Quote of the week: “There is no Islam without unity, no unity without leadership, and no leadership without obedience.” Umar ibn al-Khattab (rta)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Life with the Ahmad Family: "SuperMar!"

Did you ever wonder what little Mariam does all day? Well, you might be surprised! Here's a glimpse into her secret life!

(Please click to enlarge)

Life with the Ahmad Family comic for Muslim children: SuperMar!

Hope you enjoyed the comic! Don't forget to leave some feedback in the comments below!
To see other comics of The Ahmad Family, please, click here.
(Absar Kazmi may be contacted at: absar.kazmi@gmail.com)

Thursday Recipe: Falafel

¾ cup sliced green onions
½ cup sliced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans drained
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed, drained
1 egg
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cans (15 ounces each) whole tomatoes drained, coarsely chopped
½ cup chopped cucumber
2 teaspoons sliced pitted ripe olives
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
½ teaspoon dried mint leaves
4 pita breads, cut into halves

  1. Heat small skillet;
  2. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Cook and stir onion, celery and garlic until tender; remove from heat.
  4. Process beans in food processor until smooth.
  5. Combine bean mixture, egg, juice, flour, salt, cumin and pepper in large bowl; stir in cooked vegetables.
  6. Form mixture into 8 patties.
  7. Heat large skillet; spray with cooking spray.
  8. Cook patties over medium-low heat until lightly brown, about 5 minutes per side. Combine tomatoes, cucumber and olives in small bowl. Serve falafel with pita bread; serve with tomato and yogurt mixture. (Makes 8 servings)
*The image is not original.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Life with the Ahmad Family - How to Make Wudhu

In this edition of the "Life with the Ahmad Family", Jamal teaches his little cousin Hafsa how he makes Wudhu... Can you spot if Jamal made any mistakes?

(Please click to enlarge)

Life with the Ahmad Family comic for Muslim children - How to Make Wudhu

Hope you enjoyed the comic! Don't forget to leave some feedback in the comments below!
To see other comics of the Ahmad Family, please, click here.
(Absar Kazmi may be contacted at: absar.kazmi@gmail.com)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Fate of 8 Wealthiest People in the World

In 1923, eight of the wealthiest people in the world met. Their combined wealth, estimated, exceeded the wealth of the government of the United States. These men knew how to make a living and accumulate wealth. Their fate 25 years later was as follows: ... read more...

What happened to 8 wealthiest people in the world?

In 1923, eight of the wealthiest people in the world met. Their combined wealth, estimated, exceeded the wealth of the government of the United States. These men knew how to make a living and accumulate wealth. Their fate 25 years later was as follows:

1. President of the largest steel company, Charles Schwab, died bankrupt.
2. President of the largest gas company, Howard Hubson, went insane.
3. One of the greatest commodity traders, Arthur Cutton, died insolvent.
4. President of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, was sent to jail.
5. A member of the President’s Cabinet, Albert Fall, was pardoned from jail.
6. The greatest “bear” on Wall Street, Jessie Livermore, committed suicide.
7. President of the world’s greatest monopoly, Ivar Krueger, committed suicide.
8. President, Bank of International Settlement, Leon Fraser, committed suicide.

They forgot to make a life! Just made money! Money provides food for the hungry, medicine for the sick, clothes for the needy, but is only a medium of exchange.

We need two kinds of education. One that teaches us how to make a living and one that teaches us how to live. People are engrossed in their professional life and neglect their family, health and social responsibilities.

Our kids are sleeping when we leave home. They are sleeping when we come home. Twenty years later, we’ll turn back, and they’ll all be gone.

Without water, a ship cannot move. The ship needs water, but if the water gets into the ship, the ship will face problems and sink. Similarly we live in a time where earning is a necessity but let not the earning enter our hearts, for what was once a means of living will be become a means of destruction.

So take a moment and ask yourself… has the water entered my ship?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The April-May-June, 2012, issue of "Hiba" is out. Through these three thought-provoking articles, we offer you a peak into the magazine. To read the entire "Hiba", call our office (012-3-534-3757) for ordering your copy.

(1) "A Question of Identity" by Amreen Rehman
“Roti, Kapra, Makan and sex! Yes, sex! These are the basic human needs of today that motivate a person to do something. Our politicians have not been successful, because they have failed to address these basic human needs. Maslow’s theory of hierarchy of needs ignores the sex aspect…” The debate goes on in the classroom.

