Glitery Graphic Pencil Case – DIY Art Project

 

SUPPLIES:

  • Pencil Cases

  • White Paint + Colored Paint of Your Choice (We

    used neon!)

  • Paint Brush

  • Label/Adhesive Paper

  • Scissors or Craft Knife

  • Mod Podge

  • Glitter

  • Confetti

  • Printable Stencil

PROCEDURE:

1.     Print out the stencil templates (or other

design of your choice!) on adhesive label paper

and cut out the black shapes/letters using scissors

or a craft knife (be really careful!). Be sure to save

the hearts from the inside of the glasses and the

center of the “O” from ZOMG.

 

 

2.     Peel the backing off the stencil and adhere to the pencil case where desired.

3.     Paint over the stencil with white paint to act as a primer. Let dry completely.

4.     Paint with your color of choice and let dry, then peel back your stencil! If any paint seeped through, clean up the edges with a thin paint brush.

5.     For the sunglasses: Adhere just the outline of the hearts to start and paint white. Let dry. Then put the “lens” cutouts that you saved on top of the white paint. (If the adhesive backing is super sticky, stick it onto your hand first to dull down some of the adhesive.) Then paint with the color you’d like and let dry. Remove the stencils. Lastly, paint mod podge over the remaining white heart shapes and sprinkle with glitter. Let dry, then seal with a final layer of mod podge over top the glitter!

6.     Fort the confetti case: Paint the entire side of the case with mod podge and sprinkle with confetti. Let dry. If necessary repeat with a second layer, otherwise seal the confetti on with a final layer of mod podge.

Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or on the Nasirat Website.

Owner/AuthorKelly Mindell Studio DIY & Yoobi Website link: https://studiodiy.com/2015/08/18/diy-glittery-graphic-pencil-cases/

 

Supplies:

  • Pencil Cases

  • White Paint + Colored Paint of Your Choice (We used neon!)

  • Paint Brush

  • Label/Adhesive Paper

  • Scissors or Craft Knife

  • Mod Podge

  • Glitter

  • Confetti

  • Printable Stencil

PROCEDURE:

1.    Print out the stencil templates (or other design of your choice!) on adhesive label paper and cut out the black shapes/letters using scissors or a craft knife (be really careful!). Be sure to save the hearts from the inside of the glasses and the center of the “O” from ZOMG.

2.     Peel the backing off the stencil and adhere to the pencil case where desired.

3.     Paint over the stencil with white paint to act as a primer. Let dry completely.

4.     Paint with your color of choice and let dry, then peel back your stencil! If any paint seeped through, clean up the edges with a thin paint brush.

5.     For the sunglasses: Adhere just the outline of the hearts to start and paint white. Let dry. Then put the “lens” cutouts that you saved on top of the white paint. (If the adhesive backing is super sticky, stick it onto your hand first to dull down some of the adhesive.) Then paint with the color you’d like and let dry. Remove the stencils. Lastly, paint mod podge over the remaining white heart shapes and sprinkle with glitter. Let dry, then seal with a final layer of mod podge over top the glitter!

6.     Fort the confetti case: Paint the entire side of the case with mod podge and sprinkle with confetti. Let dry. If necessary repeat with a second layer, otherwise seal the confetti on with a final layer of mod podge.

Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or on the Nasirat Website.

Owner/Author Kelly Mindell Studio DIY & Yoobi Website link: https://studiodiy.com/2015/08/18/diy-glittery-graphic-pencil-cases/

My Trip to Mecca, Saudi Arabia

In February of this year, I was blessed to be given the opportunity to perform Umrah. It was going to be a whistle-stop tour: we were going to spend four days in Mecca and 3 days in Medina before flying back home. Because we travelled on Middle Eastern Airlines we had a stopover in Beirut of 4 hours. This meant that we were travelling for about 2 days of our holiday – but that all added to the sense of being a pilgrim.

Indeed, before we had even left Heathrow we began to sense the feeling of common purpose when we saw the aeroplane was going to be filled with Muslims from all parts of the country all heading for the same destination as us – Jeddah. That is the nearest city to either Mecca or Medina with an airport. All pilgrims have to start their pilgrimage from Jeddah airport. The tag on our luggage confirmed that we were indeed all pilgrims as it read `Umrah’ and our fellow travellers were all discussing prayers to recite, carrying booklets, like me, on how to perform what and where. I felt in good company.

The stopover in Beirut was really quite comical. All the men got off the plane from Heathrow in jeans, shirts and T-shirts and by the time we were boarding the smaller plane to Jeddah they had all changed into two unstitched cloths and slippers. Within 4 hours they transformed themselves into simple pilgrims.

 

Women are not required to dress in a particular way for Umrah but some of them had also decided to change into white clothes and some little children too – which was really cute.

 

Once we had landed in Jeddah we had to get a taxi to Mecca and our hotel. The journey took us forever (it seemed) because, don’t forget, we had been travelling for about 20 hours by that time. Eventually, we got to our hotel – exhausted and weary. I couldn’t wait to change out of my clothes and brush my teeth. When I heard our room was on the 21st floor, I sighed. So high! I thought. I won’t ever be able to take the stairs if the lift breaks down.

 Then when I entered our room for the first time – all my weariness simply disappeared. Why? One side of the room was simply made up of a huge window overlooking the Ka’aba. I couldn’t take my eyes off the scene below. It just dominated the room and drew you towards it. Then we heard the adhan being recited and we could hear it, not only from the speaker in our room, but directly from the Ka’aba – from its source. It seemed like we were part of another world.

 

After a little rest we decided that we would perform our Umrah that very night after Isha prayers and some dinner. Despite our long journey, I was so caught up in the excitement that I just went along with the whole plan. I didn’t feel tired at all.

 

We walked around the Ka’aba seven times, called tawaf, and said the prayers I had been learning as we passed the corner with the Black Stone. There were people from all walks of life, all moving round and round with us. Some had distinctive scarves of red or blue as they were part of a special party. Some were really elderly or disabled and were being pushed in wheelchairs. Whilst others were just so engrossed in their prayers, they just marched on regardless of anyone around them.

