God." Samir had never thought about Christmas in that

way. He had always thought that Christmas was just getting toys and having a Christmas tree. After a few minutes Samir said, "Do you ever get any gifts?" Imran smiled and said, "Sure, I get gifts from my parents for Eid. Eid is a big celebration for Muslims all over the world." "Oh, I didn't know that," said Samir. Just then someone began reciting the adhan. Samir looked about him and saw people getting up and moving around. He didn't know what was going on. Imran showed Samir how to make wudu and stand for salat. Before the salat began Imran whispered in Samir's ear, "Just follow me," and winked at him. Samir did exactly what Imran did and when it was over, he was rather proud of himself. After Isha prayer Samir's parents decided it was time to go. They said their salams to everybody and then his mother called for Samir. Upon hearing his mother's voice Samir said to Imran, "Hey, I've got to go, thanks a lot." Imran looked up and said, "No Problem. Assalamu-alaikum." When Samir got to the car he jumped in the back seat and said to his parents, "So, are we going to celebrate Christmas this year?" His parents looked at each other and then his father said, "Of course we are. What do you want from Santa?" Samir thought about what Imran said and then replied, "If we are Muslims we should celebrate Eid instead of Christmas, shouldn't we?" His mother said, "Do you want to do that?" "Yes," said Samir, "That would be better." The next day Samir heard a knock on the front door. He ran to it and opened it. It was Rick. "Hi Rick, how's it going?" "Fine," said Rick. "Do you want to play some football?" "Sure, let's go," said Samir. While they were walking to the park Rick asked Samir, "So, did you guys get a Christmas tree yet?" "No," answered Samir, "I don't think we're going to celebrate Christmas this year." Rick stopped in his tracks. "What? Why not?" "Because we're Muslims and we are going to celebrate Eid instead." "Oh, I didn't know that. Well, tell me when your Eid is and maybe I'll come over and celebrate with you." "That would be great," said Samir, taking the football, "Now go out for a pass."

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The Persistent Cough

Hakim was coughing at night and could not sleep. Mum took him to the doctor to get a cough mixture. That night and the following night there was no improvement to his cough. Next day mum was talking to her friend and she suggested making a home remedy. Her friend Jasmina said that she used a home ready with the whole family and it worked well by the will of Allah SWT. Mum gave Hakim Coffhelp. Hakim said, Bismillah [In the name of Allah]. Mum said, Let us make a dua to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala). It is Allah who heals us. Then Hakim said, Ya Allah! heal me. The first night Hakim still coughed but it was not as bad. With each passing night mum noticed Hakim was coughing less and less and Hakim was getting a more peaceful sleep. After a few days Hakim was able to sleep through the night without coughing. Hakim wanted to share this news with grandma so he called her and said, Grandma my cough is gone, Alhamdulillah [Praise be to Allah SWT]. I can sleep through the night. Coffhelp has worked. You must use it when you have a cough. Grandma said, Alhamdulillah, you are feeling well again. Hakim, Coffhelp has worked only because Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) has willed it. You should say, by the will of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) Coffhelp has worked and I dont cough anymore, Alhamdulillah.

************ Words:

BISMILLAH - In the Name of Allah

ALHAMDULILAH - Praise be to Allah

The Cruel Woman and her Cat

There was once a woman who had a cat. She was a cruel woman and treated her cat badly. One day the Prophet (SalAllahu alayhi wasalam) told his friends a story about this bad woman. "She did not look after the cat properly" he said. "She did not give it anything to eat or drink." Because of this, the cat became very thin, and its fur began to fall out. The woman had a very bad temper. When she was angry, she used to kick her cat or throw it out of the door and make it stay in the street all night. Before long, the cat became very frightened of the woman. Every time the woman came near him, the cat cried and hid underneath a table or chair. The women's neighbours were very angry with her. One day, a neighbour came to see her. "You are very cruel to your cat!" the neighbour said. "A cat is one of Allah's creatures, just as we arre! You are doing a great wrong!". The woman was very angry when she heard this. "Go away!" she shouted at her neighbour. "The cat belongs to me. I will treat it badly if I want to! Go away and leave me alone!". The neighbour was very unhappy to hear this. Then, he thought of a plan to save the cat. He went back to his house and waited until night fell. Next door, he heard the cruel woman shouting at her cat. "Get out of here, you dirty animal!" she shouted. "I will not have you n my house tonight" The neighbour heard the cruel woman open her front door. Then, he heard the cat crying and howling as the woman threw it out into the street. Then, the cruel woman slammed her door shut.

The neighbour waited for a few minutes to make sure the woman would not come out of her house again. Then, he went out into the street. There was the cat, sitting pitifully by the woman's front door, hoping the woman would open it and let him in. The neighbour's heart was filled with pity for the cat. "You poor creature", he said. "Look how thin you are!". He bent down and picked the cat up. He stroked the cat's heat and the cat stopped crying. "I will take you to my house" the neighbour said, "and give you food"

When the neighbour got back to his house, he filled a plate with some food and gave it to the cat. The cat ate hungrily. Soon, the plate was empty. The neighbour filled the plate again. Again, the cat ate all the food very quickly. But at last, the cat had enough food and lay down on the floor to sleep. Next morning, the cruel woman could not find her cat. She looked everywhere. She searched in the street. She searched in the market. But the cat was nowhere to be found. The woman was very angry. "Someone has stolen my cat" she said to herself. Then, she remembered what her neighbour had said the day before. He had tried to stop her treating her cat cruelly. "That neighbour of mine has the cat!" she said. "He must be the one who has stolen it!". So the woman went to her neighbour's house. She banged on the door and shouted angily. The neighbour opened the door. "I know you have stolen my cat!" the woman shouted at him. "You are a thief! Give it back to me at once!" "No," said the neighbour. "You are a cruel woman and you do not deserve to have a cat!". "I want that cat! Give it back" the woman shouted again. She was getting more and more angry. "I will not give you your cat until you promise that you will treat it kindly" the neighbour replied.

When the woman heard that, she laughed to herself. "Silly man!", she thought. "All I have to do is promise to treat my cat well, and he will give it to me!" So, the woman pretended not to be angry any more. She smiled at her neighbour. "Of course I will treat the cat well if you give it back to me!", she said in a friendly voice. "You promise?" the neighbour demanded. "Yes, yes, I promise," the woman replied. "You will give the cat enough to eat and will not throw it out of the house at night?", the neighbour wanted to know. "Of course not," the woman said sweetly. "I will feed the cat and look after it properly from now on. I will not be cruel to my cat ever again!". Did the woman keep her promise? No, she did not. Unfortunately, though, the neighbour believed her, and did not think that she was telling lies. He gave the cat back to her. The cruel woman took the cat back to her house and treated it more cruelly than ever before. She tied a rope round the cat's neck and then tied the rope to a chair. Once again, she gave the poor cat nothing to eat or drink. The poor animal became thinner and thinner and weaker and weaker. After a short while, it died. "WHat a terrible thing to do!" cried one of the friends of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). "What a very cruel and wicked woman!". The prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) agreed. "This made Allah very angry with the cruel woman" he told his friends. Of course the woman was not only cruel. She told lies as well. She had committed a great sin because she had ill-treated one of Allah's living creatures. The woman who treated her cat cruelly was not forgiven for her sins, and so

Allah sent her to Hell.


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The Dairy Maid

When Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (radiAllahu anhu) was caliph, the Commander of the Faithful, he often went out to check on the people.

One day he went out on foot with his servant Aslam. After a while they felt tired, so they stopped to rest by a house.

They heard the voice of an old woman inside the house ordering her daughter to mix water with milk. The daughter refused to do so and said to her mother,

The Commander of the Faithful ordered people not to mix water with milk. He sent a man to inform people of this in the streets.

However, the mother insisted that the daughter dilute the milk and said, Where is Umar now? He does not see us.

The faithful, honest daughter said, Should we obey the Commander of the Faithful in front of people and disobey him in secret?

Umar was pleased to hear this, and he admired the honesty and faith of this

young woman. In the morning, he inquired about her and learned that she was Umm Imara, Bint Sufyan Ibn Abdullah Al-Thakafay. Umar also learned that she was unmarried, so he married her to his son Asim.

Allah blessed the young couple and their offspring, one of whom was the just caliph Umar Ibn Abdul-Aziz (radiAllahu anhu).

Learning Points: Fairness and Honesty, Truthfulness, good character, life of Umrah ibn alKhattab (radiAllahu anhu)

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The Three Dates

A'isha, the Blessed Prophet's wife, was a very hospitable and generous person. She loved to entertain guests, and spend happy hours chatting to them.

Once, a woman came to visit A'isha, bringing her two daughters with her. A'isha received her, smiling and welcoming, and very soon, the two woman were deep in conversation.

However, A'isha was faced with a certain difficulty. SHe wanted to entertain her guest, but at that time, things were very hard in Madinah. Often, the people went hungry, and in the Blessed Prophet's house, no fire was made for days on end. It was difficult to come by the simplest food, and even dates were in short supply.

A'isha decided that she must search the house throughly in the hope of finding something to offer her guest. The room in which she had welcomed her guest was so small that when A'isha stood up, her head almost touched the ceiling. It did not take A'isha very long to search it, and she quickly realised that she did not have very much to offer her guest. Eventually though, she

managed to find three dates. A'isha gave them to her guest, who looked at her very gratefully.

The woman gave one date to each of her daughters, and the girls grabbed tem eagerly. They were very hungry and had not had enough to eat for several days. Their mother kept one date for herself, but she did not eat it. Instead, she held it in her hand while she went on talking to A'isha.

Because they were hungry, the two little girls gobbled up their dates very quickly. When they had finished, they began to eye the last date, the one which their mother held in her hand.

Their mother saw them out of the corner of her eye, and she smiled. She knew exactly what they wanted, and what she muct do. So, she divided the last date into two pieces and gave half to each of the girls.

A'isha was very moved by the great love and self-sacrifice shown by this mother, and as soon as the Blessed Prophet came home, she told him what had happened.

"Indeed", the Blessed Prophet said. "The woman had entered Paradise because of the love and kindness she showed to her little daughters. Allah will show her mercy because she showed mercy to them."

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Aminah Remembers Allah


by A Muslim sister from Singapore

Aminah looked forward to Fajr prayers every morning. She loveed the fresh smell of dew that the morning brang. Everything is so fresh in the morning and the two rakat of subuh made her feel really close to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala).

But she always had one nagging question in her mind. How can I ensure that I always remember Allah throughout the day?, she wondered.

So one day she decided to observe what her family did to remember Allah.

First, she watched her father carefully, to see what he did. She noticed that right after finishing his Fajr prayers he began to recite,

Subhan'Allah, Subhan'Allah.
And so Aminah repeated after him.

After filling her tummy with a hearty breakfast, Aminah began seeing what her grandma was did after her meal,

Alhamdulillah

said Grandma.

"Why did you say that?," asked Aminah

"I am Praising and thanking Allah for all the wonderful food He has given us," replied Grandma. " It means 'Praise be to Allah for His Greatness for giving us this food to make us strong'."

So Aminah lovingly repeated the dhikr to praise Allah for the breakfast He had given them.

Later on, Aminah then sat down to finish her homework with her sister, A'isha.

Before beginning her homework A'isha said,

Bismillah

and encouraged Amina to do the same.

Why? Aminah asked.

Well, it is so that we remember Allah before anything that we do - that we Begin by mentioning Allah. So Allah may Bless us in the work that we are about to begin", replied A'isha.

Well then, asked Aminah, When do we say Audhubillah?.

Whenever you have a bad thought in your mind, jumped in Aminahs elder brother, Rashid. "We say

Audhubillahi min ash-shaitan ar-rajeem

to seek protection from Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala) from Shaitan, and from bad thoughts or actions.

Aminah gave Rashid a grateful smile for teaching her a new dhikr to remember Allah by.

Later that day, after praying jam'ah prayers for Asr with her grandpa, Aminah noticed that he repeatedly recited

Astarghfirullah, Astarghfirullah.

Curious to know why, Aminah asked, Why do you say this dhikr grandpa?

Well, replied grandpa, I like to say astarghfirullah so that I will always seek forgiveness from Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala)

And so for the rest of the evening, Aminah rehearsed what she had learnt from watching her father, her grandma, her sister, her brother and her grandpa.

But as Maghrib drew near, she discovered two more useful dhikrs for her to recite to remind her of Allah.

For Maghrib prayers, Aminah accompanied her father and their neighbour, Mr. Abdul Hamid, to the nearby mosque. As they walked to the mosque, Mr Hamid kept reciting

La ilaha illAllah.

What does it mean?, Aminah curiously asked him.

La ilaha illallah means there is no god but Allah, said Mr. Hamid. As
Muslims we believe that Allah is One and that He has no partners. This is the most important belief in Islam. Saying La ilaha illallah will remind us of this very important belief in Islam. So recite it regularly, Aminah, Mr Hamid told her.

Aminah thanked Mr Hamid for his advise and went inside the masjid for salah. When she sat down, she saw Aunty Fatimah, making Tasbeeh. Aunty Fatimah kept on repeating,

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar

"Why are you repeating 'Allahu Akbar'?," asked Aminah

"I am saying 'God is Great'. I am Praising and Remembering Allah," replied Aunty Fatimah.

Aminah thanked Aunty Fatimah, and then began reciting 'Allahu Akbar', praising and remembering Allah.

In her heart, Aminah gave a silent thanks to Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala) for helping her learn the many ways that she could bring herself closer to Him.

She set it firmly in her heart to apply whatever dhikr she had learnt everyday. Everyday starting from today. Insha'Allah, Aminah would be closer to Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala), and remember Him often.

Learning Points The Quran says, 'wa ladhikrul la hi akbar wal la hu yalamu ma tasnauun'

And remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And Allah knows the (deeds) that ye do.
[Surah Ankabut 29: 45]

Different ways of remembering and Praising Allah. Applying Islam to our daily lives.

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The Disobedient Man


This is a story of Ibrahim ibn Adham (radiAllahu anhu) giving advice against disobedience. A man came to Ibrahim ibn Adham (radiAllahu anhu) and said, "Abu Ishaq, I am unable to control myself. Please give me something to help me with it" "If you accept five conditions," said Ibrahim, "and are able to put them into practice, your disobedience will not cause you any problem." "Just tell me what they are, Abu Ishaq!" the disobedient man said. "The first is that when you want to disobey Allah you do not eat anything He provides." "Then how will I get anything to eat? Everything on the earth is from Him!", said the disobedient man. "So is it right to eat what Allah provides you with and then disobey Him at the same time?" replied Ibrahim. "No, it is not", said the disobedient man. "What is the second condition?" "When you want to disobey him, move off His land."