"Now we will watch some interactive videos that will depict human behaviour,” the teacher announces. Next, I see some advertisements revolving around nudity and sex, followed by a useless discussion on how these ads promote successful brands.

I am sitting in a marketing elective course known as Consumer Behaviour, but sex is all I’m hearing. As I look around, I see students of both genders, of my age, comfortably and casually watching, laughing and taking part in the discussion, leaving me bewildered and confused.

“Am I the only one feeling ashamed to be part of such a group? Have we lost all our values and morals?” I wonder. ...read more...

(2) "From Paper to Pixels" by Tooba Asim
Don’t have the time to go and buy the original text of Shakespeare’s Othello for the school project? Or would you rather spend that money on something else? Fret not for now you can get that and millions of other books ‘free of cost’ in the ‘land of unlimited possibilities’ - the Internet.

E-mail has changed the face of the entire mailing system. E-banking, e-commerce, e-shopping and other such electronic equivalents of conventional means have revamped the way things worked. And now, e-books are making inroads in the world of paper and ink.

Electronic books, better known as e-books are defined as the ‘electronic equivalents of conventional books’. Technically speaking there can be quite a lot of forms an e-book can take; image files, rich text format, hyper text mark-up language, CHM format, etc. To put it simply, it’s text on screen or text read aloud.

So what is it about them, which makes them so interesting, or rather advantageous? ...read more...

(3) "Pro-activity = A Peaceful Marriage" by Umm Isam
A world famous business and family consultant was in the middle of an important meeting and things were running behind schedule. He received a note from his wife that she needed to speak to him urgently. The counselor stepped out to take the call. His wife impatiently reminded him that they had invited guests that evening and that she needed him to be home on time.

The counselor, already facing a tough day at work gave into the pressure of the moment and rudely told her off. When he was walking back into the boardroom he realised his mistake. But the curt words had already been spoken and the relationship was stressed.

He tried to wrap up what he could and hit the road to reach home. In the privacy of his car he stepped back to observe his behaviour without being defensive. As he stood apart from his own life, and replayed the conversation in his mind, he realised that he had been wrong. He understood his mistake, and prepared himself to make necessary changes and improvements. ...read more...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Months and More

Sabahat Anwar explores the meanings, significance and historical background of Islamic months.

  • Jumâdal Ûlâ - 5th month of the Islamic calendar

Jumad means ‘freezing'. When the months were being named, this month fell during winter - when water freezes; hence it was named Jumadal Ula.

  • Jumâdal Akhir- 6th month of the Islamic calendar

This month occurred towards the end of winter - when water freezes, hence it was named Jumadal Akhir.

No ibadat has been specified for the above two months, but as mentioned before, fasts on Mondays and Thursdays, when gates of Paradise are opened and on Ayaam-e-Bidh (13th, 14th and 15th of each month) should be observed as per Prophet Muhammad's (saw) practice.

  • Rajab - 7th month of the Islamic calendar

Allah with His perfect wisdom and knowledge has chosen and preferred some days and months to others. He states in Quran, "Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein..." (Surah At-Tawbah 9:36)

The names of these four months, of which Rajab is one, are mentioned in the following Hadeeth:

Abu Bakrah (RTA) reported that the Prophet (saw) gave his Farewell Sermon and said: "Time has completed its cycle and is as it was on the Day when Allah created the heavens and the earth. The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred, three consecutive months - Dhul-Qa'dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram - and the Rajab of Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha'baan." (Muslim and Bukhari)

Rajab has the following meanings:
  • To ‘respect': Since the Arab tribe of Mudar respected and venerated this month a lot, they named it ‘Rajab' (of Mudar).
  • It is the name of a river in Jannah in which exceptionally sweet water, whiter than milk, flows. Fasting in this month will, inshallah, enable us to have the honour of drinking from this river.

A year before migration, in the month of Rajab, the Prophet (saw) made a miraculous journey on a white winged animal, ‘Al-Buraq', up through the seven heavens and into the presence of Allah - all in one night. This journey is known as ‘Mairaj'. Allah gave the Prophet (saw) three gifts on this occasion:
  • The ending Ayahs (last Ruku) of Surah Baqarah.
  • The good news of salvation to those of his Ummah who do not commit Shirk.
  • The compulsory five times Salâh. This is the only act of worship, from among the pillars of Islam, which was made obligatory before the Hijrah. It's a miraculous gift for Muslims - a chance to be near Allah as the Prophet (saw) was on that miraculous night.