One thing that you should try to do is touch, or kiss the Black Stone. However, I had been told this could be really dangerous as the closer you got to the actual brickwork of the Ka’aba, and that place in particular, the more emotional and passionate the atmosphere becomes. Everyone at that spot was so keen on trying to get near the Black Stone people actually injure themselves. My husband thought he would lose his wrist when he tried it!

 

There was a police man who was positioned right near the Black Stone to try and keep order. He was strapped to the wall and had a baton in his hand. Beneath him there was a permanent scramble of people fighting to get their hands on the Black Stone. Every now and again he would wave his baton at some pilgrims to shrug them off.  Then he would take up his position again looking straight ahead ignoring the hustling going on under his nose. It looked really funny, like he couldn’t wait for his shift to be over.

 

I decided not to chance it and simply waved a salam to the Black Stone as I passed.  Then we proceeded to the Safaah and Marwah, the two little hills that Hazrat Hajirahra (also known as Hager) had run between in her hunt for food after she had just given birth to Hazrat Ishmael (as). If you don’t know the story, Hazrath Abraham (as) had left her near the Ka’aba upon Allah’s instructions. After giving birth, she became desperate because there was no food or water in that place. And I can certainly say that the area around Mecca is very much still like that. On our drive from Jeddah airport that is what I noticed the most – how lifeless and bare the area was. In her time the area was rocky and dusty and you can imagine what a struggle it must have been in the heat of the sun, after having just given birth to run seven circuits. Anyway, an angel came to her aid and directed her to a spot where the baby Hazrat Ishmael (as) was kicking the dust with his heel to reveal a gushing spring. That spring was Zam-Zam.

 

 

Nowadays, thankfully, the whole area is marbled and air conditioned. So, I just felt that this is simply too easy. How on earth are we ever to share in the pain and agony of that noble woman? Well, let me tell you those hills are deceptive! The backs of my legs ached for days afterwards and there was a whopping big blister on my right foot.

 

All around the Ka’aba there are huge barrels of Zam-Zam water free for anyone to sample at any time. They have a great system to reduce litter. You take a cup from one side of the barrel and once you have finished you put your used cup in a chute on the other side of it and it is disposed of. How neat is that? Another way they keep the area clean is by having teams of cleaners washing the floor around the mosque around the clock. This is a sight to behold, how they close off the area with two or three cleaners acting like mobile cordons stretching across some tape. Within the area they have blocked off three of four cleaners with mops zoom around mopping up the cleaning fluid they have just splashed on the floor. Then as the cordon moves on a drying machine driven by another cleaner buffs up the floor. Within 5 minutes people can walk there again. This was just amazing to watch.

 

After we had performed our prayers, our Umrah was essentially over.

 

We then proceeded to begin to enjoy the rest of Mecca: the shops, the food and the constant rhythm of adhan and prayers. Because all the shops shut as soon as namaz begins throughout the day, after Ishaa prayers the shops stay open way into the night. You can be wandering around at 1.30 am and buy a prayer mat, some rice and chicken or some aspirin. I saw a young girl, wearing a full-face veil manning a Lebara phone card stall after midnight with not a fear in the world.

 

And that’s another thing, women there wear all types of purdah and work. I saw women in hotels working as receptionists, women in the markets selling bangles and women in the mosques acting as security guards. All wore some kind of purdah.

 

The next few days were also spent visiting the battle sites of Islamic history. We went to the place for the Battle of Badr, Battle of the Trench and the Battle of Uhud. We also visited the site of the Last Sermon that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) delivered – that is Mount Arafat.

 

There were many lovely mosques to see too. One mosque was only recently discovered, which they say dates back to the time of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and is where he received some early Muslims who had travelled from Medina to see him. Remember, that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) remained in Mecca for 13 years after his mission had been revealed to him to try and convert his people. Well, the disbelievers made it really difficult for him to perform his prayers and so he went to this mosque just outside Mecca (or so the story goes). You can still see the mosque in the middle of a new road complex. It looks so quaint.

 

When we were there, we met one of the constructors who had led the excavation and he explained how they had come across the mosque. They had been digging and breaking up the ground with their bulldozers and drilling machines to make a road for pilgrims to go from Arafat to Mecca more quickly. Well, at one point they noticed their machines kept breaking and they couldn’t understand why. Then they stopped work and took a closer look. As they began to unearth the sand and dust, they discovered this little mosque. What an amazing find!

 

After 4 days in Mecca we took a taxi to Medina. This is the final resting place of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). He lies within the confines of the magnificent Nabwi Mosque with Hazrat Umar (ra) on one side and Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) on the other

 

Masjid Nabwi is extremely impressive and has features not found anywhere else. There are special umbrella-like canopies all around it to protect worshippers from the sun and the rain. There are also about 30 or so different doors to get inside the mosque – only one is reserved for women.

 

Although it was very difficult to find out how to get near the final resting place of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), my female companion and I managed to do it after Ishaa prayer. It took us about 2 hours of queuing, waiting and wondering if we were in the right place, and scrambling ahead when the security women let us go ahead. The mosque area near this site is very beautiful. It marks the boundary of the original mosque but was completed 30 years after the passing of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) by sahaba’s who knew the Holy Qur’an off-by-heart. 

 

Before we knew it, our time was coming to an end. We headed for Jeddah and our journey home. I noticed the change in atmosphere as soon as I entered Jeddah. Gone was that sense of common worship, of spirituality, of love for Islam. By contrast Jeddah just seemed like another international city with takeaways, huge department stores and the odd mosque tucked here and there.

 

Now I am back home I think back and can still feel the magic of that time in Mecca and Medina. I can picture in my mind’s eye all the wonderful places I visited. If I feel a little lost, I just gaze into the prayer mat I bought from Mecca and relive my view of the Ka’aba from my hotel window.

