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Let Quran be Our Beauty Expert

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When it comes to TV ads, there is no shortage of products that promise to whiten us, make us more beautiful, remove all skin imperfections, you know....the dekhnay wala dekhta hi reh jai.... type ads.
With so much focus on outer beauty we seem to have neglected the need for inner beauty. This Ramadan why not let the Quran be our beauty expert? (heard this line in a lecture and it resonated with me so much that i wanted to share it with everyone here)
Just like we look into the mirror to see if our lipstick is applied correctly or whether there's a pimple forming on our forehead or whether our mascara is not running down our eyes, why not look at the Quran to remove the imperfections of the heart and soul. There are numerous verses in the Quran that tell us Allah does not like so and so or Allah loves those who display certain qualities. May Allah help us to focus on those traits which make us beautiful from inside and remove the smudges and blots on our heart.


"Truly, Allah l…

Can We Mind Our Own Business Please!

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“Married for three years? Why don’t you have children yet?”  “You are still single? Why didn’t you marry?”  “What’s your husband’s salary? “Are you happy with your husband? What time does he get home?”  “What grades did your children get?” 
Sometimes I feel that we have no concept of what it means to mind our own business. During any family function, various aunties ask the most personal questions without batting an eyelid and to add salt to injury, offer advice, comments and solutions that would put psychologists, paediatricians, gynecologists and marriage counselors to shame. 
Many times, these opinions result from genuine concern and sympathy but there are occasions when women poke their noses into other people’ s affairs out of sheer malice, spite and thirst for gossip. 
One of my dearest friends is a mother to a lovely daughter. For the past 17 years, one question that gets asked of her every time she is in a family gathering is “Do you have only one daughter? Why didn’t you have more …

Say MaShaAllah Laa Quwata Illa Billah

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After Alhamdulillah, the second phrase which I feel we should all start using frequently is MaShaAllah Laa Quwata Illa billah (Surah Kahf: 39).

Whenever you see something good or hear something good regarding yourself or another person, say this phrase with sincerity. Admiring someone’s house or car or children or their trip to foreign countries, see someone is a pretty dress or just feel you are blessed in some way, say MaShaAllah Laa Quwata Illa billah.
We all know and fear evil eye, nazar-e bad but, as per my understanding, it is not necessarily from an evil relative or a jealous friend. A child can get it from his mother, a sister from sister or we can even get it from ourselves if we neglect to say phrases like MaShaAllah Laa Quwata illa billa.
This phrase negates arrogance and jealousy. In Surah Kahf we read about two men who both had beautiful gardens but one of them became arrogant and thought that nothing could destroy his wealth and might. The other person cautioned him to say …

Say Alhamdulillah!

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During their childhood, we try to teach our children the magic words: Thank you, Please, I’m sorry, you are welcome etc. It is true that that children who use these words appear well mannered but I feel that we adults need to learn a few magic words and teach them to our children as well. The first word is Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah is a unique words that contains in it all aspects of gratitude and praise to Allah. It is an acknowledgement of all the favours bestowed upon us by Allah. Saying this word with sincerity drives away all traces of all negative emotions like distress, sorrow, envy, jealousy, depression, pessimism etc. The word is literally like an antibacterial soap. It makes you grateful and it makes you thankful and it gives you a positive outlook on life. So say Alhamdulillah when you wake up in the morning, when you sit in your car, when you drop your children to school, when you eat food, when you wear a dress, when you open the door of your home and your office, when …

Story Time: The Spirit of Freedom

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Baber was playing cricket with his friends in the street. His family had recently moved into this neighbourhood. Every evening, the children would come out to play cricket, ride bicycles or just get together for a chat. Babar was a very well-mannered boy and a good cricketer. He soon made many friends.

As they played, a small boy ran up to them carrying the ball which Babar had hit for a six. The boy was small and dressed in old, stained clothes. His plastic slippers were too big for him and his hands were dusty. Baber smiled at him and stretched his hand forward to accept the ball.

“Hey you! How dare you touch my ball?” Umar said in a furious tone.

“Here, give it to me. You have made it dirty,” Umer snatched the ball from the young boy’s hand and pushed him away aggressively. The boy ran away with a frightened look in his eyes.

Babar was stunned for a minute. He could not understand Umer’s anger.

“Why were you so rude to him Umer?” Babar asked. “He was only returning the ball.”

“You are ne…

Book review: The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, by Roald Dahl

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“The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me” is a delightful book about a young boy named Billy who meets three amazing animals, a giraffe, a monkey and a pelican and together they get up to some thrilling adventures. Billy often stood outside a queer, old building and wondered about its past and the shops it used to hold. One day strange things begin to happen inside the building. Billy then meets the Giraffe, Pelly and the Monkey who were the new owners. They were no ordinary animals and had started the Ladderless Window Cleaning Company. They wanted a job and some food. The Duke of Hampshire sends his chauffeur to hire them as he needed someone to clean 677 windows of his sprawling Hampshire House The crew of the Ladderless Window Cleaning Company does a sterling job in cleaning windows that had not been cleaned for forty years. While working on the top floors, Pelly captures a notorious cat burglar Cobra who was stealing the diamonds which belonged to the Duchess of Hampshire.
The Duke was …

An Unwelcome Guest

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“Fahd, have you brushed your teeth?” “Yes mom.” Fahd yelled back from his bedroom.
“Okay, son, then good night.” “Good night mom,” Fahd replied slipping into bed, grinning.
He had fooled his mom again. He hadn't brushed his teeth. In fact, he hadn't brushed them in the morning either. He had got up rather late and instead of bothering to clean his teeth properly with toothbrush and toothpaste , he had just rinsed his mouth and rushed out of the bathroom. Not bothering to brush his teeth had become a habit now and while his toothbrush looked new and shiny in the blue ceramic mug on the bathroom shelf, his teeth looked yellow and slightly stained.
Sometime around midnight, Fahd woke up with a start. What had just happened?? He saw a small impish creature looming in front of his eyes. It was holding a spear like thing in his hand. The tiny creature pointed his spear towards Fahd, and the frightened boy felt a sharp jabbing pain on the side of his head and cheek.
“Ow, Ow!! Stop that!”…

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