Despite beliefs to the contrary, learned scholars say that nowhere in the Sunnah do we find that the Prophet (saw) fasted on the twenty-seventh of Rajab. No Ibadat has been specified for this month. 

The Prophet (saw) also did not fast for three consecutive months (i.e., Rajab, Sha'baan and Ramadan) as some people do, and he never fasted Rajab at all, nor did he encourage people to fast this month. (related by Imam ibn al Qayyim)

Sacrifices should not be made because of the month of Rajab either. The Prophet (saw) said, "Offer sacrifices, no matter which month is it..." (Abu Dawood, Al-Nasai and Ibn Majah)

Summer Fun for Everyone

Fun can mean different things to different people, and it differs across the globe. Naba Basar shares delightful ways to have family fun this summer.

Many people think of ‘fun' only in terms of Haram things or behaviors. It certainly does not have to be this way. Allah has made clear to us what is allowed and what is forbidden. In the following Ayah, He warns us: "O you who believe! Make not unlawful the Taiyibat (all that is good as regards foods, things, deeds, beliefs, persons, etc.) that which Allah has made lawful to you, and transgress not. Verily, Allah does not like transgressors" (Surah Al-Maidah 5:87).


Indoor Games

When was the last time you played "Pictionary," "Scrabble," or "Checkers" together as a family? You may be surprised, how parents transform into kids, when they celebrate victories over their children.

On the Road
There are always interesting places we have never seen and yet others that we hold in special memories and would like to return to. A trip for performing Umrah can become a great vacation. Field trips to farms and factories are not only fun but also educational.

Summer is a superb time for camping, both with family and friends. While pitching tents, building fires, fishing, boating, or hiking, nobody will find the time to get bored. 

Get on the ball and keep track of all the conventions and workshops. There are many to choose from. Select a few with the most interesting themes and plan ahead for attending them. Conventions are great for meeting new friends. 

Encourage imagination of your children by reading books to them. Check with your local library and sign up your kids for a summer reading program. During summer, most bookstores have sales, where you can buy books on cheaper rates. Your local library can also provide ideas for summertime activities within the city. 


Dust off the bikes in the garage and find a path in a park. Organize competitions, hold races, or time the laps.

An exciting and interesting way for teens to have fun. This activity works great for both small and large groups. 

Cooking Dishes of Native Cuisines
An innovative way to learn about different parts of the world. Search for recipes online, in your local library, or at bookstores.

E-pals from Muslim Countries
In chat rooms, teens can find good Muslim e-pals. By making friendships all around the world, your children will expand their worldview and learn new languages. However, this activity does require the supervision of parents. 

Community service
Volunteer your time and services to help out others in need and support. It is a great learning opportunity, which will strengthen the Deen of your children. 


Backyard Campouts
Let your children invite over their friends; grab a tent, some sleeping bags, and flashlights. Do not forget mosquito repellents!

You can prepare homemade finger-paints by mixing together soap flakes, water, and food colours. 

Pet Detective
Teach your children to observe an animal or an insect for a day. Discuss with them the observations. 

Islamic Timeline
Record the discoveries of Muslim scientists. This is an educational yet interesting project. 

Always a fun place to go to for seeing Allah's creatures. 

Museums and Art Galleries
Visits to museums and art galleries will allow your children to explore different cultures and to develop a taste for art. 

Parks and Beaches
Take advantage of your local parks, playgrounds, beaches, and lakes. You can have picnics every week or every month.

Raising Fine Men

By Rana Rais Khan

Herbert Hoover once quoted, "A boy has two jobs. One is just being a boy. The other is growing up to be a man." This can be a journey filled with adventure; learning and much achievement, provided parents do their job well. It's quite a formidable challenge but it's undoubtedly worth it.

Role as Allah's (swt) servant:

A man, who has a strong bond with Allah, can never fail as a great human being and a glorious believer. To him every intention made and action done is worship. He ensures that he never displeases his Rubb and when he makes a mistake, he hastens to amend it and ask for forgiveness. This is the believer we need to raise in our homes as Muslim parents.