 

Article by Maleeha Khalida Malik

Age 10

Paint Scrape Eid Cards – DIY Art Project

 

SUPPLIES:

  • Heavyweight paper, such as cardstock or          watercolour paper trimmed to 8.5″ x 5.5″

  • A2 sized envelopes

  • Acrylic Paints (Thicker paints may need to be         thinned with water.)

  • Masking Tape or Washi Tape      

  • Old Credit Card or Rewards Card

  • Paper Towel and Cleaner or Wipes – you will                    be making a mess!

  • Metallic Gold Alphabet Letter Stickers (or              whatever stickers you like)

PROCEDURE:

1.     Start by taping your paper down to your work        surface. Since I was making notecards, I had my              paper cut to 8.5″ x 5.5″. Your work surface will be         getting paint on it, so please don’t do it on your      expensive marble countertops or your heirloom              chest. Have cleaner on hand to clean up quickly                after each piece.

 

 

 

2.     Drip drops of paint along one side of your  paper. Stagger the drops and vary the colours. Have fun Experimenting with drop placements  and colour combinations.

3.     Place an old credit card or gift card above the drops on one side of the card and scrape down pulling the card off the edge of the paper on the other side.

4.     Wipe off the card and remove all the paint before moving to the other side. This will keep both sides looking the same and keep your colors from mixing too much.

5.     Repeat step 3, scraping the paint down off the edge of the paper again.

6.     Finally, peel up your piece from the work surface and wipe away any paint that went off the edge of the card.

7.     Okay, so after you have scraped your paint, cleaned up your mess, and let your beautiful artwork dry, you are ready to finish up your cards. 

8.     All that’s left to do is fold them in half and add a greeting to the front (if you like). When your cards are folded, you can call them done if you like a simple abstract look, or you can add greetings to the front with letter stickers. You can use a variety of metallic gold stickers for the cards.

Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or on the Nasirat Website.

Owner/Author Jennifer Hadfield Website link: Tatertots & Jello  https://tatertotsandjello.com/desk-organization-command-center/

 

 

 

 

 

Supplies:

  • Heavyweight paper, such as cardstock or watercolour paper trimmed to 8.5″ x 5.5″

  • A2 sized envelopes

  • Acrylic Paints (Thicker paints may need to be thinned with water.)

  • Masking Tape or Washi Tape      

  • Old Credit Card or Rewards Card

  • Paper Towel and Cleaner or Wipes – you will be making a mess!

  • Metallic Gold Alphabet Letter Stickers (or whatever stickers you like)

PROCEDURE:

1.     Start by taping your paper down to your work surface. Since I was making notecards, I had my paper cut to 8.5″ x 5.5″. Your work surface will be getting paint on it, so please don’t do it on your expensive marble countertops or your heirloom chest. Have cleaner on hand to clean up quickly after each piece

2.     Drip drops of paint along one side of your paper. Stagger the drops and vary the colours. Have fun experimenting with drop placements and colour combinations.

3.     Place an old credit card or gift card above the drops on one side of the card and scrape down pulling the card off the edge of the paper on the other side.

4.     Wipe off the card and remove all the paint before moving to the other side. This will keep both sides looking the same and keep your colours from mixing too much.

5.     Repeat step 3, scraping the paint down off the edge of the paper again.

6.     Finally, peel up your piece from the work surface and wipe away any paint that went off the edge of the card.

7.     Okay, so after you have scraped your paint, cleaned up your mess, and let your beautiful artwork dry, you are ready to finish up your cards. 

8.     All that’s left to do is fold them in half and add a greeting to the front (if you like). When your cards are folded, you can call them done if you like a simple abstract look, or you can add greetings to the front with letter stickers. You can use a variety of metallic gold stickers for the cards.

Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or on the Nasirat Website.

Owner/Author Jennifer Hadfield Website link: Tatertots & Jello  https://tatertotsandjello.com/desk-organization-command-center/

Ramadhan – Good Deed Calendar

 

Use the following good deeds to write/ decorate

on the calendar and carry out these tasks each

day during the month of Ramadan:

  1. Bake and give food to a neighbour
  2. Donate money/food/clothes/toys to a charity                   of your choice 
  3. Explain to a non-Muslim friend about why we                fast during Ramadan
  4. Teach something beneficial to a younger                    sibling or younger family friend
  5. Recite, or listen to, an extra page of Qur’an                 today
  6. Donate to Humanity First
  7. Write a Letter to Huzoor (may Allah be His                   helper)
  8. Make sure to smile at everyone today!                      (Smiling is sadaqa)
  9. Make a card or note to tell someone you love                 and appreciate them
  10. Pick up rubbish from the street and put it into                the bin
  11. Look out for someone lonely at school, and                  make time to talk and play with them
  12. Pray 2 nafal for Huzoor (may Allah be His                   helper)
  13. No complaining day today
  14. Let someone go ahead of you in a line, show         patience

15. Recylcel/reuse paper, make an effort not to waste water when washing

16.  Read a religious story to your younger sibling or friend

17.  Extra Tasbeeh: Say Alhamdulillah 100 times, and reflect on blessings in your life that make you say “Alhamdulillah”

18.  Visit somebody in hospital

19.  Find opportunities to give genuine compliments throughout the day, and make someone smile

20.  Say Assalam-o-Alaikum to as many people as you can today!

21.  Extra Tasbeeh: Say SubhanAllah 100 times, and reflect on the wonderful things in the world that make you say “SubhanAllah”

22.  Sponsor an orphan

23.  Help parents with laundry

24.  Call grandparents for a chat or visit them 

25.  Lend books to a friend

26.  Pray in the mosque today

27.  Buy a gift and give it to a loved one

28.  Help your parents with some extra house work or chores

29.  Treat an animal with extra kindness

30.  Make an effort to learn something new today

Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or on the Nasirat Website.