"That is even more difficult!", exclaimed the man. "In that case where will I live?" "Is it right to eat his provision and live on His land and then to disobey Him?" asked Ibrahim. "No, it is not", replied the man. "What is the third condition?" "When you want to disobey Allah, in spite of eating His provision and living on His land, find a place where He will not see you and disobey Him there." "What do you mean, Ibrahim? He knows everything that happens even in the most hidden places!", said the disobedient man. "So is it right to disobey Him when you eat His provision and live on His land and when you know that He can see everything you do?", questioned Ibrahim. "It certainly is not!" the man replied. "Tell me the fourth condition.", the man asked. "That when the Angel of Death arrives to take your soul, you say to him, 'Give me a reprieve (give me more time to live), so that I can repent and act righteously for Allah.'" "But he won't listen to me!" "Then if you cannot ward off death long enough to give yourself time to repent, and you know that when it comes there will be no reprieve, how can

you hope to be saved?", replief Ibrahim. "What is the fifth?", asked the man. "That when the angels of the Fire come to you to take you to the Fire, you do not go with them," said Ibrahim. "But they will take me whether I like it or not!", exclaimed the man. "So how can you hope to be saved?" "Enough, enough, Ibrahim! I ask Allah's forgiveness and I turn to Him!" The man's repentance was sincere, and from that time on he was assiduous in his worship and became a good Muslim, avoiding acts of disobedience until the day he died.

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The Mice and the Elephant

Once upon a time there was a colony of mice who feared the elephants. Whenever the elephants walked through the mices land with their enormous feet many mice were harmed. One day, the mouse king went to the King of the Elephants and said, "If you spare our lives, we will help you in a time of need." The elephant king agreed. He ordered the elephants to be careful never to step on a single mouse.

From that day forth the elephants paid attention and lifted their huge legs carefully, never harming their tiny friends. If they entered the land of the mice, they lifted their trunks and trumpeted a warning; "We are walking. We are walking."

One day, elephant trappers came to the forest. They were seeking many elephants for the human kings soldiers to ride into battle. Day by day more and more elephants were caught in great rope traps. The elephant king was very sad. Then, he remembered the promise of the mice and sent for his little friend, the mouse king. The king of the mice arrived and listened to the elephants story.

Then the mouse king called all the mice together. Thousands and thousands of mice gathered to discuss how they might help the elephants. No one had forgotten how their huge friends had spared their lives. One clever mouse made a plan. All the mice rejoiced. The mice formed into little groups. Each group gnawed the ropes of a single trap with their tiny sharp teeth. By morning, all the elephants were freed. Frustrated, the trappers left the forest.

A Glass of Water

There was once a great man, anmed Sharfuddin Yahya. He cared a lot for his parents when he was a boy. He was obedient and kind to them. One night, his mother was thirsty and asked Sharfuddin for a glass of water. When Sharfuddin came to his mother with the glass of water, he found her asleep. He did not think it wise to disturb his mother's sleep. So, he kept standing there with the glass in his hand until his mother awoke. His mother opened her eyes after a few hours and found Sharfuddin standing beside her with the glass of water. She asked him, "My dear son, have you been standing all this time?"> Sharfuddin said, "Yes mother, I have been waiting fo you to wake up, to give you a glass of water." Sharfuddin's mother was very pleased with him. She blessed him and prayed to Allah to make Sharfuddin a great man. When he grew up, Sharfuddin was really a very great man of his time.

Allah (ta'ala) commands us to be good and kind to our parents. Here is a du'a that you can learn to make du'a for them:


Rab-bir ham-huma kama Rabba-yani Sagheera My Lord! Place on them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood
[surah bani Isra'il; 17: 2]

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Is there a God?

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 uproar 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". Upto 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? Every thing 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.

Key Points: Teaching the Existence of God.

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God is Real

Once upon a time there lived a King who did not believe in God. The King had this feeling that God is not real and it was just an imaginary creation of human beings.

It so happened that the King lost his wife soon after the birth of a child. With mother not being there, the King decided to shut the child up in a huge tall tower. He did not want the child to ever hear or think of God.

"If I lock him up in this big tower, he will never be able to hear about God," he thought.

Maids and tutors who were appointed to take care of the child were warned against mentioning the name of God to the young prince.

One day when the King came to visit the Prince as usual, he was surprised to see the boy standing before the window with head bowing down and looking out at all the beautiful flowers and colours from his window. At all the birds flying, the rivers passing by the place and the green forest beyond.

The King asked the prince as to what he was looking at. The boy said, I am bowing to my Creator.

Amazed, the King blurted out, Which Creator? Who told you about Him?

The boy replied, No one ever told me about the Creator. I can see the beautiful world from my window. I can see the beauty of my Creator from all the nature that surrounds me. Someone must have created all these beautiful things. He must be Great. The very thought of his Greatness makes me bow my head before him.

The king slowly walked back, a defeated man. The little prince had learnt from the nature what he had wanted him never to learn. That God is real.

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The Gossiper

A woman repeated a bit of gossip about a neighbor. Within a few days the whole community knew the story. The person it concerned was deeply hurt and offended. Later the woman responsible for spreading the rumor learned that it was completely untrue. She was very sorrowful and went to a wise old sage to find out what she could do to repair the damage. "Go to the marketplace", he said, "and purchase a chicken, and have it killed. Then on your way home, pluck its feathers and drop them one by one along the road". Although, surprised by this advice, the woman did what she was told. The next day the wise man said, "Now go and collect all those feathers you dropped yesterday and bring them back to me." The woman followed the same road, but to her dismay, the wind had blown a11 the feathers away. After searching for hours, she returned with only three in her hand. "You see," said the old sage, "its easy to drop them, but its impossible to get them back. So it is with gossip. It doesnt take much to spread a rumor, but once you do, you can never completely undo the wrong." ***************

O ye who believe! avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: and spy not on each other nor speak ill of each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay ye would abhor it...but fear Allah: for Allah is Oft-Returning Most Merciful.
[surah Hujurat; 49:12]

Allahs Apostle (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said: Do you know what is backbiting? They (the Companions) said: Allah and His Apostle (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) know best. Thereupon he (the Prophet) said: Backbiting implies your talking about your brother in a manner which he does not like. It was said to him: What is your opinion about this that if I actually find (that failing) in my brother which I made a mention of? He said: If (that failing) is actually found (in him) what you assert, you in fact backbited him, and if that is not in him it is a slander. [Sahih Muslim, Hadith 6265]

Copyright 2003-2004 Mutmainaa

The Prophet and His Grandchildren

One day, there was a great gathering in the Prophets Mosque where the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was telling the people about Allah and the wonderful ways of Allah.

It was very quiet inside the Mosque that people hardly moved as the Prophet spoke to them. Then suddenly without warning he stopped speaking and began to walk towards the door.

The people were surprised and puzzled, where could the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) be going so suddenly? it seemed strange, but it did not remain a mystery for long.

When people in the crowd turned round and followed the Prophet with their eyes, they say why he had acted as he did.

Two children smartly dressed in red shirts were walking towards the Mosque and as the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had been speaking he had seen them through the door the Prophet loved all children of course but these were two very, very special children as far as he was concerned.

They were his grandsons, Al-Hasan and Al-Husain the sons of the beloved daughter of the Prophet, Fatimah and her husband Ali, the fourth Caliph (radiAllahu anhum).

Naturally, the Prophet loved the two boys very much and they in turn loved him. When Al-Hasan and Al-Husain saw their beloved grandfather, they smiled widely and started to run towards him with their arms outstretched to embrace him.

The Prophet was delighted to see them and brought them back into the Mosque where he told them to sit down beside him. Then the Prophet resumed talking and the crowd in the Mosque fell silent again as they listened to the words Allahs great Messenger.

Naturally, the Prophet was a frequent visitor at the house of his daughter Fatimah.

He loved to be with Al-Hasan and Al-Husain but he became very distressed when he saw either of the boys was unhappy or crying. When this happen the Prophet would call to his daughter and tell her to leave whatever she was doing to attend to the children.

This was because the Prophet thought that nothing could be so important that it should come before a child who needed comfort.

This applied even to prayers in the Mosque often mother would bring their children to the Mosque when they came to pray there it was not always a good idea. Small children quickly became very impatient and because they were too young to understand what an important place a Mosque was they used to cry and make a fuss while prayers were going on.

Their mothers did not like this but neither did they like to interrupt their prayers to attend to their crying children. Perhaps they hoped the child would get tired of crying and stop by itself.

The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) however hated to hear children crying and whenever this happened during prayers, he would make the prayers shorter so that the mothers could comfort their children without too much delay.

Al-Hasan and Al-Husain sat very quietly as their grandfather spoke. They were good boys and knew that the Mosque was very special place, a place of prayer. Even so the boys also knew that they did not have to be solemn and serious all the time they were in the Mosque. Their grandfather had showed them this one day when they were with him as he led the prayers.

The prayers were proceeding inside the Mosque and the Prophet (salAllahu

alayhi wasalam) put his head to the ground as is done in daily prayers (sujud).

Straight away one of his grandsons climbed onto his back! Minutes passed and the little boy sat there enjoying himself riding on his grandfather back it seemed a long time before the little boy climbed down and the Prophet was able to raise head again and continue his prayers.

The people in the Mosque were very puzzled and curious by this event. When prayers were finished they decided to ask the Prophet for an explanation.

O Messenger of Allah they said you kept your head on the ground for such a long time was this because you received a revelation or a message from God.

Oh no! The Prophet replied it was for this grandson of mine who was riding on my back I did not want to spoil his game by rising too soon.

The people were charmed by this answer for it showed how greatly the Prophet loved his grandsons and how much he thought about their happiness and wellbeing.

Learning Points: Value and treatment of children in islam, the rights of Children, the position of the Prophet's family, seerah of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam).

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A Great Friend of Children

The 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 favor 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 the Prophet Muhammad so much it 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, the 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 the 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.

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Hasan and Husain Help an Old Man


by Sister Asma

When the grandsons of Blessed Prophet, Hasan and Hussain (radiAllahu anhum) were very young, an old bedouin once came to Madinah.

When the time of salat (prayer) came, he began to make wudu, but he was making his wudu incorrectly.

Hasan and Hussain saw the old man making his wudu wrong, and wished to correct him, but were not sure how. He was an old man, and being young children, they didn't want to point out the old man's mistakes. They might hust or insult his feelings. It wasn't good manners to point out the mistakes of their elders. What could they do?

Both the brothers thought and thought over the problem, and at last hit upon an idea. Together they arranged a plan to teach the man how to make wudu correctly, without insulting him, advising him in a manner befitting of his age.

They went over to the old man, and asked him if he could help them. "My brother and I disagree over who amongst us performs Wudu the best. Would you mind watching us make wudu, and be the judge to see which one of us indeed performs Wudu more correctly? Could you please correct us wherever we are wrong?

The man watched carefully as the two grandsons of the Blessed Prophet performed Wudu in an explicit manner. Soon he knew the correct way of making wudu, realising his mistakes.

After Hasan and Hussain (radi Allahu anhum) had completed their wudu, the old man thanked them and said, By Allah, I did not know how to perform wudu before this. You have both taught me how to do it correctly.

Teaching points: One of the most beautiful examples of Hikmah (wisdom) in advising others. Respect and treatment of elders.

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From the Seerah of Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam)

The Hijrah to Madinah

Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) awoke with a start. What was that noise? He pulled his cloak tightly round him for warmth, sat absolutely still, and listened.

Here in Makkah he knew he had many enemies. When Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) began preaching about Allah, and telling people to get rid of the idols they worshipped many people and became very angry.

They had worshipped their idols for a long time, and besides that, the idols in the Kabah brought trade and money to Makkah. People would not change their ways just because Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said they should. Who did he think he was anyway?

A quick prayer came from Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam)s lips, then he awoke his young follower, Ali (radiAllahu anhu), who was sleeping close by.

It is time, said the Prophet. Everyone knew there were people plotting to kill Muhammad, but no one knew when. Muhammad and his friends made plans to leave Makkah for Madinah.

The people then were anxious to have Muhammad as their leader, unlike the Makkans. Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu), his great friend and supporter, were to escape at the dead of night. Ali (radiAllahu anhu) would take Muhammads cloak and pretend to be asleep in the Prophets bed.

That would give them more time to get away. It was all important to make sure Muhammad reached Madinah alive.

Ali lay down on Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam)s mat, the sweat glistening on his forehead. His eyes were wide open, and he was listening for the slightest sound.

The Prophet slipped away quietly, while Ali heard voices saying, Muhammad is there, asleep. At dawn, when he steps out of the door, we will silence him forever.

By dawn the escape party was long gone. The group of assassins crept quietly around the house where Ali was sleeping.

They flung open the door, scimitars flashing...but stopped, astonished to find that only Ali was there. He was too young to be of any importance. The assassins howled with disappointment, and were so surprised that they allowed Ali to push past them, and walk out of the house towards the Kabah.

Meanwhile Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu) had avoided the road from Makkah to Madinah, where they would have been seen, and caught for certain. They were on foot, climbing the rocky slopes to the caves near Makkah. They were covered in dust, exhausted and thirsty.

Abu Bakr was, by turns, angry and afraid. He could not believe a Messenger of God would have to hide like this. He called to God for help. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) reassured him. God will hear you, he said.

By nightfall they reached the caves, but they could hear the hooves of their enemies horses close behind. What could they do? Abu Bakr began to despair.

What shall we do, he said, there are only two of us?

Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) pulled him inside the nearest cave. You are mistaken, he said. There are three of us.

Footsteps could be heard at the mouth of the cave. Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu) held his breath. Then a voice was heard.

No, they cant be in here. Its covered with spiders webs and nests and branches. No one has been here since Muhammad was born.

There was the sound of people moving away, horses hooves fading in the distance. Abu Bakr let out a long sigh. He praised God, but was too terrified to move. And what did they mean...spiders webs and nests and branches?

He opened his eyes. The cave did not look the same. Over the entrance there was indeed a beautiful, silver spiders web, and above it, a low branch with a nest where a dove sat, cooing gently.

How did that happen? asked Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu), but the prophet simply turned to his friend and smiled. (radiAllahu anhu) When the two were certain the enemy had gone, they left the cave that had protected them, and continued their journey safely to Madinah.

Study Points: Beautiful story from the Seerah of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). Teaching Trust in Allah, the relationship between The Prophet and Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu), Miracles of Allah (Ta'ala), trials and hardship and relying on God.

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Abu Huraira

From the early history of Islam to the present day, millions of Muslims have heard of Abu Huraira (radiAllahu anhu). He passed on more than one thousand six hundred hadiths.

Tufayl Bin Amr was a leader of the Daws, Abu Hurairas tribe. Tufayl helped Abu Huraira become Muslim. The Daws Tribe lived along the Red Sea coast in southern Arabia. After Tufayl met the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and became Muslim, he returned to his tribe and invited them to accept Islam. Abu Huraira immediately became Muslim. Most of the others were stubborn. It took them a long time to accept the new religion.