Allah says in the Quran, "Verily, those who say: ‘Our Rubb is (only) Allah,' and thereafter stand firm and straight on the Islamic Faith of Monotheism, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. Such shall be the dwellers of Jannah, abiding therein (forever), - a reward for what they used to do." (Surah Al-Ahqaf 46:13-14)

Role as a son:

Allah commands, "And we have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents..." (Surah Al-Ankabut 29:8)

Abu Hurairah (RTA) narrated, the Prophet (saw) said, "May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced, whose parents, one or both, attain old age during his lifetime, and he does not enter Jannah (by being dutiful to them). (Muslim)

Allah has commanded to show kindness towards parents many times in the Quran. Today, however we witness two extremes with regard to children. Some parents are far too demanding and expect a service beyond their child's capacity in terms of time and attention. Conversely some parents do not want to take any help from their children in spite of their frail and weak state. Subsequently their children become oblivious to their duties and occupy themselves with their own pursuits in life.

We should maintain a healthy balance where we can allow our sons to serve us and earn a reward for it. Simultaneously parents should maintain their dignity and grace, providing them with love and guidance. 

Role as a brother:

A good Muslim brother, may it be as a real brother at home, or as a brother of every member of the Muslim Ummah, will understand his duties. Brotherhood in faith is a bond that actually binds all Muslims regardless of blood relations.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, "A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor should he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs, whoever brought his (Muslim) brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomfort of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever screened a Muslim, Allah will screen him on the Day of Resurrection." (Bukhari)

Role as a husband:

Allah commands Husbands with regard to their wives, "...and live with them honourably..." (Surah An-Nisa 4:19)

Allah describes the marital relationship as, "...They are Libas (i.e. body cover, screen or Sakan) for you and you are the same for them..." (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:187)

Parents should teach their sons to fulfill their role as a good husband. He should not just be a breadwinner but actively involve himself at home too. This can be done by providing time to his wife, taking care of her personal needs, communicating with her and helping her resolve any conflicts. 

This is important to keep the institution of marriage intact and firm. A man who is happy at home stays away from many evils of the society. He is also more likely to deliver his rights to everyone else too if he is a good husband. 

He should not be pulled like a rubber band in between his spouse and his parents. Both have essential rights and both should not be neglected. Especially in a troubled marriage, parents should never take sides and advise their sons to be patient and kind.

Role as a father:

Today's materialistic struggle for more leaves little time for fathers to spend with their children. They may be able to pay bills, provide luxury and comfort to their kids but they are hardly around to spend any quality time with them, leave alone teach them a thing or two.

Teach your son to be a father rather than a visiting guest in the house. A son can learn much from his father in a man-to-man relationship. If his father provides the appropriate role model to him, many wrongs can be set right. 

When Fatima (RTA), came to visit Prophet (saw), he got up for her, took her by the hand, kissed her and made her sit where he was sitting; and when he went to visit her, she got up for him, took him by the hand, kissed him, and made him sit where she was sitting. (Abu Dawud)

This beautiful example teaches us three lessons: A good Muslim father appreciates daughters and loves them. He gives respect to his children and teaches them to respect him. He does not hesitate to show his love for his children. 

Prophet (saw) said, "A father gives his child nothing better than a good education." (Mishkat) This does not only mean academics meant to build up a career, but the norms of a cultured and decent living which is approved by Allah and His Messenger (saw). 
Role as a friend:

As wise parents, we should always look for families supporting values that can offer meaningful friendships to our kids. Especially in cases of boys who spend considerable time outdoors. It is best to help our children grow friendships at school, Masaajid, social clubs etc before they reach their teens. Till such time kids idolize their parents and are more likely to listen to them. Talk to them about their friends; have them come over so you can observe their habits.

The worst mistake that any parent can make is to pay no attention to the company their son is keeping. Many times bad habits are brought home from bad companions due to peer pressure.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, "The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the Musk-seller and the Blacksmith. As for the musk-seller, he may either give you some or sell you, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from him. As for the blacksmith, around him you may get your clothes burned, or have to sniff an offensive smell from him." (Bukhari and Muslim)

Role with relatives:

Our present life style generally gives preference to friends over relatives. However as responsible Muslim parents we must teach our sons the vital place of family relations in a believer's life. Maintaining cordial relations and providing selfless support to relatives is our duty and their right.