Owner/Author Jennifer Hadfield Website link: Tatertots & Jello  https://tatertotsandjello.com/desk-organization-command-center/

 

 

 

 

 

Use the following good deeds to write/ decorate on the calendar and carry out these tasks each day during the month of Ramadan:

  1. Bake and give food to a neighbor
  2. Donate money/food/clothes/toys to a charity of your choice 
  3. Explain to a non-Muslim friend about why we fast during Ramadan
  4. Teach something beneficial to a younger sibling or younger family friend
  5. Recite, or listen to, an extra page of Qur’an today
  6. Donate to Humanity First
  7. Write a Letter to Huzoor (aba)
  8. Make sure to smile at everyone today! (Smiling is sadaqa)
  9. Make a card or note to tell someone you love and appreciate them
  10. Pick up rubbish from the street and put it into the bin
  11. Look out for someone lonely at school, and make time to talk and play with them
  12. Pray 2 nafal for Huzoor (aba)
  13. No complaining day today
  14. Let someone go ahead of you in a line, show patience 
  15. Recylcel/reuse paper, make an effort not to waste water when washing
  16. Read a religious story to your younger sibling or friend
  17. Extra Tasbeeh: Say Alhamdulillah 100 times, and reflect on blessings in your life that make you say “Alhamdulillah”
  18. Visit somebody in hospital
  19. Find opportunities to give genuine compliments throughout the day, and make someone smile
  20. Say Assalam-o-Alaikum to as many people as you can today!
  21. Extra Tasbeeh: Say SubhanAllah 100 times, and reflect on the wonderful things in the world that make you say “SubhanAllah”
  22. Sponsor an orphan
  23. Help parents with laundry
  24. Call grandparents for a chat or visit them 
  25. Lend books to a friend
  26. Pray in the mosque today
  27. Buy a gift and give it to a loved one
  28. Help your parents with some extra house work or chores
  29. Treat an animal with extra kindness
  30. Make an effort to learn something new today

Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or on the Nasirat Website.

Owner/Author Jennifer Hadfield Website link: Tatertots & Jello  https://tatertotsandjello.com/desk-organization-command-center/

United Under One Hand: Memories With Khilafat

Our mulaqat was in November 2018. First, we greeted Huzoor (may Allah be His helper), and then we sat down. A few minutes later, he asked me: “What have you got in that book?” In my hand was a book that I had brought with me in which I had written some ahadith. I showed Huzoor (may Allah be His helper), and he was very impressed. He said that my handwriting was very neat. Then he called my sisters, Saariya and Manaahil. He gave each of us a chocolate and a pen. Finally, we had a picture of everyone with Huzoor (may Allah be His helper). Sabeeka Rashed, age 9 

My name is Naima and I am 10 years old. Let me tell you about my most memorable moment with beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper). My most memorable moment with beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper), was when I got a prize for my Nazam at the National Ijtema 2018 from Huzoor (may Allah be His helper). When my name got called up, I felt nervous but happy at the same time because all I ever wanted in my life was to get an award from beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper). Whilst we were waiting for beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) to arrive, I was waiting eagerly for the life time moment to arrive for me to get an award and cherish this beautiful memory forever. Now whenever I see the beautiful trophy that I received from the blessed hands of Huzoor (may Allah be His helper), I re-live the moment and thank Allah to give me this opportunity. I hope all of you reading this get to experience a moment with our beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) that you can remember forever. Naima Ahmed, age 10 

I’m going to tell you my most memorable moment with my beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper). We were sitting outside in the scorching heat under the canopies. It was last year’s UK’s Jalsa (2018). Temperature was in the 30s. Children, babies, adults were all hot and it was extremely difficult to find any shade. The heat was unbearable. It was the second day of Jalsa, when Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) goes to the ladies for the Lajna address. However, due to the weather, it was hard to concentrate. Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) ‘s speech ended, and then the Nasirat and Lajna Nazam presentations were being echoed throughout. We knew it might be the time that Huzoor could come out very soon. It was all hope, that our beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) possibly might pass our way. But this can only happen sometimes. No one knows if this year would be that lucky year. However, as always, my mum told us to pray that Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) indeed does pass so we are able to see him, even just a glimpse would make our Jalsa the best ever.

I am eager, excited, nervous and start to pray.  We look around and hear notifications from the duty holders for everyone to stay seated, remain quiet, and not move, as Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) will probably pass our way. We all shriek in excitement and our hearts are filled with happiness and joy. My mum says to me and my younger brother and sister to sit close and say salaam and wave when Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) passes. We wait. Then, something happens. Everyone starts to move out of their places. The duty holders tell us Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) is not coming this way. Oh no!! I am so sad. It was so close!

But hang on. What’s that happening now? Oh, my goodness! Huzoor (may Allah be His helper)!!! There he is!! We see him walking! Oh My God, we are stunned. He’s coming our way!! We are huddled together and come up on our knees to get a better look. Masha’Allah he is so beautiful. Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) is walking so gracefully and saying salaam to everyone as he passes. Then, he starts approaching us and waves! Oh wow, it was beautiful. We were all shrieking with happiness!

We start to say how staying in the heat was all worthwhile in the end. But wait a minute. Again?! We can see Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) coming back!! He’s going to pass us the second time! This is unbelievable! We are literally just staring in amazement. Our beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) passed us twice! Alhamdolillah. I cannot explain the joy of that day.  The weather was unbearable, but as my mum said, it was all worth every pain and discomfort seeing the real, cool sun come our way! There are many memorable memories with beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper), but I really wanted to share this one with you, as I’m sure it’s something we all can relate to.  Inaya Ahmad

One of my fondest memories of Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) from when I was younger happened when we were staying at Hadeeqatul Mahdi during Jalsa. I think I would have been around 6 or 7 at the time. It was late in the evening and my older brother and I were fighting as per usual. One thing led to another and it resulted in my bracelet being broken. It was my favourite bracelet and I think I must have been somewhat devastated because the way it was broken seemed irreversible. I can’t remember exactly what happened after that but later that evening I was stood next to Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) who was working at his desk. I remember him taking my bracelet (well, at the point it was more like a singular chain) and examining it carefully under the light of the lamp. I looked at his hands with curiosity as I saw him working with the metal clasp of the bracelet. It wasn’t possible to restore to how it was originally but by bending the mental chains he managed to join the bracelet in a different way. I looked on with fascination as I saw my bracelet fixed. Now that I’m older and more aware I know how busy Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) is during Jalsa and it makes me immeasurably grateful that he was able to take time out of his schedule to solve such a comparatively insignificant issue. It also taught me the valuable lesson of not giving up even if a solution isn’t immediately obvious. Yusra Dahri 