Abu Huraira went to Makkah with Tufayl to meet the noble Prophet. The blessed Prophet asked him, Whats your name?

Abd al-Shams, servant of the sun replied Abu Huraira.

Instead, let your name be Abdal-Rahman, servant of the Merciful, said the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam).

The name Abu Huraira was given as a nickname when he was a small boy. Abu Huraira had a cat when he was a child. He loved cats. He always played with the cat. His friends called him Abu Huraira, father of the cats. After that everyone called him Abu Huraira. His real name was almost forgotten.

Abu Huraira stayed with his tribe for several years after he became a Muslim. In the seventh year of the Hijrah he went to Madinah with some others from his tribe. He stayed in the masjid. He was single without a wife or child. His mother was with him. She was still a pagan. He prayed for her to become a Muslim. But she refused.

One day, he again invited his mother to believe in the One God and His Prophet. She answered with some bad words about the Prophet. Abu Huraira went to the Prophet with tears in his eyes. Why are you crying, Abu Huraira? asked the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam).

I always invite my mother to Islam, and she always refuses, said Abu Hurayra. I asked her again today. But she said some things about you that made me sad. Can you pray to God for her to turn to Islam?

The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) prayed for Abu Hurairas mother to accept Islam. When Abu Hurayra went home, he found the door closed. He heard the splashing of water. He tried to enter the house, but his mother said, Wait a minute. Dont come in yet. Then she got dressed and said, You

can come in now.

When Abu Huraira went inside, his mother said, I declare that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.

Abu Huraira again went to the Prophet crying. But this time his tears were tears of joy. I have good news, Rasul Allah, he said. God has answered your prayer and guided my mother to Islam.

Abu Huraira loved the Prophet very deeply. He loved to look at Muhammads (salAllahu alayhi wasalam)'s face. It shone like the sun. He often thanked God for his good fortune. He said:

Praise to God who guided Abu Huraira to Islam.

Praise to God who taught Abu Huraira the Quran.

Praise to God who has given the companionship of Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam).

Abu Huraira loved knowledge just as he loved the Prophet. Zayd bin Thabit, a companion, reported, Abu Huraira, another friend, and I were praying in the masjid. The Prophet came and sat down beside us. We

stopped talking. But the Prophet told us to continue. So my friend and I prayed. The Prophet said Ameen.

Then Abu Huraira prayed. He asked for what we asked. But he also asked for knowledge that would not be forgotten. The Prophet again said Ameen.

Then we asked for knowledge that would not be forgotten, too. But the Prophet said that the Daws youth asked first.

With his strong memory, Abu Huraira set out to memorize all that he heard from the Prophet. He didnt spend his time in the marketplace or working in the fields. So he was free to stay with the Prophet and go on trips with him. Many companions were amazed by the many hadiths he knew. They would ask him a lot of questions about the hadiths.

Once Marwan bin Hakim wanted to test Abu Hurairas memory. He put a scribe behind a curtain to record whatever hadith Abu Huraira talked about. A year later he called Abu Huraira again and asked him to repeat the recorded hadith. He had not forgotten a single word. He said every single word again.

Abu Huraira wanted others to gain knowledge as well. One day he was passing through the marketplace. He saw people very busy buying and selling. He said, People of Madinah, what a poor state you are in.

What do you mean? they asked.

You are here, said Abu Huraira, but the Prophets inheritance is being given out. Wont you take your share?

Where? the people asked.

In the masjid, replied Abu Huraira. The people quickly went to the masjid. Abu Hurayra waited until they came back. We went to the masjid, said some of the people. But nothing was being given away.

Abu Huraira asked them, Didnt you see anyone there?

Yes, they said. We saw some people making salat, some others reading the Quran and some people discussing halal and haram.

Well, thats the inheritance of the Prophet! replied Abu Huraira.

Abu Huraira spent most of his time learning. So he was often hungry. When he was very hungry, he would ask one of the companions about a hadith. He hoped the companion would take him to his home and give something to eat.

One day he was so hungry, he tied a stone to his stomach. Then he sat down where a companion might pass. First Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu) walked by. Abu Huraira asked him about a hadith. But Abu Bakr didnt invite him to

dinner.

Then Umar (radiAllahu anhu) passed by. He asked Umar about a hadith. But Umar didnt invite him either.

Then the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) passed by. He realized Abu Huraira was hungry. Abu Huraira, called the Prophet.

Abu Huraira answered, Yes and began to follow the Prophet. They went together to Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam)'s house. The Prophet saw a cup of milk and asked where it had come from. He learned someone had sent it to him. Then he said to Abu Huraira, Go and call the people at the masjid.

Abu Huraira went to call them. But he thought the milk wouldnt be enough for everyone.

The people staying at the masjid came and drank their fill. Then the Prophet told Abu Huraira to drink. He drank until he couldnt hold anymore. Then the Prophet drank his fill and finished the milk.

Not before too long the Muslims received a lot of war booty. Abu Huraira got his share of the wealth. He got a house, and he married and had children. But none of this changed him. He always remembered his poor days. He would say, I grew up as an orphan. I emigrated as a poor person. I used

to serve Gazevans daughter, Bushra. I served others when they stopped on the road. I drove the camels on the road. Then God made it possible for me to marry Bushra. Praise be to God who has strengthened His religion and made me an imam.

Abu Huraira spent much time in worship. He fasted during the day. He spent the first third of the night in prayer. Then he would wake his wife. She would spend the second third of the night in worship. Their daughter would pray during the third part. So worship would continue all night long in his house.

During his caliphate, Umar (radiAllahu anhu) appointed Abu Huraira as governor of Bahrain. Umar was very careful about the type of person he appointed. He wanted his governors to live simply and frugally.

In Bahrain, Abu Huraira (radiAllahu anhu) became quite rich. Umar (radiAllahu anhu) heard about this and called him back to Madinah. How did you become rich? the caliph asked.

From breeding horses and the gifts I received, replied Abu Huraira.

Hand it over to the treasury of the Muslims, ordered Umar.

Abu Huraira raised his hands towards the heavens and said, O Lord, forgive

the Amir of the Believers. He turned over his wealth. Later Umar asked him to be governor again, but Abu Huraira refused.

Throughout his life Abu Huraira was kind and courteous to his mother. Whenever he wanted to leave the house, he would stand at the door of her room and say: Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu. May God have mercy on you for taking care of me as a child.

His mother would return the greeting and say, May God have mercy on you for behaving well towards me even though you are grown up.

Abu Huraira always told others to be kind to their parents. One day he saw two men walking together. One was older than the other. He asked the younger one, Who is this man?

My father, the person replied.

Dont call him by his name. Dont walk in front of him. Dont sit before he does, advised Abu Huraira.

He died in the year 59 A.H. when he was seventy-eight years old.

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Isra and Miraj


by Jamil Momand

One night Prophet Muhammad was sleeping near the Ka'ba in Mecca when the Angel Jibreel came to him and nudged him with his foot. The Prophet sat up but did not see him, so he laid his head back down to sleep again thinking that perhaps it was only a dream. The Archangel again tried to wake the Prophet from his deep sleep and after a third try the Prophet actually stood up. The Angel Jibreel took his arm and led him to the Great Mosque. Waiting for him at the gate was a white beast that bore some resemblance to a gigantic horse. From its back sprang out two huge wings and each step the animal took was farther than the distant horizon. The Prophet climbed onto the beast, which was called the Buraq, and the Angel Jibreel stood beside them pointing the way northward toward the city of Jerusalem. Within a twinkling of an eye they were at the old city and were met there by a group of prophets: Ibrahim, Musa, Isa, and many others. Muhammad dismounted the Buraq and led all the prophets in prayer at the site of the Dome of the Rock. After the prayer, two vessels were brought before Muhammad--one was filled with wine and the other with milk. Muhammad only drank from the vessel containing milk. Jibreel then said, "Oh Muhammad, you enjoy what is pure and keep away from what is impure. Surely you will guide your people to the path of Allah." Led by the Angel Jibreel, Prophet Muhammad began his accent through the seven heavens where he saw many other prophets. There was Musa, Ibrahim, Nuh and many others. Muhammad also saw Yusef and was awed by how handsome he was. When he ascended to the top of the Universe he saw a mighty Throne. The Buraq stopped and Muhammad dismounted and found himself before a solitary Lote Tree. The Lote Tree marks the end of all earthly knowledge and beyond it no one knows what exists except

Allah. Then Allah showered a Divine Light upon the Lote Tree that was extremely bright, yet the Prophet held his gaze on the tree and said, "I take refuge in the Light of your Grace--Oh Allah Almighty." At the Lote Tree Muhammad received for Muslims the instructions for salat, the last section of Surah al-Baqarah and the command from Allah that each Muslim should pray fifty times a day. Prophet Muhammad was also shown the depths of Hell and saw many horrible things. He saw people that had their stomaches enlarged so big that they could not stand. As they lay on the ground suffering the Prophet was told that these were the people who kept orphans away from the property that was rightfully theirs and used it for themselves instead. The Prophet also saw people that had two plates of meat before them. One had freshly cooked meat that was good to eat while the other had meat that was spoiled and stinking. These people were eating only the rotten meat. The Prophet was told that they were the ones who used to commit adultery and fornication. There was another set of people who tried to speak but every time they opened their mouths to do so a sharp knife was there to cut their tongues out. The Prophet was told that these were people that always spoke evil behind the backs of their fellow Muslims. The Prophet then began his descent back to Earth. As he passed downward Musa stopped him and asked, "How many prayers have been laid upon you?" "Fifty," Muhammad replied. Musa then said, "The congregational prayer is a heavy weight and your people are weak. Return to your Lord and ask Him to lighten the load for you and your people." Muhammad took the advice from his friend and went back to Allah to ask for a reduction in the number of daily prayers. Allah took away ten prayers and Muhammad again began his descent to Earth. Musa stopped the Prophet again and told him that the number of prayers was still too much. Muhammad returned to Allah several times to get the number of prayers reduced until it was down to only five daily prayers. Musa again said this was too much but Muhammad said, "I have returned to my Lord so many times and asked Him so much that I am ashamed. I will not go again, but I have His assurance that whoever performs the five daily prayers will be given credit for fifty." The Prophet continued his descent from Heaven to Jerusalem. From there

the Prophet returned to Mecca. It was still night when he reached the place where he had been sleeping only a few hours before. The night journey to Jerusalem came to be called Al-Isra'a and Muhammad's ascent into Heaven is known as Al-Mi'raj. The next day Muhammad went to the Mosque and began telling the people of his miraculous journey. The Muslims that were weak in faith doubted the Prophet's word. They thought it was impossible for anyone to do all those things in one night. But sincere Muslims supported and defended him. One of the Prophet's best friends was Abu Bakr. After hearing about the Prophet's famous journey Abu Bakr said, "If Muhammad says it then it must be true. Why should we doubt him? He tells me that the Quran comes from Heaven all the time and I know him to be speaking the truth. That is more than what you are questioning him about today." After the night journey the Prophet had new strength and confidence. He was sure he could carry out his mission and guide people to the path of Islam. This was also the time that people in Medina heard about the new religion called Islam. They invited the Prophet to their city and a few years later he made the Hijra to that city. The wonderful night of Isra'a and Mi'raj helped the Prophet and the Muslims to become stronger in their faith which enabled them to overcome the idol-worshipping Meccans.

Isra and Miraj


by A Muslim sister

One night, a long, long time ago in Makkah, the Angel Gabriel came to the 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.

>>"Why did he do that?"

>>"Because his heart had to pure where he was going."

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.

>>"It must have taken a long time to go from Makkah to Jerusalem on that animal."

>>"Well, al Buraq was quite special. For each stride that it took, he would travel as far as the eye could see."

>>"Oooh!"

The Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) prayed two ra'kah in alAqsa 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."

Then Gabriel and the 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 his is!"

The gate was opened. When he entered, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) saw

Adam (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). Gabriel said to him:

"This is your father, Adam. Give him salaams." So the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) gave salaams and Adam (pbuh) returned his salaams and also said, "You are welcome, O pious son and pious prophet."

>>"We say 'peace be upon him' for all the prophets, Mommy, not just the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him?"

>>"That's right. Ma sha'Allah."

Then Gabriel and the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) ascended to the second heaven.

Gabriel asked for the gate to be opened. When the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) entered, he saw the Prophet Yahya (John) (alayhis salam) and the Prophet Isa (Jesus) (alayhis salam). The Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) exchanged salaams with them and then Gabriel and he ascended to the third heaven where the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) exchanged salaams with the Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) (salAllahu alayhi

wasalam). After exchanging salaams, Gabriel and the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) ascended to the fourth heaven where he again exchanged salaams, this time with the Prophet Idris (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). Then they ascended to the fifth heaven where the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) exchanged salaams with the Prophet Harun (Aaron) (alayhis salam).

>>"Oh I understand! Each time he goes to a higher heaven, he meets a different prophet."

>>"Yes, may peace be upon them all."

Then Gabriel and the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) ascended to the sixth heaven. There, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) exchanged salaams with the Prophet Moses (alayhis salam). As the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) left, the Prophet Moses (pbuh) 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."

>>"But Mommy, we don't follow the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). We follow Allah."

>>"That is a very good point, AbdurRahman. We follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the Sunnah, which is how we follow the commands of Allah."

Then Gabriel and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ascended to the seventh heaven. After exchanging salaams with the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) who welcomed him in the same way that the other prophets had, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) saw the the most wonderful sight. It was the Lote Tree of the farthest limit. Subhana'Allah! Its fruits were like the jars of Hajr and-

>>"What does that mean?"

>>"I think that it means that they were very big and ripe."

Its leaves were as big as elephant ears! Subhana'Allah! Words cannot describe its beauty-

>>"I want to see it. Will I see it?"

>>"Insha'Allah, all people who go to Jannah will see it."

There were four rivers there-two were hidden and two could be seen. The 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 SWT. It is under Allah's throne. Then the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was told that Muslims should pray fifty times a day.

>>"Fifty times? Don't you mean 'five', Mommy?"

>>"No, fifty. Listen and you will understand, insha'Allah."

When the Prophet Muhmammad returned down to the sixth heaven, Moses (pbuh) asked him what Muhammad (pbuh) had been ordered to do. The 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 Bani Israel could not do it. Go back to your Lord and ask Him to reduce your followers' burden."

So the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) 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. 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 Bani 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."

>>"Mommy, why are YOU crying?"

>>"BecauseAllah has so much mercy. He reduced the number of prayers from fifty to five. And still, Muslims complain, astaghfirullah!" Do you remember that I told you that this was a love story?"

>>"Yes. But is it Allah's love?"

>>"Well, of course, there is Allah's love. But do you see that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) loved his ummah-all Muslims-so much that he went back

not one, not two, not three, but FOUR times to his Lord, though he felt ashamed?"

>>"Is that why we love the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) peace be upon him more than any other man?"

>>"Yes. It is one reason."