The Prophet (saw) said, "O community of Muhammad, by Him Who has sent me with truth, Allah cannot accept the charity of those whose relatives are in want of his kindness and help, while he is distributing it among others, leaving them out. By Him in Whose power is my life, on the Day of Judgment Allah will not look at such a man." (Tabrani)
The children are ordained not to severe ties with relatives even after the death of their parents.

A man came to Prophet (saw) and asked, "Messenger of Allah, is there any kindness left that I can do for my parents after their death?" The Prophet (saw) replied, "Yes. You can invoke blessings on them and forgiveness for them, carry out their final instructions after their death, join ties of relationship which are dependent on them, and honour their friends." (Abu Dawood)

Role with the fair sex:

Allah commands, "Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things)..." (Surah An-Nur 24:30)

He also says, "...Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those ones will be questioned (by Allah)." (Surah Al-Isra 17:36)

Ibn Abbas (RTA) reported, the Prophet (saw) said, "No one of you should meet a woman in privacy unless she is accompanied by a Mahram (a relative within the prohibited degrees)." (Bukhari and Muslim)

Joking with our boys about girlfriends, permitting them to chat on the phone or internet with girls and encouraging them to mix up freely with females in parties or elsewhere, does it suit us as Muslim parents to follow such a course? Our sons will only learn to respect women if we train them to do so, otherwise they will always consider them as an object of fun and play.

Allah warns us in the Quran, "And know that your possessions and your children are but a trial, and that surely with Allah is a Mighty Reward." (Surah Al-Anfal 8:28)

Once the Messenger of Allah (saw) was delivering a speech. Meanwhile, (his little grandsons) Hasan and Hussain (RTA) arrived, stumbling and wearing red shirts. He came down from the pulpit, took them, and ascended it with them. Then he said, "Allah has said truly, ‘Your property and your children are only a trial...'" (Surah At-Taghabun 64:15)... Afterwards he resumed the speech. (Abu Dawud)

We must make every possible effort to bring up good believing kids and leave the rest to Allah. Along side we can pray earnestly, "...Our Lord, grant us spouses and off springs who will be the comfort of our eyes..." (Surah Al-Furqan 25:74) 

True stories of examplary mothers:

Many years ago in Uzbekistan, a baby boy was born blind. His Mother, a strong Mu'minah, did not lose faith in the Power of Allah to cure him. She persistently prayed for her son's sight. Within a few years the boy was cured.

She was widowed, the boy an orphan. She travelled with him to Makkah so that he could receive Islamic Education. She arranged that he attend the circles of the scholars. 

Consequently, he began excelling in the science of Hadeeth. He travelled to distant villages in search of the most authentic sayings of the Prophet (saw). He would pray two Raka'at before accepting a Hadeeth. His mother named him Muhammad ibn Isma'il. And many of us know him today because of the book he compiled, Saheeh Al-Imam Al-Bukhari!

In another land, in another time, chilly Baghdad winds would wake up another boy. Much before Fajr, his mother would bundle him in warm shawls and escort him through the darkness, making sure he reached the Masjid safely. After Fajr, she would wait for him as he read Hadeeth to the biggest scholars of the land. Then, long after the sun had come up, she would meet him outside and together they would walk home. She was a strong mother indeed, for her son grew up to become an Imam of the Muslim Ummah, named Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

Common pitfalls to avoid:
  • Considering boys to be superior.
  • Forgoing lessons in morality.
  • Exempting them from household work.
  • Turning a blind eye to questionable behaviour.
  • Turning over your authority to them.
  • Encouraging them excessively to be ambitious.
  • Raising them as selfish and inactive members of the community.
  • Considering every choice of theirs as private, personal and final.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Life with the Ahmad Family: The Remarkable Umm Jamal

In this edition of the "Life with the Ahmad Family", Abdullah learns something amazing about Umm Jamal!

(click to enlarge)
Life with the Ahmad Family comic for Muslim children - The Remarkable Umm Jamal
Hope you enjoyed the comic! Don't forget to leave some feedback in the comments below!
To see other comics of The Ahmad Family, please, click here.

(Absar Kazmi may be contacted at: absar.kazmi@gmail.com)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Life with the Ahmad Family: Hair Pressure

In this edition of the "Life with the Ahmad Family", Jamal must deal with peer pressure at school.

(click to enlarge)

Life with the Ahmad Family Comics for Muslim Kids - Hair Pressure

Hope you enjoyed the comic! Don't forget to leave some feedback in the comments below!
(You may contact the author at: absar.kazmi@gmail.com)