2014 was my first travel to see my beloved Khalifa at UK Jalsa. I remember during the USA delegation Mulaqat Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) mentioning Hasan Hakeem of Zion Jamaat and Haji Dhul Yahqub of Milwaukee Jamaat and his wife Nycemah being his dear African American friends who lived some time in Ghana while he was there. Hearing that, I felt so proud and touched that Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) and I had close connections to these humble individuals. When the mic was passed to the ladies side everyone gave short introductions. I sat in the back row. After each lady Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) asked if they were a convert. Each said no but born Ahmadi. When the mic came to me I introduced myself. Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) said to me you must be born Ahmadi. I said yes. He said you look like a born Ahmadi. My heart had melted! It was amazing and a feeling of acceptance that my Khalifa could see that I was born Ahmadi. During my time in London for Jalsa everyone I had approached or approached me assumed I was a convert. I had no idea why they assumed that but Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) could tell right off the bat that I am born and raised Ahmadi which made me feel so special and confirmed to myself that I have been carrying my Ahmadiyyat well and my parents have raised me well to the best of their abilities. Khalida Bakr – USA

It was the year 1956, I was in year 10 and Hazrat Musleh Ma’ood (ra) was writing the Tafseer of the Holy Qur’an, “Tafseer-e-Sagheer”. Huzoor (ra)used to call students from year nine and ten to come and listen to the Tafseer of the Holy Qur’an with his wife, Hazrat Uma-e-Nasir Sahiba. While Huzoor (ra) would be reciting the Tafseer, Hazrat “Choti appa” Maryam Siddiqa sahiba used to take notes. This was a regular practise, occurring twice a week in the mornings. Huzoor (ra) never sat on a chair, rather he would sit on the floor on a mattress with a big round pillow to rest his arm on. There was a very spiritual atmosphere and whenever I think about those days, I count myself very lucky.

Another beautiful memory I have with Hazrat Musleh Ma’ood (ra) is during the days of Jalsa Salana in Pakistan. Rabwah used to be a very busy city with so many special trains and buses hired for the event. Hazrat Musleh Ma’ood (ra)used to take Bai’at (pledge of allegiance) in the morning before the Jalsa Salana programme used to start. The arrangements for the ladies to take Bai’at used to be in Hazrat Ume Nasir Sahiba’s  house. Huzoor (ra) as usual used to sit on the floor on a mattress with a round pillow. I used to do duty with one of my teachers known as “Ustani Memoona” who was Nazima. My duty was filling out the Bai’at forms and taking the thumb impressions. One of Huzoor (ra) wives sat near Huzoor (ra) and the Lajna would put their hand on her hand one by one, repeating the words. We were not sitting too far from Hazrat Musleh Ma’ood (ra) but at the time didn’t realise. I consider myself one of the luckiest people having experienced those blessed days. Halima Rashid 

I went to Jalsa three years ago, and for me it was the best experience I’ve ever had by far. I want to start by saying that I wasn’t expecting to be invited to go, plus it was my first time going out of my country. But since I was invited, I got lots of expectations of this great event, expectations that were later overcome at Jalsa UK. The first thing I saw and felt when I arrived to Jamia UK was the warm welcoming, it felt like being with my family, it felt like being in my country. Love was floating in the air, everyone smiling, new people meeting and talking… It was a paradise for me. I felt so relaxed, confident, happy and blessed. I met so many people, everyone was so kind, and it reminded me why I’m Ahmadi Muslim now, Alhamdolillah. It also reinforced my faith, and I could see that we are more than just a few people in my Jamaat. It empowered me to spread the word, even more than I was doing at that time. Insha’Allah.

I also met the Khalifa (Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (may Allah be His helper)), but at that time it had only been months of me being a new Muslim, so I didn’t really know what to do, how to feel about it and most importantly, how important was the Khalifa. But I really wanted to learn more, and I thought that meeting the Khalifa could change this perspective. And it did. I remember, the days before the meeting, I had so many questions, but when I met him all those questions just went away, I was in a blank state. I just introduced myself to him and I told him how happy I was. In the end, it was nice to meet him, nice to listen to his answers which he gave to the other members of my Mexican delegation. Maybe I didn’t do many questions at that moment, but those questions remained in my mind, and in a certain way it has helped me to send these questions in my letters to Huzoor (may Allah be His helper), and only God knows, but this has surely helped me to build a relationship with the Khilafat through these years, Alhamdolillah. Alicia Fabiola Gonzalez Crespo – Mexico

My Visit to Qadian, India

niagra_falls

Last winter I went to Qadian with my family. We went to India through the Wagah Border from Pakistan and we then took a taxi from Amritsar to Qadian. It was my first ever time going there, and I was very excited. When we got there, we were very lucky to be staying in Darul Masih which was the home of the Promised Messiah (as) and his family. From our room we had an amazing view of Minaratul Masih.

 

On our first day we had a tour of Darul Masih which included: Masjid Mubarak, Masjid Aqsa, the room where the Promised Messiah (as) was born and other famous places in the history of Jama’at. Every day we would go to Bahishti Maqbara to pray at the grave of the Promised Messiahas and his companions. Every evening, I would go and offer nafl prayer in different places in Darul Masih with my mum.

 

Our last three days in Qadian were the three days of Jalsa. On each morning of the Jalsa we would walk from Darul Masih to the Jalsa Gah with some of our family members. The Jalsa gah in Qadian is a little different to the one in England because in Qadian it is in the open air and it is cold because as Jalsa is held in the winter. In England the Jalsa is held in a huge marquee and as Jalsa UK is normally held in the summer it tends to be very hot. There were however a few things that were similar to the Jalsa in England – for example, both Jalsas are for three days, they have speeches and nazms and you have to have your badges scanned and your bags checked.