>>"Mommy, I think that we should celebrate the Prophet Muhammad's peace be upon him Night Journey."

>>"No, no, AbdurRahman. Remember, we follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions who were the most righteous of Muslims. They never celebrated the Night Journey, and we won't either."

>>"But we remember the night, yes Mommy?"

>>"Yes. We can never forget the night when Allah was so merciful to his slaves and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) showed his love for his ummah."

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The Fruits of Labour


Shazia Andaleeb

There once lived a rich businessman who had a lazy and fun- loving son. He hated hard work, and enjoyed relaxing and playing all day. But the businessman wanted his son to be hard-working and responsible. He wanted him to realise the value of labour and effort. He didn't want his son to be lazy.

One day he called his over son and said, "Today, I want you to go out and earn something, if you don't, then you wont have your meals tonight."

The boy was callous and cunning, and not used to any kind of work. This demand by his father scared him and he went crying straight to his mother.

Her heart melted at the sight of tears in her sons eyes. She grew restless. In a bid to help him she gave him a gold coin.

In the evening when the father asked his son what he had earned, the son promptly presented him the gold coin, thinking that the father would think that the boy had earned the money from doing some work.

But the father asked the boy to throw the gold coin into a well. So the son did as he was told.

The father was a man of wisdom and experience and guessed that the coin was given to him by the boys mother.

The next day he sent his wife to her parents town and asked his son to go and earn something with the threat of being denied the night meals if he failed.

This time he went crying to his sister who sympathised with him and gave him a rupee out of her own savings.

When his father asked him what he had earned, the boy showed the money that his sister gave him.

The father again asked him to throw it in a well. The son did it quite readily.

Again the fathers wisdom told him that the coin was not earned by his son. He then sent his daughter to her in-laws house.

He again asked his son to go out and earn with the threat that he shall not have anything for dinner that night.

But this time since there was no one to help him out, the son was forced to go to the market in search of work. One of the shopkeepers there told him that he would pay him two rupees if he carried his trunk to his house. The rich mans son could not refuse and was drenched in sweat by the time he finished the job. His feet were trembling and his neck and back were aching. There were even rashes on his back.

As he returned home and produced the two rupee note before his father and was asked to throw it into the well, the horrified son almost cried out. He could not imagine throwing his hard-earned money like this. He said amid sobbing, "Baba! My entire body is aching. My back has rashes and you are asking me to throw this money into the well?"

At this the old man smiled. He told him that a person feels the pain only when the fruits of hard labour are wasted. On earlier two occasions he was helped by his mother and sister and therefore had no pain in throwing the coins into the well.

The son had now realised the value of hard work. He vowed never to be lazy and look after his fathers wealth. The father handed over the keys of his shop to the son and promised to guide and help him through the rest of the life.

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The Little Ants


The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and his Companions (radiAllahu anhum) once paused during a journey, and made a camp where they could rest. The Prophet went round the camp, talking to the men, and making sure that everything was all right. Then, not far away, he saw a fire. Someone had lit the fire to keep himself warm. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) walked towards the man who had lit the fire, to talk to him. Suddenly, he saw that not far away, there was an ant hill. The ants could be seen running about near the hill, working very hard, as ants do. Some of the ants were further away from the ant hill than others, and the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) saw that they were getting very close to the fire the man had lit. If they cam much closer, the ants might be burned up or harmed in some way. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was very disturned to see this. The ants were in danger. That meant that God's living creatures were in danger. "Who has made fire here," he asked. The man who had made the fire looked up.

"I made the fire, O Messenger of Allah!" he replied. "It is colr and I needed to make myself warm." "Quick!" the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) told him. "Put out the fire! Put out the fire!" The man obeyed at once. He took a blanket and beat the fire until its flames died away. Then, the man looked round and saw that there were ants near to where the fire had been. He realised then that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had been worried about the ants. He did not want the fire to hurt them and in his great mercy had ordered the fire to be put out. Even afterwards, the man always remembered to look round carefully before he made a fire. "There might be ants or other animals nearby," he said to himself. "And Allah forbids that any man should hurt them!"

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The Prophet Comes to Madinah

Everyone in Madinah was very excited. Muslims were laughing and chatting in the streets. All the children were happy, and were busy practising their songs of welcome. Everybody was making preparations and getting out his best clothes to wear when the great day arrived.

What was going to happen on this great day?

It was the happiest of happy events. The Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had left Makkah, and was coming to live in Madinah!

No wonder everyone was so thrilled. No wonder everyone wanted the hours to pass quickly until the Prophet's arrival.

The hours seemed to drag by, but at long last, the great moment arrived. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had reached Madinah.

As soon as they saw him, the little girls of Madinah burst into the songs of welcome they had so carefully prepared. Their little faces were full of joy and pleasure as they sang and the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was

very pleased.

He really enjoyed their performance and knew why the girls were greeting him with such lovely melodies.

"Do you love me?," he asked them. He knew the answer, of course.

"Yes, yes!" the little girls cried happily. "We do love and respect you, O Messenger of Allah!"

The little girls were delighted when the Prophet replied: "I also love you all."

At this, the little girls all smiled broadly and shouted joyous greetings to the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam).

What a wonderful day the Prophet came to Madinah!

Here is one of the famous nasheeds (songs) that was sung by everyong welcoming the Blessed Prophet to Madinah:

Tala'al-Badru 'alayna, min thaniyyatil-Wada' wajaba al-shukru 'alayna,

ma da'a lillahi da'

O the White Moon rose over us From the Valley of Wada' And we owe it to show gratefulness Where the call is to Allah

Ayyuha al-mab'uthu fina ji'ta bi-al-amri al-muta' Ji'ta sharrafta al-Madinah marhaban ya khayra da'

O you who were raised amongst us coming with a work to be obeyed You have brought to this city nobleness Welcome! best call to God's way

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Mahmood's Adventure

It was during the last week of January when Mahmood and his friends went out camping in the mountains by a lake.

As it was Allah's will, it happened that the friends arrived on an island at the very center of a frozen lake because the car broke down and they could do nothing but stay on the island.

A few days later, the lake showed signs of thawing and the friends hurried across the lake, taking whatever they could with them. Unfortunately, during the same time period, Mahmood was gone to explore and was far away from them at the time they escaped across the island. When Mahmood came back, he saw most of the stuff gone and no one around. Most of the lake had now melted and Mahmood was trapped.

The island, as Mahmood estimated was about 2 miles long and 1 mile wide. It was full of greenery and had much of the liking of a forest. Mahmood was able to identify many of the plants because of his previous camping experiences. The lake on the other hand, was too cold and wide to cross by swimming. Many attempts to swim across it failed and so Mahmood had to accept the idea that he would have to wait until somebody rescued him or

until the lake got a little bit warmer. He knew he was marooned and alone on the island.

As the days passed, Mahmood kept on remembering his parents, brothers, and sisters. He slept on his sleeping bag that he had brought with him for camping. He lived on many fruits he recognized as safe ones.

One day, as Mahmood had feared, a great python appeared. "This is not going to be any regular fight," Mahmood thought to himself. The python, even though this one was extraordinarily deadly and the center of terror among the animal inhabitants of the island, retreated back a little. Never had it seen a thing so big. It was afraid.

Mahmood had gathered many rocks and now hurled them with all his might on the python. The python couldn't dodge these missiles and one by one the rocks began tearing up its body. The snake, nevertheless, tried to make its way forward but only found that to make its end come sooner.

Mahmood hurled the last, heavy rock on the snake, splitting the snake's head into two and breaking up into tiny pieces on the rocks below the python's head. The python was dead.

Mahmood had a few more skirmishes of the like with a few more animals and began feeling more confident about living alone with the animals of prey all

around him. He was now learning the true meaning of courage.

Summer was coming up fast. Mahmood had hoped that someone might come boating on the lake and rescue him. Mahmood's hope was fulfilled later than he had expected. He waited past June, July, and then even August. Maybe this is not a public lake, he figured out.

Finally on the third week of September, a few boaters appeared. Mahmood waved to them. They came to the island and picked him up. He was free at last! He had stayed on the island for 7 months. Mahmood stayed with the boaters on their vacation. When the boaters decided to go home, they dropped Mahmood off because he lived close to where they lived.

As Mahmood walked up to the door of his house, he wondered what his family would say to him. His parents were the first to meet him. His mother couldn't believe her eyes and asked him, "Where were you?" And his father asked, "What had happened?" Mahmood told his family what had happened. They couldn't believe how he had killed the snake. They were very proud of him.

As for Mahmood, he became more courageous from that day onward. He also learned how to handle the situation when he was alone. It was the best adventure of his life.

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The Story of Maryam


by Jamil Momand

Once there was a woman named Hannah who was married to a man named Imran. They were good people and faithful servants to Allah.

One day Hannah found out she was going to have a baby. She made a special prayer to Allah and dedicated her unborn child to His service.

When Hannah delivered her baby girl she named her Maryam. Allah answered Hannah's prayer and Maryam grew up to be a very beautiful, righteous and good person.

Maryam's uncle, Zakariya, was a priest in the Jewish Temple. Since Maryam had dedicated her life to the service of Allah Zakariya took care of her. Sometimes Zakariya would go to Maryam's room to see her.

One time he went in and found her eating some food. Zakariya was puzzled because he knew that no one had brought her food recently. He said, "O Maryam! How did you get this food?"

"From Allah," Maryam answered, "For Allah provides sustenance without measure to whom He pleases."

One day when Maryam was grown up, she went away from her family to be alone for many days. She would sit and think about Allah.

Once Allah sent to her an angel disguised as a man. She was frightened at first but the angel said,

"I am here to give you news that you will give birth to a holy son. His name will be Isa. Isa will be an important prophet for Allah and will be honored in this world and in the Hereafter. Isa will be able to talk even as a baby."

Maryam was perplexed and confused. She asked the angel how she could have a son without a husband. The angel replied, "Allah creates as He wills. When He makes a plan all Allah has to do is to say "Be" and the plan works." After saying this, the angel walked away.

Maryam went back home, packed up a few of her belongings and left her family and her city to have baby Isa. She knew that no one would understand her situation. To have a baby without a husband was a very serious offense.

"(Remember) when the wife of Imran said: "O my Lord! I have vowed to You what (the child that) is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services (free from all worldly work; to serve Your Place of worship), so accept this, from

me. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knowing."


[Surah ali' Imran; 3: 35]

A few months later, when the baby was ready to be born, Maryam began to feel labor pains. She saw a palm tree that cast a long cool shadow that was sure to be comforting in the heat of the day. She made her way to the tree and laid down to rest herself. It was very hard to have a baby alone in the desert. She became sad and lonely and wished she had never been born.

From out of the ground there came a voice! It said, "Don't be sad, for your Lord has provided you with a little stream to help you."

When she looked down, she saw a little stream of water trickling beside her. The water was cold and pure. She could use it to clean herself and quench her thirst.

Then the voice told her to shake the tree. When she did, fresh dates fell. With the water and the dates Maryam felt better and the pains of childbirth lessened for a time.

The voice then told Maryam to make a promise to Allah not to talk to anyone. Maryam promised and the voice became silent.

Maryam gave birth to baby Isa all alone. When she had regained her strength, she gathered the baby in her arms and walked with him toward the city. The people saw her for the first time in many months and crowded around her. They thought that Maryam had committed a crime because she had a baby without a husband. They started to became angry with her and said that her parents were righteous people and feared Allah. They said that she had dishonored her parents and all the rest of her people.

Maryam wanted to tell the people that she was innocent and had committed no crime but, instead, she remembered her promise to Allah not to talk to anyone. She prayed silently to Allah to help her.

Meanwhile more and more people gathered around her shouting at her and asking how she got the baby. Finally, she laid baby Isa down in a cradle and pointed at him.

The people laughed and said, "How can we talk to a baby in the cradle?"

Prophet Isa (alayhis salam) looked out over the people. Then he opened his mouth and said, "I am indeed a servant of Allah. He has given me revelation and made me a prophet and He has blessed me wherever I may go and has instructed me to give prayer and charity as long as I live. Allah has made me kind to my mother and not overbearing or miserable. Therefore, there is peace on me the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I shall be raised

to life again on the Day of Judgment."

After that there was complete silence. Everyone realized that a miracle had taken place and that Isa was a prophet from Allah. Isa was a prophet from the day he was born. He performed, many miracles with Allah's permission and tried to show the people the right path. But the people turned away from Isa (alayhis salam) just as they had turned away from other prophets.

This was the story of one of the most righteous woman of all time, Maryam. Her life was devoted to serving Allah. Allah protected her from the people and helped her through many hardships. He performed a great miracle by giving Maryam a son that was a prophet.

May peace and blessings be showered upon Maryam for all her righteous deeds. Ameen.

The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, "The superiority of 'Aisha to other ladies is like the superiority of Tharid (i.e. meat and bread dish) to other meals. Many men reached the level of perfection, but no woman reached such a level except Mary, the daughter of Imran and Asia, the wife of Pharaoh." [Sahih al-Bukhari 4.643]

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Abdullah ibn Mas'ud

A young boy of short stature was grazing a herd of goats on the mountain trails on the outskirts of Makkah. He saw two men in the distance coming towards him. As they came closer they looked tired and thirsty.

They approached him and asked, "O young boy, can you offer us some milk from any of your goats to quench our thirst?"

In reply the young boy said, "I am sorry, these goats are not mine, they belong to Uqaba Ibn Ali Muait, so I will be dishonest if I give you milk without his permission."

Both men were very impressed with the young boy's honesty.

This young boy was none other than Abdullah Ibn Masud, and the two men were Prophet Muhammed (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu).

They had left Makkah that day to escape the persecution of The Quraysh. This incident shows the keen sense of honesty Abdullah Ibn Masud had even before he accepted Islam and relates to the saying of The Prophet

(salAllahu alayhi wasalam) that, "The best of you before he accepting Islam are the best after accepting it".

Soon after this incident Abdullah Ibn Masud became very attached to the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and very soon he became a Muslim. He gave up herding goats and instead devoted himself to serving the Blessed Prophet.

He used to accompany Prophet Muhammed on his journeys and tend to his personal needs. He received the unique training and guidance in the household of Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). He is known and recognised as one of the most knowledgeable companions with knowledge of the Qur'an.

One a man came to Umar Ibn Al Khattab and told him, "I have just come from Kufah in Iraq where I left a man filling copies of the Qur'an from memory".

"Who is he?" asked Umar angrily

"Abdullah Ibn Masud" replied the man.

Then Umar became calm and said, "Woe to you, by Allah I don't know anyone more qualified to do this".

Another time, the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam), Umar and Abu Bakr

(radiAllahu anhum) passed the mosque while someone was reciting the Qur'an beautifully in prayer. The prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, "Whoever wants to read the Qur'an as fresh as it was revealed, should read like Ibn Masud", as he was the person reciting it.