 

Because it was the winter, we had to wear hats, scarfs, gloves and coats as unlike the Jalsa in England it was freezing (we even had to wear these when were asleep as it was so cold!). For each day of Jalsa, my cousins and I would bring massive goodie bags and we used to share all the drinks, fruit, chocolate and crisps between us. In the evenings my family and I would go to the bazaar to buy ourselves some treats.

 

I had an amazing time in Qadian and I hope to be able to go back again soon, inshAllah.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                        Article by Sabuh Khan, Age 10 

My Visit to Punjab, Pakistan

 My stay

On 19th July, I went to Pakistan with my family. I was very excited about this trip, as I have many relatives who live in Pakistan.

Chawinda and Gujranwala

My first stay was in Chawinda stayed with my relatives there. We also went to Sialkot. Sialkot is home to a beautiful park. It had all types of rides, types we would normally not see here in England. Playing at the park with my sisters was fun, we played for a while before my parents decided that it was time to say farewell to this beautiful park. We also went to Gujranwala. Gujranwala is the city where my father used to live in Pakistan. It was exciting visiting the place where my father used to live.

Rabwah

Rabwah is a city built by our jama’at, founded by Hazrat Musleh-e-Ma’ood (ra). Rabwah demonstrates a city of peace filled with the motto,” Love For Allah, Hatred For None”. We visited places such as  Darul-Ziafat, which serves as a guest house, serving accommodation and meals. I really enjoyed exploring these new places. After, we went to Bahisht-e- Maqbara for prayers. Then we visited Gol bazaar for some shopping. We also visited Tahir heart institute, which is one of the leading hospitals in the world, caring for people from all walks of life.

I loved going to the places in Pakistan. I wanted to stay there for a long time but obviously I couldn’t. In England there are fun places but I would recommend Pakistan to people. It’s a fantastic place to be. There were lots of other places we went, such as: malls, bazaars, restaurants and much more. My family enjoyed Pakistan. Though I have to admit Pakistan is not like England. England is always freezing and gloomy but Pakistan is a sunny, bright place. I’m sure anyone who goes there will agree with my point of view.

Lahore

In Lahore we visited safari park. It was so much fun. There were lots of animals. Another day we went to Minar-e-Pakistan. There was a tall building there. There were also decorated buggies. We also sat on a boat. We went to Allama Iqbal sialkot house there were loads of memorable things like beds, rooms, books and much more. I would love if other people visit Pakistan.

 

Article by Maleeha Khalida Malik

Age 10

The Promised Messiah (as)

Background

  • He was born in 1835 in Qadian, India.
  • He was from a noble family, land owning family of Qadian.
  • He was educated mainly at home by various tutors as was usual at that time. His education mainly consisted of reading in Persian and Arabic, becoming relatively fluent in the former.
  • He had a very deep love for the Holy Qur’an and for prayer.
  • Most of his time was spent on learning the Holy Qur’an in depth and studying other religions.

Qadian Darul Aman

In 1835 Qadian was a small, dusty village situated in the district of Punjab in India which was very hard to reach.

  • Not many visitors came to Qadian, nor was there a train station at that time.
  • Over time, many left their homes and their belongings, which were sometimes quite affluent, to go and live in the small unknown village of Qadian in India, which for them appeared to be in the wilderness, separated from any main town or transport provisions by a day’s journey.
  • Now Qadian is a large town with schools, offices and a train station. Many visitors come every year to visit the birthplace of the Promised Messiah (as).

The Prophecy

“He, it is Who has raised among the unlettered people a Messenger from among themselves who recites unto them His Signs, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and Wisdom though before that they were in manifest error; And He will raise him among others of them who have not yet joined them. He is the Mighty, the Wise.”

(Surah Al-Jumuah 62:3-4)

 

A companion of The Holy Prophet (saw) relates:

“One day we were sitting with The Holy Prophet (saw) when this chapter was revealed. I enquired from Muhammad (saw), who are the people to whom the words and among others f them who have not yet joined them refer? Salman (ra), a Persian was sitting among us. The Holy Prophet (saw) put his hand on Salma (ra) and said ‘If faith were to go up to the Pleiades, a man from among these would surely find it.’” (Bukhari).

Revelations from Allah

  • The Promised Messiah (as) received many revelations from Allah. The first was in 1868/9.
  • He defended Islam from many false allegations and spoke and wrote about the beauty of Islamic teachings.
  • He took the first bai’at – the pledge of initiation – from people on 23rd March 1889.
  • He wrote more than 80 books.
  • He spoke and debated on the issue where he could discuss the beauty of Islam and Islamic teachings

An Interesting Event

Hazrat Musleh Ma’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) said that at daybreak Ahmadis used to wander around with keen expectation wishing to find out what revelation had been received the night before. They would ask whichever of the Promised Messiah’s children they saw about this. Hazrat Musleh Ma’ood says he and his siblings too would quickly look at the Promised Messiah’s notebook as soon as he left for Salat to see any revelation noted down or they would hear about the revelation in the mosque from his blessed mouth. Thus, was the zest to strengthen faith, glorify and thank God for enabling to accept the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).

(Friday Sermon, 12/04/2015)

 

Small Stories for children

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) used to relate that a gardener’s wife had two daughters. One was married in a family of potters and the other in a family of gardeners. Each time it became cloudy she would panic and say one of her two daughters would suffer. On asking she would explain that if it rained the daughter married in potters’ family would suffer and if it did not rain the daughter married in gardeners’ family would suffer. It is rained the clay pottery of the first daughter would be damaged and if it did not rain the gardens tended by the second daughter’s family would be affected. Likewise, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) related that two individuals from Qadian had some dispute. Their friends tried to reconcile them but they both insisted to take the matter to the court run by the British. They were both followers of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and they both requested him to pray for them. Faced with a dilemma the Promised Messiah said he prayed that may the one who is on truth win. Requesting prayers in this way is like the story of the mother who feared that rain or no rain would affect one or the other daughter of hers because someone had to lose out!

 

Life Lessons and examples

In talking about the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) and his daily routine Hazrat Musleh Ma’ood (ra) says that The Promised Messiah (peace be on him) worked hard to maintain his health and to keep his body very active. He was not lazy or inactive at all. Instead, he was very hard working and very much liked to be in seclusion. He did not ever shun the hard work and many times it happened that whenever he had to go on a journey then the horse was sent by the servant ahead of him and he used to walk on foot, sometimes covering 20 to 25 miles he would reach the destination. Rather many times he used to travel on foot and very rarely he would ride at the back of the mount. This habit of walking on foot remained till the end of his life and when he was over 70 years of age with a number of diseases, yet he used to go out for fresh air and walk about 4 to 5 miles, even up to 7 miles. He used to mention that at the time before his old age he used to get up early before the Fajr prayer and would undertake a walk from Qadian to Wadala. While on the walk, the call for Fajr prayer used to happen at around 5.5 miles of the journey near a village where he used to offer the supplication.

The Promised Son

The Promised Son known as Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-deen Mahmood Ahmad or Hazrat Musleh Ma’ood’s(ra) birth had been prophesied decades before its occurrence most prominently in the Holy Qur’an whilst also having been explained by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Holy Qur’an states: “And He will raise him among others of them who have not yet joined them. He is the Mighty, the Wise.” (62:4)

Thus, “this verse clearly indicated that in the future other noble persons would be sent by God Almighty to bring mankind back towards His Creator. When this verse was revealed, one companion, Abu Hurreira, repeatedly enquired from the Holy Prophet (pbuh) as to whom the words “who have not yet joined them” referred? Another companion, Salman, who was from Persia, was also sat in the gathering. When answering Abu Hurreira’s question, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) placed his hand on Salman’s shoulder and said: ‘If Faith were to go up to the Pleiades, a man, or men, from among these would surely bring it back’ (Sahih Al Bukhari).

“The Holy Prophet (pbuh) had thus explained that a time would come when the beautiful religion of Islam would become corrupted and defaced. At that time God Almighty would not stand by, but due to His Infinite Love, he would instead send people from amongst the Persian race who would reform Islam and once again spread the true teachings of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). The ultimate fulfilment of this verse came in the person of the Promised Messiah (as) who was sent as a Prophet by God Almighty to rescue Islam from evil forces both within and out of Islam. However, the Promised Messiah’s(as)advent did not herald the completion of the prophecy. On the contrary, because God Almighty had clearly used the words ‘among others of them’ in the verse, Allah had clearly signalled that He would send more than one person. There is no doubt that Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad (ra) was also sent in fulfillment of that grand Qur’anic prophecy. Among other things, this is evidenced by both the events surrounding his birth and his vast achievements in the cause of Islam.” (The Promised Son by Abid Khan).

The Promised Messiah (as) wrote an announcement in relation to the prophecy revealing the birth of ‘the Promised Son’ on 20th February 1886. This was published in a local newspaper known at the time as ‘Riaz-e-Hind,’ dated 1st March 1886. It is, however, essential to note that this was not on a green paper neither was its later developed publication in the form of a leaflet printed on 22nd March 1886. This leaflet included specific details on the divine prophecy for the understanding of both opposers and believers. For example, it highlighted that the birth of the Promised Son may occur at any point during the period of 9 years.

What followed that was a phase of ridicule and criticism by opponents of all faiths against the Promised Messiah. This was because, after the announcement of the prophecy a daughter named Ismat was born on 15th April 1886 followed by the birth of Bashir (the first) who passed away shortly after 16 months on 4th November 1886. As a result, opponents mocked and questioned the prophecy and its divinity. However, despite criticism from all corners, the Promised Messiah spent this time of pain and anguish with utmost humility, patience and in the remembrance of his creator. We learn therefore that the extent of patience and steadfastness exhibited by the Promised Messiah(as) was essential to awaken an understanding of patience in the hearts of Momins (believers) at the standard that their creator wills.

The death of this Son allowed people to question the revelation as it had claimed that the Promised Son would have a long and fulfilling life who would live to serve his faith. The Promised Messiah in response explained that he had not had a clear sign from Allah that this son would be the same Promised Son upon whom he had previously received the revelation and neither had he claimed that the first-born child would be that child.

Consequently, on 1st December 1888 the Promised Messiah (as) wrote a small leaflet named “Haqqani Taqreer bar Waqea Wafat Bashir,” comprising of an explanation defending the prophecy. Stating regardless of anything the set period of 9 years beginning from its initial 20th February announcement will serve the Promised Son according to Allah the almighty’s promise. Hence this leaflet which reiterated and drew close emphasis upon the details of the prophecy was printed and distributed on a green paper, otherwise famously known as the ‘sabz ishtehar.’

On 12th January 1888 around 10 o’clock in the evening, Allah the Almighty miraculously fulfilled this prophecy through the blessed birth of a son showing the Promised Messiah clear signs that this is the Promised Son in accordance to that prophecy. The Promised Messiah(as) announced the birth of the promised son in ‘Siraje Muneer’.

Moreover, Hazrat Musleh Ma’ood (ra) truly possessed all the qualities clearly mentioned in the prophecy. He was blessed with a long and fulfilling life and befitted all the names that were given ‘such as Mubashir [the Promised One], Bashir [Bearer of glad-tidings], Nurullah [Light of Allah] Sayyeb [Heavenly Rain], Charagh Din [Light of Faith] etc., which reveal his perfect potential and inherent light.

The Promised Son known as Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-deen Mahmood Ahmad or Hazrat Musleh Ma’ood’s(ra) birth had been prophesied decades before its occurrence most prominently in the Holy Qur’an whilst also having been explained by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Holy Qur’an states: “And He will raise him among others of them who have not yet joined them. He is the Mighty, the Wise.” (62:4)

Thus, “this verse clearly indicated that in the future other noble persons would be sent by God Almighty to bring mankind back towards His Creator. When this verse was revealed, one companion, Abu Hurreira, repeatedly enquired from the Holy Prophet (pbuh) as to whom the words “who have not yet joined them” referred? Another companion, Salman, who was from Persia, was also sat in the gathering. When answering Abu Hurreira’s question, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) placed his hand on Salman’s shoulder and said: ‘If Faith were to go up to the Pleiades, a man, or men, from among these would surely bring it back’ (Sahih Al Bukhari).