Ibn Mas'ud was one of the four people the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) recommended people to learn the Qur'an from; including Salama Maula Abu Hudayfa, Muadh Ibn Jabal and Ubayy Ibn Ka'ab (radiAllahu anhum).

When the Sahabah (radiAllahu anhum) were very few in Makkah, weak and oppressed, one day they said, "The Quraysh have not heard the Qur'an being recited loudly, Who can do it?"

"I will do it" said Abdullah Ibn Masud. This was a big task. The Sahabah were afraid for him because he did not have any tribe to protect him. The Quraysh could easily attack and harm Abdullah ibn Mas'ud if he started to read the Qur'an for everyone to hear.

But Ibn Masud said, "Allah will keep me safe from their mischief".

Ibn Masud went to the Kab'ah where some of the Quraysh were gathered and started reciting Surah Ar-Rahman of the Qur'an.

When the Quraysh realised he was reciting the Qur'an, they came over to

him, and started beating him till he bled. However, although he was very swollen and bruised, he finished reciting the Surah.

The Sahabah were sorry for Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud when they saw his condition, but Abdullah ibn Mas'ud said, "By Allah, the enemies of Allah are more uncomfortable than me, and I would go and do it again."

The sahabah said, "It is enough."

Ibn Mas'ud had excellent manners and he loved to make sacrifices for Allah's sake. He took part in all the major battles of Islam with Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam).

In the battle of Badr, he killed Abu Jahl. He also fought in the battles of Uhud, Khandaq, Khaybar, the conquest of Makkah and Hunayn.

Abdullah ibn Mas'ud was also very careful in narrating hadith from the Blessed Prophet, to make sure he said the exact words of the Prophet, and didn't make any mistakes. Once after telling people a hadith, he smiled after it, because Muhammed (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) also smiled after it. He knew that he said the hadith correctly, and that the Blessed Prophet was pleased. This shows us Ibn Mas'ud's truthfulness and determination to be correct.

Ibn Masud also never allowed injustice of any kind, no matter who was doing it. One day Wahid Ibn Aqaba, the governor of Kufa was late to lead the prayers in congregation, so Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud led the prayers. When Ibn Aqaba came he was very angry and demanded an explanation from Ibn Mas'ud.

"Allah does not like the prayer delayed for you. Why should the people wait in the Mosque for prayer whilst you are busy in your work?," replied Ibn Mas'ud

Wahid could not reply.

Ibn Masud would treat his family with affection and kindness and made sure he educated them in the Qur'an and about Islam. He was very hospitable and in Kufah had emptied his house for serving guests.

His speeches very mainly about the Oneness of Allah, prayers, fearing Allah and the Hereafter. He used to say, "O people, he who wants this world loses the next, he who wants the Hereafter does not care about this world".

Ibn Masud was brave and pious, though he was short and had very thin legs. One day he climbed a tree and his legs were uncovered and some people laughed at them.

But the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, "On the Day of Judgement, his legs will have more weight in Allah's sight than Mount Uhud."

Ibn Masud lived up to the time of the Khalifah Uthman (radiAllahu anhu). On Ibn Masud's deathbed, Uthman came to visit him and said, "What is your illness?"

"My sins," replied Ibn Mas'ud

"And what do you desire?," asked Uthman

"The mercy of my Lord," replied Ibn Mas'ud

"Should I give you your grant, which you have refused for years?," asked Uthman

"I don't need it," said Ibn Mas'ud

"Let it be for your daughters after you," replied Uthman

"Do you fear that my children will become poor, Uthman? I have commanded them to read Surah al-Waqiah every night, for I have heard the Prophet saying: "Whoever reads al-Waqiah every night shall not be afflicted by poverty ever."

That night Ibn Masud passed away, his tongue moist with remembrance of Allah and recitation of the Qur'an.

RadiAllahu anhu.

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Nabil's White Shoes

Nabil looks into the padi field and watches the tadpoles swimming. It is the planting season and the padi field is flooded. Farmers are going to remove the seedlings from the seed beds and transplant them into the flooded fields. The warm, wet climate in the tropics is ideal for growing padi. Meantime the tadpoles are having fun swimming in the empty field.

Nabil is waiting for his father to take him to the masjid. He can hear his father calling him, "Nabil, where are you?" (Aina anta, ya Nabil?) Nabil replies, "I am coming, Ayah." He rushes to the road to meet his father.

As they start walking they hear a sound, squiissh, squiissh, squiissh, squiissh. "What is that noise?" asks Nabil. They stop to listen, but the noise stops as well. As they start walking again, they hear the noise again, squiissh, squiissh, squiissh, squiissh. Again they stop to listen. Again the noise stops. They are very puzzled. " Is someone following us?" asks Nabil, as he looks back. But there is no one there. What could the noise be? Is it a bird in the sky or an insect in the padi field? Again as they start walking they hear the noise.

Nabil looks down at his shoes and squeals in delight. "Its my shoes, they are

wet and are making this squiisshing sound." They both laugh gleefully. His father looks at Nabil's shoes and exclaims, "Nabil, there is a hole in your shoe. We need to buy you a new pair of shoes. Next week when I get some money, insha Allah, I will put aside some money for your shoes first."

Nabil is very excited. Shopping for new shoes will be fun.

On Monday after school, Nabil asks his father, "Ayah, can we go shopping for my shoes?" His father says, "Sabar (be patient), Nabil." Then Nabil says to his father, "Ayah, today I saw my friend Azman wearing a nice pair of black shoes." His father says, "Alhamdulillah, that is what Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala) has given to him."

On Tuesday after school, Nabil asks his father again, "Ayah, can we go shopping for my shoes?" His father says the same thing, " Sabar, Nabil." Then Nabil says to his father, "Ayah, today I saw Ustaz Marwan wearing a new pair of white shoes." His father says, "Alhamdulillah, that is what Allah s.w.t has given to him."

On Wednesday after school, Nabil asks his father again, "Ayah, can we go shopping for my shoes?" His father says, "Sabar, Nabil." "Nabil, today I saw the postman wearing smart blue shoes." This time Nabil says, "Alhamdulillah, that is what Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala) has given to him."

On Sunday again Nabil says, "Ayah, can we go shopping for my shoes?" His

father says, "Yes, today after salatul Zohor, insha Allah, we will go and buy your shoes." Nabil performs his salatul Zohor and quickly gets ready to go out shopping.

At the shoe shop, Nabil sees a nice pair of black shoes. "Ayah, these shoes look very smart," says Nabil. His father says, "Yes, they look great, Nabil." His father looks at the price. "Nabil, we can only spend $25 for your shoes. These shoes cost $55. It would be a waste to buy these expensive shoes. This is an extravagance. We would be spending an extra $30. Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala) does not want us to be extravagant, Nabil. What do you think we can use the $30 for?"

Nabil's father then reads a verse of the Qur'an.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Walaa Tusri fuu

Innahu La yuhibbul Musrifeen

And waste not [laa Tusri fuu] by extravagance (excess).

Verily, He (Allah) loves not those who waste by extravagance (excess).

Surah 6 Verse 141

"Okay, Ayah," Nabil says. We will not be extravagant." Nabil always obeys his father, he is a soleh child.

Then Nabil sees a pair of brown shoes that look very nice. "Ayah, these shoes are $27 only, can I buy them," asks Nabil. His father looks at the shoes and says, "Yes, Nabil, these shoes are just right for you."

As the salesman looks for the right size of shoes, Nabil wanders around the shop and soon sees a pair of white shoes that cost $17 only. He likes the shoelaces on them. There are little bells dangling at the end of the shoelaces. "Ayah, Ayah," Nabil calls as he runs to the other side of the shop in excitement. "Can I buy these pair of white shoes with the little bells on them. They are cheaper than the brown shoes; we will save money too. Do you know how much money we will save Ayah?"

"Are you sure you want these shoes Nabil. I don't mind paying $27 for the brown shoes, if you want them," his father says. "No, I don't want the expensive brown shoes. I want these white shoes which are cheaper. Ayah, we must not waste money. Remember what Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala) says," Nabil reminds his father by reading the verse from the Qur'an.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Wa laa Tusri fuu

Innahu La yuhibbul Musrifeen

And waste not [laa Tusri] by extravagance (excess).

Verily, He (Allah) loves not [ La yuhibbu] those who waste by extravagance (excess).

Surah 6 Verse 141

His father smiles when Nabil finishes reading the verse. He says, "Well, Nabil, now you have a new pair of white shoes." Nabil replies, "Alhamdulillah, this is what Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala) has given to me."

Nabil is very happy. He keeps looking at his new white shoes, smiles and keeps saying, "Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah."

On the way back, Nabil's father says, "Nabil you can have the $10 we saved by buying these white shoes. You can do what you want with it, but remember to do only those things that will earn you the pleasure of Allah (swt) When Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala) brings rezeki to us He also waits to see what we do with it. This $10 comes to you from Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala)"

Nabil's father reads a verse of the Qur'an.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Wama bikum min ni'matin faminallah

And whatever of blessings [ ni'matin] and good things you have, it is from Allah.

Surah An-Nahl 16:53

The next day Nabil is thinking of what he would like to do with all that money. It is a lot of money and he has never had so much before. At first he thinks he would like to spend all the money on ice cream or chocolates or even buy that toy car he has seen at the supermarket. Just the thought of it makes him very excited. But then he asks himself, "Will Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala) be pleased with me if I spend all the money on myself?"

Next day after school he sits down with his father and starts writing down his ideas. Nabil decides to use the money in five different ways. Nabil starts think, "How much money is there for me to use for each way if I divide $10 into five ways?" Nabil sees that he has $2 to give his mother, whom he loves very much. He can spend $2 for himself, he can use $2 to buy treats for his brothers and sisters, he can save $2 and the last $2 he can give to the poor

family who lives near the masjid. He says to himself, " Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala) will be pleased with me if I use the money in this way rather than if I spend it all on myself."

Next day he goes with his mum to visit the poor family. When they reach the house they hear some children crying. Nabil and his mum say, "Assalamu Alaikum, Makcik Meriam." Makcik comes out and replies, "Wa alaikumus Salam." One little girl follows makcik and keeps saying, "I am hungry, mak. I am hungry, mak. Give me some food?" (Ana jaw'an. Ana jaw'an. A'tinee ba'dha toa'am.)

Nabil's mother gives some old clothes to makcik. Nabil gives his $2. Makcik is very happy and says, "Alhamdulillah." She immediately wispers to her son to go and buy a packet of rice so that she can cook it for his little sister. There is nothing in the house to eat. Even though she speaks very softly Nabil and his mother can hear.

Nabil is very upset and shocked that there is nothing to eat in Makcik Meriams house. At his house there is always something to eat. He puts his hand in his pocket and feels the balance of the money. He realizes that makcik needs the money to feed the family but he does not need the extra money. He decides to give all the balance of $8 to Makcik. He immediately sees her face light up even more as she keeps repeating, "Alhamdulillah, Masha Allah." She tells her son to buy some more rice and dried fish.

When they reach home, Nabil starts crying as he remembers makcik's family who has no food in their house. His mother consoles him and says, " Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala) sends rezeki to whomever he chooses. Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala) gives more to some and waits to see whether they will spend it all for themselves or they will share with those who are in need."

Nabil looks at his new shoes and says, "Alhamdulillah, I am glad I bought this pair of white shoes and saved $10 and therefore could give it to makcik's family."

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The Old Woman and the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wsalam)

More than 1400 years ago in Arabia the people were living very much in fear. They feared their neighbours. They feared other tribes. They even feared their idols. For this was the time before Islam. The Arabs were worshipping idols. In their ignorance they would bury their newly born daughters alive. As Islam began to spread among Arabs such cruel practices stopped. For Islam taught love and peace. It taught kindness and respect.

Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wsalam) himself was a very kind and loving person. He treated every one, young and old, with kindness and respect.

Because Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wsalam) was spreading the word of God, because he was changing, for better, the lives of many Arabs and because some Arabs felt that by the teachings of Muhammad their old idols were losing power they disliked Muhammad and planned to kill him. Every time they tried to kill him, they failed. This angered the enemies of Islam even more. So they began to harass him in every way they knew.

One old woman made a habit of throwing rubbish on Prophet Muhammad

(salAllahu alayhi wsalam) whenever he passed from her house! Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wsalam) had to pass that house daily on the way to the mosque. Even when the old woman threw rubbish on him, he would pass silently without showing any anger or annoyance. This was a regular, daily event.

One day when the Prophet was passing by, the woman was not there to throw the rubbish. He stopped, and asked the neighbour about her well-being, and wondering why she wasn't dropping any rubbish on him.

The neighbour informed the Prophet that the woman was sick on bed. The Prophet politely asked permission to visit the woman. When allowed he entered the house, the woman thought that he had come there to take his revenge when she was unable to defend herself because of sickness.

But the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wsalam) assured her that he had come to her, not to take any revenge, but to see her and to look after her needs, as it was the command of Allah that if any one is sick, a Muslim should visit him and should help him if his help is needed.

The old woman was greatly moved by this kindness and love of the Prophet. By the example of greatness of Muhammad, she understood that he was truly the Prophet of God and Islam was the true religion. She accepted Islam at once, Alhamdulilah.

Key Points: Rights of Neighbours in Islam, Kindness, Visiting and caring for the ill, Forgiveness.

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Copyright 2003-2004 Mutmainaa

An Orphan's Eid

It was the day of celebration and a day of rejoicing. There was an air of festivity in the streets of Madinah. All the people, both young and old were dressed in their best clothes, especially for this special day of Eid. As it was time for early morning Eid prayers everyone made their way to an open piece of land on the outskirts of the city. The Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) 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 the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) 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 (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) 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 (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) 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 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.' The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) 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 (salAllahu alayhi wasalam), and he immediately jumped up to his feet out of love and respect.

The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said to him 'If I were to become your new father and A'isha you new mother, and Fatimah 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 took him home and gave him new clothes and good food on this beautiful day of Eid. The boy indeed had a wonderful Eid that day.

We should think of others that are less fortunate than ourselves on this beautiful day of 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.

A Pious Woman at the Time of the Pharaoh

This story is on the Prophet Muhammad's (salAllahu alayhi wassalaam) Night Journey to Jerusalem (The Isra'): The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wassalaam) smelled a very nice odour. He asked Angel Jibril (alayhis salam) about this pleasant scent and Angel Jibril (Alayhis salam) informed him this good smell was coming from the grave of the woman whose duty used to be to comb Pharaoh's daughter's hair. This woman was a good, pious believer. One day, as she was combing Pharaoh's daughter's hair, the comb fell from her hand. At this she said, "Bismillah." The Pharaoh's daughter asked her, "Do you have a God other than my father? " The woman said, "Yes. My Lord and the Lord of your father is Allah." Pharaoh's daughter told her father what had happened. Pharaoh demanded this woman blaspheme and leave Islam, and not be a Muslim anymore, but she refused. At that, Pharaoh threatened to kill her children. He brought a great pot of water and built a great fire under it. When the water boiled, Pharaoh brought her children and started to drop them into that pot one after the other. Throughout all this, the woman remained steadfast to Islam - and refused to leave Islam, even when Pharaoh reached her youngest child -- a little boy still breast feeding -- but she felt pity for him. At that, Allah enabled this child to speak. He said to his mother, "O Mother, be patient. The torture of the Hereafter is far more severe than the torture of this life, and do not be reluctant, because you are right." At this the woman requested Pharaoh collect her bones and the bones of her children and bury them in the same grave. Pharaoh promised her that -then dropped her into that boiling water. She died as a martyr. The good odour the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wassalam) smelled coming from her grave is an indication of her high status.

Copyright 2003-2004 Mutmainaa

The Poor Man

It was a usual meeting. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was in his place and his companions gathered around him to hear the words of wisdom and guidance. Suddenly a poor man in rags appeared, saluted the assembly:

"Assalamun Alaikum" and finding a vacant place, comfortably sat down. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had taught them that all Muslims were brothers and in an assembly one should sit wherever one finds a place, regardless of any status.

Now, it so happened that this poor man sat next to a very rich man. The rich man felt disturbed and tried to collect the edges of his dress around himself, so that the poor man did not touch them. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) observed this and addressing the rich man he said:

"Perhaps you were afraid that his poverty would affect you?" "No, O Messenger of Allah," he said "Then perhaps you were apprehensive about some of your wealth flying away to him?"

"No, O Messenger of Allah." "Or you feared that your clothes would become dirty if he touched them?" "No, O Messenger of Allah." "Then why did you draw yourself and your clothes away from him?"

The rich man said: "I admit that was the most undesirable thing to do. It was an error and I confess. Now to make amends for it, I will give away half of my wealth to this Muslim brother so that I may be forgiven. "

Just as he said this, the poor man rose and said: "O Prophet of Allah, I do not accept his offer."

People present were all taken by surprise. They thought the poor man was a fool. But he explained:

"O Prophet of Allah, I refuse to accept his offer because I fear that I might then become arrogant and ill treat my Muslim brothers the way he did to me."

Look, you are being called upon to expend in Allah's Way, yet some of you are being niggardly, whereas the one who is niggardly is, in fact, being niggardly only to himself. Allah is Self-Sufficient: it is you who are the needy. If you turn away, Allah will replace you by another people, and they

will not be like you.


[47: 38]

"Allah does not love the arrogant and the boastful, who are niggardly and bid others to be niggardly and conceal the bounty which Allah has bestowed upon them. We have kept in readiness a humiliating chastisement for such deniers (of Allah's bounty)"
[4: 36-37]

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A Prize for Piety

Once long ago, a young man named Salman came to perform Hajj. He was poor and had no money for good food. So he stayed at Makkah spending much of his time in the Haram. During the day, he worked to earn his bread which he ate with Zam-Zam water.

One day while in the masjid al-Haram, he saw something glittering under the sun in the distance. "What could that be?," thought Salman.

As he came closer, he found that someone had dropped their purse. When he opened it, he found an expensive necklace along with plenty of money.

"I could buy a lot of nice things with all this money," Salman thought. "I could buy a good house and good food with that money". But his piety spoke to him: "It is haram - it's not your property".

Then Shaitan whispered to Salman to be greedy and to keep the money. Then Salman thought that he could spend some of the money and give some of the money to charity. He thought that he was doing the right thing by keeping the money.

Meanwhile, the owner of the purse came searching for it. Salman saw the owner asking people if they had seen their purse. "I'm a thief," thought Salman, "I have the purse".

But Shaitan again whispered to him, "Don't be a fool. You need this money badly". But Salman remembered the du'a to say to make Shaitan go away from him;

A'udhu bilAllahi min ash-shaitan ar-rajeem

I ask Allah to protect mee from the rejected Shaitan. Salman quickly returned the purse to the owner who jumped with joy. He kissed and embraced Salman and gave him a lot of money in prize to thank him for his honesty and kindness.

But Salman returned the money saying that it was his duty as a good Muslim. The man was stunned of the piety of this young man. He embraced him again and returned with his family.

Salman continued his hard life of worship and earning halal. He collected some money and planned to return home. He bought some gifts for his parents. He sailed on a boat from Jeddah to the south. After three days at sea, there was a heavy storm, the boat hit a huge rock and the passengers

had to abandon it.

Fortunately for Salman, he got hold of a plank off the broken boat and stuck to it. The waves took him to the middle of nowhere. To survive, he drank sea water and caught small fishes for food. It was horrifying to see big sharks preying on the other survivors.

Salman was scared, and prayed to Allah to save his life. After three days, the wind and tide took him near the shore. He swam until he reached the beach and walked to the nearby village.

He entered the mosque, thirsty, hungry, injured and tired. The villagers in the mosque saw the tried looking stranger, and were very kind and helpful to him.

Salman stayed in the mosque, trying to gather his strength after the shipwreck and continued with his worship. Then he led the people in salat like an Imam and gave them sermons full of good advice and piety. He also used to help people with jobs that they needed doing, and was kind and helpful as much as he could. The people were impressed with this young pious man.

There was a rich man in the village who had a beautiful daughter named Shayma. He wanted to give her in marriage to the pious young man who would also manage his business.

One night, he came to Salman and said, "You are a very loving person to me. I want you to marry my daughter."

Salman could not believe what he heard. He knew that the person was the richest man in the village. Salman kissed his head and the rich man embraced Salman. After three days, a simple nikah was arranged in the mosque and the bride came to live with him. When he entered the room he found a beautiful lady wrapped in silken clothes. She stood to welcome him.

As Salman came closer to greet his new wife, he saw something glisten under the sun. His sight was caught by the necklace Shayma was wearing. It was the same necklace which he had returned in the Haram!

Salman turned his face and fell in prostration to Allah and said, "Thou Art Great. Truly, Thou never waste the reward of righteous ones."

Shayma told the whole story to her father. The next day, the father came to Salman with a key in his hand saying, "This is the key of all my businesses and properties." He embraced Salman. Piety smiled in Salman's heart and said, "Will you love me not?"

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Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the Black Stone

The Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was a wise man, even before he received the revelations of the Qur'an from Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala). When the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was a young man, about thirty-five years old, the people of his home town, Makkah, decided to rebuild the sacred masjid of Makkah, the Ka'bah. Since there were many big families at Makkah, they worked separately, family by family, until the walls were high enough for the black stone to be built again into its corner. Then a violent argument broke out among them; for each family wanted the honour of putting the black stone into its place. The disagreement lasted for four or five days and anger had increased to the point that they were ready to fight with arms, when the oldest man present suggested a solution. He called, "O men of Quraish! Take as a judge between you, the first man who shall enter in through the gate of this Sacred Mosque." They agreed to follow the advice of the old man; and for their good luck, the first man to enter the Mosque was Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam), who had just returned to Makkah after a brief absence for a few days. The sight of him produced an immediate and pleasant feeling that here was the right person for the task, and his arrival was greeted by words of satisfaction. "This is al-Amin," said some. "We accept his judgement," said others, "It is Muhammad."

Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) asked, "What is this all about?" When they explained the matter to hm, he took off his cloak, and spread it on the

ground. Then, picking up the Black Stone, Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) laid it in the middle of the cloak. "Let the leader of each family take hold of the border of the cloak," he said, "then lift it up, all of you together." When they had raised it to the right height, Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) took the stone and placed it in the corner with his own hands, and the building above the Black Stone was continued and completed peacefully and quietly.

The Proud Man's Garden


by Asma Muhyudeen

Once there was a proud man who owned a huge, beautiful garden. It was very big and the proud man worked hard looking after and growing different things in it. He loved his garden very much, and thought that because he has such a great garden, it made him better than other people.

Many different foods were grown in the garden; date-palms, grain and fruit. The proud man would sell the foods that he produced and would make a lot of money. He became a very rich man.

The proud man also had a next door neighbour. The next-door neighbour also had a garden, but it was not as big and successful as the proud mans'. But he grew foods as well, and was thankful for the blessings that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) had given him.

He appreciated that everything that we have comes from Allah, and that we shouldnt become so puffed out and arrogant about the gifts that Allah has given us.

One day, the proud man met his next-door neighbour and started boasting

about his beautiful garden.

"I have more money than you, and I am so Powerful. I don't think that my garden will ever end."

But his next-door neighbour remembered that has Allah Created us and that everything that we have is because it was given to us as a blessing by Him.

He said, "I know that Allah has provided me with everything that I have, and only Allah provides us with things, no-one else."

He continued, "You should say masha'Allah, that there is no power except from Allah". He knew that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) was All-Powerful, not the proud man.

"Just as Allah has given you so much, He could easily take it away from you."

And so it happened.

A raging storm came and destroyed the proud man's garden and ruined him. The proud man was twisted in grief and cried out in sorrow.

He realised his mistake and wished that he had not become so proud and

boastful about what blessings Allah had given him. He forgot about Allah, and he began to think that he had powers alongside with Allah.

He knew that he was wrong and that All Power is with Allah. Allah can give us things and He can take them away.

We should be grateful for the blessings that Allah has blessed us with, and thank Him for them.

Please do not reproduce without permission and acknowledgement.

Learning points: The purpose of life, Rizq, Shirk, Tawheed.

Based on a parable mentioned in Surah al-Khaf - 18: 32-44

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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 her self.

"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. "What's wrong Omar?"

"I just remember the stories about the Bosnians eating grass because there was 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 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.

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Rumaysa bint Milhan

Even before Islam, Rumaysa was known for her good character. She was very intelligent and independent. Her fathers name was Khalid.

Rumaysas first husband was Malik. She had a son by this marriage, Anas. He became a great companion of the Prophet.

Rumaysa was one of the first women of Madinah to accept Islam. The Prophet had sent Mus'ab to Madinah. He told the people of Medina about Islam. He taught people like Rumaysa about the religion.

Rumaysa went to a place called Aqabah to pledge her loyalty to the Prophet. Her husband was absent at the time. When she came back, her husband noticed some change in her.

What happened? he asked. You seem different.

Now I believe in the Prophet Muhammad, Rumaysa replied.

Malik was not happy about this. Rumaysa began telling everyone about Islam. She taught Anas, her son, to

declare his faith. The young boy repeated it very clearly.

Malik was furious with his wife. Dont corrupt my son, shouted her husband.

Im not corrupting him. Im just telling him the truth, replied Rumaysa.

Malik was very angry. He set out to go to Damascus. On the road one of his enemies killed him.

Rumaysa remained devoted to her son. She decided not to marry again unless Anas wanted her to. She was a young, strong and beautiful widow.

Abu Talha (radiAllahu anhu) wanted to get engaged to her before anyone else did. He was very rich and had a beautiful house. He was a powerful man. Everyone admired him. He was also a skillful archer and horseman.

He asked Rumaysa to marry him, but she refused. Abu Talha was a pagan.

But Abu Talha didnt believe her. Why dont you marry me? he asked. Do you want a lot of gold and silver?

No, I dont want any gold or silver, Rumaysa answered. I only want you to be a Muslim. If you accept Islam, I can marry you. You are a pagan. You worship an idol. But the idol is made of wood. It cant give you any harm or

good. Give up these foolish beliefs. Become a Muslim and I will accept you as a husband.

How do I become a Muslim? Abu Talha asked.

Make the declaration of faith, Rumaysa replied. Testify that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God. Then go to your house and destroy your idol.

Abu Talha did as Rumaysa said. He went home and destroyed his idol. Then he went to Rumaysa and declared his faith. She took him to see the Prophet. Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was very pleased.

After that they were married. They loved each other very much. Rumaysas new husband spent his time and talents in the service of Islam. They both went to Aqabah for the second pledge to the Prophet.

Abu Talha took part in all the major military campaigns. He lived a very quiet life. He had a wonderful garden in Madinah with date palms, grapes and running water. One day while he was making salat in the shade of the trees, a beautiful bird

RadiAllahu anha.

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Assalamu alaykum!
by Sister Asma

Abdullah ibn Umar ibn Al-Khattab, the son of Umar ibn Al-Khattab (radiAllahu anhu) loved conveying salam (peace) to people.

He had seen the Beloved Prophet saying salam to eveybody, young and old, rich or poor. he said salam even to children playing in the way.

Abdullah loved the prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) very much, and loved to do exactly what the blessed Prophet did himself. So he also conveyed his salaams to everyone he met.

One day, Abdullah began going to the market everyday, around all the different bazaars, where other Muslims were selling different things. But even though Abdullah ibn Al-Khattab was going every day, he wasn't buying anything. What was he doing, going to the market every day?

Abdullah was conveying his salaams! He greeted the shopkeepers, and the men in the street. He greeted people sitting down, and people standing. He greeted any person he met, high and low.

Someone noticed this too, and asked Abdullah why he would go to the market everyday, but not buy anything, "You come daily to the bazaar without fail,

but you never buy, sell, or bargain anything. You don't wander in and around in the shops, or idly chat with shopkeepers. Instead, you always pass by the bazaar and go away again, without stopping anywhere. Why do you do this? "

"I come to the bazaar to offer salaam to the people!," replied Abdullah, "Not for shopping."

When you are greeted with a greeting, you greet with one better than it, or return it" [Surah Nisa, 4: 86]

'The riding person should greet the walking one, and the walking person should greet the sitting one, and the small group grets the bigger group, and the young greet the old' [Sahih al-Bukhari]

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The Seal of the Prophethood

There were many signs as the prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was growing up and entering manhood that he was an extraordinary person.

He was well known among the Quraish as a trustworthy and honest person. He was an eloquent speaker and a sound judge. But there was something more, something special, about him that was witnessed by many of those around him.

When Amina was pregnant with the baby Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam), she was aware of a light within her, shining out of her stomach so intensely that she could see great distances.

Just before the baby was born Amina had a dream in which she was told that her child would be the leader of the people and that she should name him 'Muhammad', meaning 'the praised one'. Although it was an unusual name among the Arabs, Amina, when the baby was born in 570, Muhammad he was named. So Amina was not surprised when Haleema, the childs foster mother, told her about something strange that happened when she was looking after young Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam).

Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and the son of Haleema had been out in the fields with the sheep, when two men dressed in white took Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) a little distance away and laid him down and opened his chest.

Haleemas son quickly ran back to tell his parents what was happening. What were those two men doing? When Haleema and her husband ran to him they found Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) very pale but standing. They could see no trace of the men, and there was no sign of any hurt or wound on young Muhammad, but neither boy would change a word of his story. The only mark on the Muhammads body was a small mark on his back between his shoulders. But that had been there since his birth.

Later in his life the Blessed prophet described what happened on that day more fully. He said that the two men in white carried with them a gold basin of snow. They opened his chest and removed his heart. They also opened his heart and removed a black clot. Then they cleansed and purified his heart and his breast with the snow.

When Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was six years old his mother died. He was then cared for by his grandfather, Abdul Muttalib, who died only two years after becoming Muhammads guardian.

After his grandfathers death, Muhammad was taken into the household of his fathers brother, Abu Talib. Sometimes, Abu Talib would take Muhammad with him on his travels with merchant caravans. On one such journey they stopped at a place named Bostra, on the way to Syria.

At Bostra there lived a Christian monk named Bahira. He lived there alone, studying old books and manuscripts which had been passed down to him from generations of monks who had lived there before him, all of whom were scholars of the scriptures.

In the books, there was one which predicted the coming of a prophet among the Arabs. Bahira believed that the prophet would come in his lifetime.

As the caravan from Makkah came to a halt near the monks abode, he noticed something very strange. A small cloud seemed to move slowly above the heads of a couple of the travelers, shielding them from the heat of the sun. What could this mean?

When the group of travelers took shelter beneath a tree, the cloud came to rest above them, and the branches of the tree itself were lowered over them to provide more shade.

Bahira was intrigued, and wanted to know more, so prepared a dinner for the

entire caravan. It was no ordinary person who had caused the strange happenings which Bahira had witnessed. Perhaps the expected prophet was with the caravan.

When his guests arrived for dinner, he saw nothing unusual about any of them, so he asked if everyone had come. Sure enough, the youngest member of the caravan, Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam), had been left at the camp.

The monks requested that Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) be brought. Bahira watched the young boy carefully, and noted his behaviour. He knew at once that this was the person for whom the shade had been provided. After a little while, Bahira took Abu Talib and his nephew aside, and said, "This is the Last Prophet." When Abu Talib asked him how he knew this, the monk replied, "the signs of the last Prophet are written in our books, and the clouds only cast shade over a Prophet. When you were approaching, I saw a cloud overshadowing your caravan, and I had no doubt that the last Prophet foreseen in our holy books was with you. For this reason I invited you, in order that I might meet him."

Bahira asked the boy many questions, all of which were answered to his satisfaction. Finally the monk asked if he might see his back. There, between the shoulders, was the mark Bahira had expected to see, just as it had been

described in his book.

Bahira advised Abu Talib to take his nephew back to Makkah. He warned him to keep the boy away from the Jews, for if they saw in him what Bahira had seen, they would try to harm him. [7: 157]

He predicted that great things were in store for the son of Abu Talibs brother. Between the shoulders of Muhammad , Bahira had seen what he knew was the seal of prophethood.

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Secret Code

Once, long, long ago, there lived a pious man who often spoke about Islam to the people.

One day, he was speaking about Bismillah (In the Name of Allah). He told the people that they would get a lot of reward for reading Bismillah before doing anything.

There was a non-Muslim girl in the crowd. She loved what she was hearing so much, that she became a Muslim. Now, she also had a very good habit. She would say Bismillah before doing anything. It so happened that her father who was not a Muslim found out that she now believed in one Allah.

Oh! You can just imagine how very upset he was! You see, he was the Kings Minister and was afraid that people wouldnt be too happy when they heard about this. Her father started threatening her, hoping and wishing that she would give up Islam. But she wouldnt because she loved this beautiful Islam.

In utter despair, her father tried to get rid of her. He went up to his daughter and gave her a ring. Now, this ring was a stamp that was used to

seal all the Kings letters. Her father told her to keep the ring until he asked for it. She said Bismillah, took it and put it into her pocket.

Later that night, when the sky was liquorice black and only the sound of the crickets could be heard, her father crept into her room and stole the ring.

Youd never believe what he did next! He threw it into a nearby river! He was a very cunning man and his plan was to see what the King would do to his daughter. He would have to punish her, wouldnt he?

Early the next morning, a fisherman arrived at the Ministers house. He had brought him some fish as a gift. The Minister thanked the fisherman and told his daughter to prepare the fish. So, she read Bismillah and began to clean the fish.

Imagine how surprised she was when she saw a ring inside the fish. She was flabbergasted! It looked very familiar. In fact, it looked just like the ring which her father had asked her to look after!.

She searched and searched for the ring, but couldnt find it!. Reading Bismillah, she once again put the ring into her pocket. At supper time, she served the fish to her father. Afterwards, he asked her to bring the ring. What did this girl do? Why, of course, she read Bismillah and took it right out of her pocket It just didnt make any sense to him at all.

He sat down with his head in his hands and told her what he had done with the ring. He anxiously asked her where she had found it. She replied that while preparing the meal, she had found it in the fishs stomach. She then related the entire incident how she took the name of Allah every time she did something. When her father saw the blessings of Bismillah, he accepted Islam immediately, Alhamdulilah.

Do you say Bismillah before you do something?

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Sweets, Sweets, Sweets

There once was a boy who loved eating sweets. He always asked for sweets from his father. His father was a poor man. He could not always afford sweets for his son. But the little boy did not understand this, and demanded sweets all the time.

The boy's father thought hard about how to stop the child asking for so many sweets. There was a very holy man living nearby at that time. The boy's father had an idea. He decided to take the boy to the great man who might be able to persuade the child to stop asking for sweets all the time.

The boy and his father went along to the great man. The father said to him, "O great saint, could you ask my son to stop asking for sweets which I cannot afford?" The great man was in difficulty, because he liked sweets himself. How could he ask the boy to give up asking for sweets? The holy man told the father to bring his son back after one month.

During that month, the holy man gave up eating sweets, and when the boy and his father returned after a month, the holy man said to the boy "My dear child, will you stop asking for sweets which your father cannot afford to give you?"

From then on, the boy stopped asking for sweets.

The boy's father asked the saint, "Why did you not ask my son to give up asking for sweets when we came to you a month ago?" The saint replied, "How could I ask a boy to give up sweets when I loved sweets myself. In the last month I gave up eating sweets."

A person's example is much more powerful than just his words. When we ask someone to do something, we must do it ourselves also. We should not ask others to do what we do not do ourselves.

Always make sure that your words and your actions are the same.

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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.

"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 ascholar replied

"No"

"Did you ever think that you will get a slap from me, today?," the scholar 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.

Key Points: Existence of God, Respect for elders, Arrogance (in ignorance)

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The Triple Filter Test

During the golden Abbasid period, one of the scholars in Baghdad, the capital of Muslim caliphate at that time, was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great scholar and said, "Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"

"Hold on a minute," the scholar replied. "Before telling me anything I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."

"Triple filter?"

"That's right," the scholar continued. "Before you talk to me about my friend it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to say.

That's why I call it the triple filter test.

The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"

"No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it and.."

"All right," said the scholar. "So you don't really know if it's true or not.

Now let's try the second filter, the filter of goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?"

"No, on the contrary..."

"So," the scholar continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, but you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left: the filter of usefulness.

Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?"

"No, not really."

"Well," concluded the scholar, "if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"

"O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former)" ... (to end of surah) [Surah Hujurat, 49:12]

"And spy not on each other behind their backs..." (to end of surah)

[Surah Hujurat, 49:13]

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Umar and the crying Children

Caliph Umar (radiAllahu anhu) was the second caliph after the demise of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). He ruled for approximately ten years, six months with such justice, equity, mercy and practicality which is unparallelled in history.

Once honourable Umar (radiAllahu anhu) was going on his usual round towards Harrah (a suburb of Madinah) with his slave Aslam, when he saw a distant fire in the desert.

He said: "There seems to be a camp. Perhaps, it is a caravan that could not enter the town due to night fall. Let's go and look after them and arrange for their protection during the night."

When he reached there, he found a woman and some children. The children were crying. The woman had a pan of water over the fire.

Umar (radiAllahu anhu) greeted her with 'salaam' and, with her permission, went near her. He kept, on chiding himself thus for a very long time. Umar asked, "Why are these children crying?"

The woman replied sadly, "Because they are hungry."

"What is in the pan?," asked Umar (radiAllahu anhu)

"Only water to soothe the children, so that they may go to sleep in the belief that food is being prepared for them. Ah! Allah will judge between Umar (radiAllahu anhu) and me, on the Day of judgement, for neglecting me in my distress," replied the woman.

Umar began to weep, and said "May Allah have mercy on you! How can Umar know of your distress?"

"When he is our Amir, he must keep himself informed about us," said the woman.

Honourable Umar (radiAllahu anhu) returned to the town and straightway went to Baitul-Mal (treasury) to fill a sack with flour, dates, fat and clothes, and also drew some money. When the sack was ready, he said to Aslam, "Now put this sack on my back, Aslam."

"No please, Amir-ul-Mu'mineen! I shall carry this sack," cried Aslam.

Umar refused to listen to Aslam, even on his persistent requests to allow him to carry the sack, and remarked, "What! Will you carry my load on the Day of judgement? I must carry this bag, for it is I who would be questioned (in the Hereafter) about this woman."

Aslam most reluctantly placed the bag on Umar (radiAllahu anhu)'s back, who carried it with a swift pace right to the woman's tent. Aslam followed at his heels.

Umar (radiAllahu anhu) put a little flour and some dates and fat in the pan and began to stir. He blew (with his mouth) into the fire to kindle it. Aslam says, "I saw the smoke passing through his thick beard."

After some time, the porridge was ready. He himself served it to the family. When they had eaten to their fill, he made over to them the little that was left for their next meal. The children were very happy after their meal and began to play about merrily.

The woman felt very grateful and remarked, "May Allah reward you for your kindness! In fact you deserve to take the place of Khalifah instead of 'Umar." (not knowing that she was actually conversing with Umar (radiAllahu anhu) himself). Umar consoled her and said, "When you come to see the Khalifah, you will find me there."

He sat for a while at a place close by and kept on watching the children. He then returned to Madinah. On his way back, he said to Aslam, "Do you know why I sat there, Aslam? I had seen them weeping in distress; I liked to see

them laughing and happy for some time."

It is said that Umnar (radiAllahu anhu) while leading Fajr Salah used to recite Surah 'Kahf', 'Taha' and other such Surahs in his Salat, and would weep so much that his crying could be heard way back to several rows.

Once he was reciting Surah Yusuf in Fajr prayer. When he came to the verse: "I only plead for my distress and anguish unto Allah" [12: 86] he wept so much that he could not recite any further. In Tahajjud (night prayer), he would sometimes fall to the ground and would get indisposed with excessive weeping.

Is there any person in power today who is prepared to show such kindness to the people in his charge and be led by their impeccable examples in action!

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The Day that Umar wept

One day, Umar came to the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam)'s house to see him. The blessed Prophet lived in a small apartment which bordered his mosque.

These apartments are now included in the beautifully-built Mosque of the Prophet in Madinah. But at that time, the walls were built of mud and stones, the roof of palm trees and stalks, and the floors of sand. The doors gave onto the courtyard and hall of prayer.

Umar (radiAllahu anhu) came to the door and sought permission to enter. "May Umar ibn Al-Khattab enter, O Prophet of Allah?," said Umar.

"Yes, come in, Umar," the Blessed Prophet replied.

Umar entered the room where the Blessed Prophet was resting. He first greeted the Blessed Prophet "Assalamu alaikum - Peace be with you."

"Wa' alaikum assalam - And with you be peace," replied the Blessed Prophet.

Umar (radiAllahu anhu) sat down on the floor and began to notice the room for the first time. There was no bed in the room. The Blessed Prophet was lying on a mat. Part of his body was on the floor and part on the mat. The mat was rough and the floor hard. The marks from the mat were visible on his body. He was wearing a garment of rough and coarse cloth. He had a pillow, but the pillow was filled with prickly leaves from a palm tree. There was nothing else in the room, no wardrobe, no rich food to eat, no comfortable mattresses. Instead, in a corner were some berry leaves, and a small heap of barley, over which an untreated piece of leather was hanging.

Tears began to well up in Umar's eyes. When the Blessed Prophet saw Umar crying, he asked him, "Why! What were you crying about, Umar?"

Umar (radiAllahu anhu) answered in a bitter voice, "And why shouldn't I cry, O Prophet of Allah? I see your bedding and the marks from the mat on your back; I see all your belongings which amount to nothing, and yet you are the Prophet of God and His chosen Messenger! The emperors of the Byzantine and the Persian empires are living in luxury and comfort. Their thrones are made of gold and their clothing and bedding are made of the finest silks". Umar waved his arm to illustrate. "And this is all you have - this is your treasure."

The Blessed Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) smiled and looked kindly and affectionately at Umar (radiAllahu anhu). "Are you not happy, O Umar that

we shall receive our riches and treasures and comforts in the eternal life. The kings of this world have received their full share here, and even this share is going to be useless for them as soon as they depart from this world. Our share is to come later, but once we receive it, it will remain with us forever."

Umar understood then that the government the Blessed Prophet was going to establish was not a government of kings and emperors, but a government of the servents of Allah, who live not for this world and its transient rewards and comforts, but for the world to come, for the everlasting rewards and tresures to be found in the Hereafter.

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A Surprise for Umm Khalid

It was a great day for Umm Khalid when her father told her that he was going to take her to see the great Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). Umm Khalid was very excited and she put her best clothes for the great occasion. But even greater thrills awaited the little girl.

When the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) saw her he thought she was a delightful child ands he told her so.

You are a good girl he said and before long Umm Khalid was sitting close to the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) talking to him and playing games with him.

Umm Khalids father was both pleased and angry. He was pleased because his little daughter had found favor in the Prophets eyes. But he was angry because he knew that he Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had many important things to do, and many important people to see. Umm Khalid he thought was wasting the great mans time.

He said so but the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) did not agree with him.

The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) told the father that he should let his daughter stay and go on playing with him. Playing with little children and talking to them was just as important to the Prophet as the other work he had to do.

Of course the time came at last when Umm Khalid had to go home. But the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) did not forget her, and one day soon afterwards he took an opportunity to give her a present.

Some friends came to the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) with a gift of clothes for him. The Prophet looked at the clothes be by one, and came across a very lovely shawl. It was a beautiful made.

To whom shall I give this beautiful shawl? The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said to the people who were with him. No one said anything. They all thought how marvelous it wound be to have such a lovely gift, and all of them wanted it. But they did not think it was polite to say so. It might sound as if they were greedy and as they knew, the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had always taught them to avoid greed. In any case the Prophet already knew who would receive the shawl. Bring little Umm Khalid to me he said. I shall give it to her.

Some of the Muslims in the crowed went to Umm Khalids house to fetch her. Of course the little girl became very exited when she heard that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had asked that she come to him and she jumped and skipped along with joy until she reached the place where the

Prophet was waiting.

Umm Khalid nearly burst with joy when the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) gave her the shawl. There were some lovely flowers printed on it and the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) pointed to them.

Look how beautiful these flowers are he told Umm Khalid.

Little Umm Khalid had never known such enjoy. She loved the shawl at first sight, and straight away wrapped it round her shoulders. There is nothing more beautiful than this shawl in the whole world she thought to herself. It is beautiful not only for its own sake but because the Prophet has honored me with this great gift.

No Wonder little Umm Khalid felt she was a very important little girl.

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Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas

This story takes place in a small town in a narrow valley. There is no vegetation, no livestock, no gardens, no rivers. Desert after desert separates the town from the rest of the world.

During the day, the heat of the sun is unbearable and the nights are still and lonely. Tribes flock to it like animals in the open country flocking to a waterhole. No government rules.

There is no religion to guide people except one which promotes the worship of stone idols. There is no knowledge except priestcraft and a love for elegant poetry. This is Mecca and these are the Arabs.

In this town lies a young man who has not yet seen twenty summers. He is short and well-built and has a very heavy crop of hair. People compare him to a young lion. He comes from a rich and noble family. He is very attached to his parents and is particularly fond of his mother.

He also spends much of his time making and repairing bows and arrows and practising archery as if preparing himself for some great encounter. People recognize him as a serious and intelligent young man. He finds no satisfaction

in the religion and way of life of his people, their corrupt beliefs and disagreeable practices. His name is Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas.

One morning at about this time in his life the genial Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu)came up and spoke softly to him. He explained that Muhammad ibn Abdullah the son of his late cousin Aminah bint Wahb, had been given Revelations and sent with the religion of guidance and truth.

Abu Bakr then took him to Muhammad in one of the valleys of Mecca. It was late afternoon by this time and the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had just prayed Salat al-Asr.

Saad was excited and overwhelmed and responded readily to the invitation to truth and the religion of One God. The fact that he was one of the first persons to accept Islam was something that pleased him greatly.

The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was also greatly pleased when Saad became a Muslim. He saw in him signs of excellence. The fact that he was still in his youth promised great things to come. It was as if this glowing crescent would become a shining full moon before long. Perhaps other young people of Mecca would follow his example, including some of his relations.

When permission was given for the Muslims to fight, Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas played a distinguished role in many of the engagements that took place both

during the time of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and after. He fought at Badr together with his young brother Omayr who had cried to be allowed to accompany the Muslim army, for he was only in his early teens. Saa'd returned to Madinah alone for Umair was one of the 14 Muslim martyrs fell in the battle.

During the reign of Caliph Umar (radiAllahu anhu), three thousand strong army were set off to fight the Persian. Among them were 99 veterans of Badr, more than 300 of those who took the Pledge of Riffwan (Satisfaction) at Hudaybiyyah and participated in the liberation of Makkah with the noble Prophet. There were 700 sons of the companions. Thousands of women also went on to battle as auxiliaries and nurses and to urge the men on to battle.

Sa'ad understood well the gravity of the impending battle and kept in close contact with the military high command in Madinah. Although the commander-in-chief, he understood the importance of shura. Sa'ad did as Umar (radiAllahu anhu) instructed and sent delegations of Muslims first to Yazdagird and then to Rustum, inviting them to accept Islam or to pay the jizyah to guarantee their protection and peaceful existence or to choose war if they so desired.

Unfortunately, Rustum made it clear that war was inevitable. Saad's eyes filled with tears. He wished that the battle could be delayed a little or indeed that it might have been somewhat earlier. For on this particular day, he was seriously ill and could hardly move. He was suffering from sciatica

and he could not even sit upright for the pain.

The Battle of Qadisiyyah is one of the major decisive battles of world history. It sealed the fate of the Sasanian Empire just as the Battle of Yarmuk had sealed the fate of the Byzantine Empire in the east. Two years after Qadisiyyah, Sa'ad went on to take the Sasanian capital. By then he had recovered his health. The taking of Ctesiphon was accomplished after a brilliant crossing of the Tigris river while it was in flood. Sa'ad has thus gone down in the annals of history as the Hero of Qadisiyyah and the Conqueror of Ctesiphon.

He lived until he was almost 80 years old. He was blessed with much influence and wealth but as the time of death approached in the year 54 AH, he asked his son to open a box in which he had kept a coarse woolen jubbah and said:

"Shroud me in this, for in this (jubbah) I met the Mushrikeen on the day of Badr and in it I desire to meet God Almighty."

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The Day the Prophet Wept

Before the time when the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) began to disseminate Allahs Word, there were many Arabs who preferred their sons to their daughters.

Sons were strong they could work hard they could bring great benefits to their parents and their family. But daughters being girls were weak or so the Arabs thought. Not only that, girls were a nuisance and were a burden and an expense on a family.

Many Arab fathers had no use for girls and when a daughters was born to them instead of a son they did not feel at all pleased. Some of them got very angry at the birth of a girl and buried her alive.

Fortunately, though not many Arab fathers were like the man who went to the Prophet and confessed to a truly terrible crime.

This father had once been an idol worshipper like all the Arabs before the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) came among them and showed them the way of Islam. Before he became a Muslim, the Arab had had a daughter a sweet little girl and kissing him. Whenever her father called this little girl came running towards him always ready to show her love.

One day the Arab called her and of course she ran to his side. He told her for a long walk and the girl skipped and hopped happily beside her father as they went along the poor little thing She never thought that a dreadful fate awaits her.

Before long the father and his daughter came to a well. Suddenly without warning he grabbed her lifted her up and throw down the well. The little girl was dreadful frightened and cried out in terror shrieking "Daddy Oh Daddy".

But the father refused to listen to her pleas and her cries for help. Instead he threw a load of earth down the well to bury his daughter and then he went home and left her to die.

It was a heartrending story. The father was full of remorse and guilt for the dreadful murder he had committed. The girls father would have to suffer his guilt for the rest of his life.

Naturally the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) was appalled when he heard what the father had done. His heart ached with sorrow.

Tears welled up in his eyes and spilled down his face and into his beard. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) wept so much that his face and beard became very wet and the hairs on his beard were all straggly with water.

When his friend saw the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) weep like this they became very unhappy and felt their eyes, too fill with tears.

All the same they knew it was right for the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) to shed so many tears for the poor little girl who had died such a terrible death.

For had he not taught his people that they should love. All children both boys and girls? Had he not said: 'Allah loves he who loves and looks after family especially the girls'?

And was the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) not the greatest friend the children of the world have ever had?

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A Wise Young Boy

Many years ago, during the time of the Tabi'in (the generation of Muslims after the Sahabah), Baghdad was a great city of Islam. In fact, it was the capital of the Islamic Empire and, because of the great number of scholars who lived there, it was the center of Islamic knowledge.

One day, the ruler of Rome at the time sent an envoy to Baghdad with three challenges for the Muslims. When the messenger reached the city, he informed the khalifah that he had three questions which he challenged the Muslims to answer.

The khalifah gathered together all the scholars of the city and the Roman messenger climbed upon a high platform and said, "I have come with three questions. If you answer them, then I will leave with you a great amount of wealth which I have brought from the king of Rome."

As for the questions, they were:

"What was there before Allah?" "In which direction does Allah face?" "What is Allah engaged in at this moment?"

The great assembly of people were silent. (Can you think of answers to these questions?) In the midst of these brilliant scholars and students of Islam was a man looking on with his young son.

"O my dear father! I will answer him and silence him!" said the youth. So the boy sought the permission of the khalif to give the answers and he was given the permission to do so.

The Roman came up to the young Muslim and addressed him, repeating his first question, "What was there before Allah?"

The boy asked, "Do you know how to count?"

"Yes," said the man, slightly puzzled as to why he was asking such a strange question.

"Then count down from ten!"

So the Roman counted down, thinking that the young Muslim probably didnt understand. "Ten, nine, eight, ..." until he reached "one" and he stopped counting.

"But what comes before 'one'?" asked the boy.

"There is nothing before one - that is it!" said the man.

"Well then, if there obviously is nothing before the arithmetic 'one', then how do you expect that there should be anything before the 'One' who is Absolute Truth, All-Eternal, Everlasting the First, the Last, the Manifest, the Hidden?"

Now the man was surprised by this direct, intelligent answer which he could not dispute.

So the Roman thought that he would do better with the second question. This question would surely not be answered by this young boy. "Then tell me, in which direction is Allah facing?"

"Bring a candle and light it," said the boy, "and tell me in which direction the flame is facing."

"But the flame is just light - it spreads in each of the four directions, North, South, East and West. It does not face any one direction only," said the man in wonderment.

The boy cried, "Then if this physical light spreads in all four directions such that you cannot tell me which way it faces, then what do you expect of the

Nur-us-Samawati-wal-'Ard: Allah - the Light of the Heavens and the Earth!?


Light upon Light, Allah faces all directions at all times."

The Roman was stupefied and astounded that here was a young child answering his challenges in such a way that he could not argue against the proofs! So, he desperately wanted to try his final question. He didn't want to be defeated by this young boy.

But before doing so, the boy said, "Wait! You are the one who is asking the questions and I am the one who is giving the answer to these challenges. It is only fair that you should come down to where I am standing and that I should go up where you are right now, in order that the answers may be heard as clearly as the questions."

This seemed reasonable to the Roman, so he came down from where he was standing and the boy ascended the platform. Then the man repeated his final challenge, "Tell me, what is Allah doing at this moment?"

The boy proudly answered, "At this moment, when Allah found upon this high platform a liar and mocker of Islam, He caused him to descend and brought him low. And as for the one who believed in the Oneness of Allah, He raised him up and established the Truth. Every day He exercises (universal) power."

The Roman had nothing to say except to leave and return back to his

country, defeated and ashamed.

Meanwhile, this young boy grew up to become one of the most famous scholars of Islam. Allah, the Exalted, blessed him with special wisdom and knowledge of the deen. His name was Abu Hanifah (rahimullah) and he is known today as Imam-e-A'dham, the Great Imam and scholar of Islam.

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A Wise Young Boy

Once there was a shepherd boy who had to look after a flock of sheep. One day, he felt bored and decided to play a trick on the villagers.

He shouted,"Help! Wolf! Wolf! A Wolf is trying to eat all the sheep!" The villagers heard his cries and rushed out of the village to help the shepherd boy. When they reached him, they asked, "Where is the wolf?"

The shepherd boy laughed loudly, "Ha, ha, ha! I fooled all of you. I was only playing a trick on you."

A few days later, the shepherd boy decided to play this trick again, because he thought that it was a lot of fun.

Again he cried," Help! Help! Wolf! Wolf! A Wolf is trying to eat the sheep!"

Again, the villagers rushed up the hill to help him and again they found that boy had tricked them. They were very angry with him for being so naughty.

Then, some time later, a wolf went into the field. The wolf attacked one

sheep, and then another and another. The shepherd boy ran towards the village shouting," Help! Help! Wolf! Help!, somebody hellppp!"

The villagers heard his cries but they laughed because they thought it was another trick. The boy ran to the nearest villager and said, "A wolf is attacking the sheep. I lied before, but this time it is true, its true!"

Finally, the villagers went to look. It was true. They could see the wolf running away and many dead sheep lying on the grass.

Moral: We may not believe someone who often tells lies, even when he tells the truth.

Make a Promise: I will never lie

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Giving a Helping Hand

Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and his companions (radiAllahu anhum) went on a journey. They travelled by camels.

After much travelling they got tired. On the way they stopped to rest. They decided to make a small camp and cook their food. So they put their camels comfortably to rest and gave them grass to eat. After that his companions decided to divide the work among themselves. One companion said, "I will go and kill the lamb for meat." Another companion said, "I will clean the ground around the camp." The third companion said, "I will do the cooking." Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, "I will bring wood for the fire." All the companions (radiAllahu anhum) said with one voice, "No, Sir, we will do that for you." But the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) replied, "I very well know that you all will do that for me. But it is not good for me to sit idle while you work. I am your companion. I must work as much as you do. Allah does not like any one to enjoy any superiority over his companions."

So saying, the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) went to gather fire wood.

Key Points: It is not good to sit idle while others work; you should always share the work with your companions.

Teaching the value of work, co-operation, sharing, aiding and helping others, laziness.

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The Story of Zam-Zam

Ibrahim (Abraham) (alayhis salam) and Sarah had been married for many years, but they had no children. In those days it was the custom for a man to take a second wife if he had no children with his first. Sarah suggested to Ibrahim that her Egyptian servant, Hajira, would be a good choice.

Ibrahim agreed to this suggestion, and soon a son was born to Hajira, they called him Isma'il (Ishmael) (alayhis salam).

Some time later Sarah, too, had a son, whose name was Ishaq (Isaac) (alayhis salam). Allah told Ibrahim and told him that from his sons would come two nations and three religions, but Ibrahim must do as Allah asked. Allah instructed Prophet Ibrahim (alayhis salam) to take Hajira and his son Isma'il to Arabia from Palestine. His other wife Sarah was jealous that Isma'il could become a leader instead of Ishaq, her own son.

So Ibrahim (alayhis salam) followed Allahs instructions. He took Hajira and his son Isma'il out of Palestine, travelling for several days. When they arrived at the valley of Bacca (Makkah), Ibrahim left Hajira and Isma'il,

where nothing grew or lived. He knew that Allah would take care of them.

Allah instructed Prophet Ibrahim (alayhis salam) to leave them there and he did so, with some food and drink. But it was not long before their water ran out. Isma'il began to get very weak, and hungry, and started to cry. He began kicking his feet into the ground, 'kick, kick', 'kick, kick'

Hajira was desperate to find some help. There were two hills, Safa and Marwah, one on either side of the valley.

Hajira climbed first one, then the other, looking in all directions to find water. She saw nothing. Desperate, she ran from hill to hill seven times, searching in case she had missed any sign of help in the distance.

Hajira went up and down the two hills seven times, each time, returning to her son Isma'il, seeing how he was doing.

Sadly she returned to her son, and began to pray to Allah for help
[surah Baqarah, 2: 158]

Hajira looked at Isma'il, and saw something strange.

Bubbling and sparkling in the sun, there was a small spring of water rising out of the ground near her sons feet! She was delighted, and relieved. They

were saved.

All that kicking by Isma'il (alayhis salam) into the ground, caused a waterspring to gush from the earth.

They drank, and thanked Allah. The water was sweet and cool.

Hajira and Isma'il settled by this spring, which came to be called The Well of Zam-Zam, and is still visited by Muslims on pilgrimage today.

With their water supply secure, Hajira and Isma'il (alayhis salam) were able to trade with wandering nomads for food and other supplies.

From time to time Ibrahim (alayhis salam) would visit his second wife and their son in their new home, and he was amazed to see them owning such a profitable well.
[Surah Ali' Imran, 3: 96]

Isma'il (alayhis salam) grew into a fine man, and later helped his father Ibrahim in building the Ka'bah there in Makkah
[Surah Baqarah, 2: 125].

Isma'il (alayhis salam) is seen as the founder of the Arab nation, Ishaq of the Jewish nation. The three religions which have grown from those people

are Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Study Points: The History of the city of Makkah, the origins of Zam-Zam, Key events in the lives of Prophet Ibrahim, Isma'il and Ishaq (alayhum salam)

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