“The Holy Prophet (pbuh) had thus explained that a time would come when the beautiful religion of Islam would become corrupted and defaced. At that time God Almighty would not stand by, but due to His Infinite Love, he would instead send people from amongst the Persian race who would reform Islam and once again spread the true teachings of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). The ultimate fulfilment of this verse came in the person of the Promised Messiah (as) who was sent as a Prophet by God Almighty to rescue Islam from evil forces both within and out of Islam. However, the Promised Messiah’s(as)advent did not herald the completion of the prophecy. On the contrary, because God Almighty had clearly used the words ‘among others of them’ in the verse, Allah had clearly signalled that He would send more than one person. There is no doubt that Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad (ra) was also sent in fulfillment of that grand Qur’anic prophecy. Among other things, this is evidenced by both the events surrounding his birth and his vast achievements in the cause of Islam.” (The Promised Son by Abid Khan).

The Promised Messiah (as) wrote an announcement in relation to the prophecy revealing the birth of ‘the Promised Son’ on 20th February 1886. This was published in a local newspaper known at the time as ‘Riaz-e-Hind,’ dated 1st March 1886. It is, however, essential to note that this was not on a green paper neither was its later developed publication in the form of a leaflet printed on 22nd March 1886. This leaflet included specific details on the divine prophecy for the understanding of both opposers and believers. For example, it highlighted that the birth of the Promised Son may occur at any point during the period of 9 years.

What followed that was a phase of ridicule and criticism by opponents of all faiths against the Promised Messiah. This was because, after the announcement of the prophecy a daughter named Ismat was born on 15th April 1886 followed by the birth of Bashir (the first) who passed away shortly after 16 months on 4th November 1886. As a result, opponents mocked and questioned the prophecy and its divinity. However, despite criticism from all corners, the Promised Messiah spent this time of pain and anguish with utmost humility, patience and in the remembrance of his creator. We learn therefore that the extent of patience and steadfastness exhibited by the Promised Messiah(as) was essential to awaken an understanding of patience in the hearts of Momins (believers) at the standard that their creator wills.

The death of this Son allowed people to question the revelation as it had claimed that the Promised Son would have a long and fulfilling life who would live to serve his faith. The Promised Messiah in response explained that he had not had a clear sign from Allah that this son would be the same Promised Son upon whom he had previously received the revelation and neither had he claimed that the first-born child would be that child.

Consequently, on 1st December 1888 the Promised Messiah (as) wrote a small leaflet named “Haqqani Taqreer bar Waqea Wafat Bashir,” comprising of an explanation defending the prophecy. Stating regardless of anything the set period of 9 years beginning from its initial 20th February announcement will serve the Promised Son according to Allah the almighty’s promise. Hence this leaflet which reiterated and drew close emphasis upon the details of the prophecy was printed and distributed on a green paper, otherwise famously known as the ‘sabz ishtehar.’

On 12th January 1888 around 10 o’clock in the evening, Allah the Almighty miraculously fulfilled this prophecy through the blessed birth of a son showing the Promised Messiah clear signs that this is the Promised Son in accordance to that prophecy. The Promised Messiah(as) announced the birth of the promised son in ‘Siraje Muneer’.

Moreover, Hazrat Musleh Ma’ood (ra) truly possessed all the qualities clearly mentioned in the prophecy. He was blessed with a long and fulfilling life and befitted all the names that were given ‘such as Mubashir [the Promised One], Bashir [Bearer of glad-tidings], Nurullah [Light of Allah] Sayyeb [Heavenly Rain], Charagh Din [Light of Faith] etc., which reveal his perfect potential and inherent light.

My Visit to Ontario, Canada Part 2

In the previous Travel blog, a dear sister described the mesmerizing views of Niagara Falls. In this post, I aim to do something similar and travel through various places in the province of Ontario, Canada. I assure you, just like post 1, this post will pursue you and your parents to book an immediate flight to Canada!

 

My stay

On June 4th, 2018 I traveled to Canada. I am very fortunate that I have a lot of relatives who live in Toronto, Canada. So, the accommodation was not a worry. I stayed with my cousins in Vaughan, which is only a 5-minute drive from the famous Peace Village.

 

Peace Village

Peace-Village is a faith-based sub-division which provides residence to over 200 houses and is centered by the beautiful Bait-ul-Islam Mosque. For an Ahmadi who has not had the opportunity to yet see the astonishing beauties of Rabwah and Qadian, seeing the streets of Peace Village filled with greetings of Assalamo’Alaikum (Peace with upon you) was an experience worth reviving one’s faith. I had the blessed opportunity to see Beloved Huzoor’s (May Allah be his helper) house which was currently under construction, however still a beautiful sight. Sadr Lajna Canada graciously invited me to Bait-e-Maryam, the Lajna office in Peace Village and gave me a detailed tour of the three-storey office. What a beautiful and well-constructed building with the atmosphere of love and harmony! 

 

Reading names of streets such Ahmadiyya Avenue, Bashir street, Mahmood Crescent and visiting a beautiful park named after the late Fazia Mahdi sahiba, all made me realise that by the grace of Allah the Almighty, our community is not only filled with love, respect and honour it has and will insha’Allah conquer the world!

Ramadhan and Eid at Bait-ul-Islam

Fortunately, my trip to Canada covered the last Asha’ra (Ten Days) of Ramadhan. I was very grateful to be able to regularly go to the Mosque to offer my Salat and listen to Dars leading up to Iftaar and Maghrib prayers. Dars lead by respected missionaries of the community was covered in Urdu and English to accommodate all listeners, and topics were covered in great detail. As per traditions of the Canada Jam’aat, anyone present at Dars is given a pack of dates, a water bottle and wipes to open their fast. Each evening spent in Peace Village during Ramadhan illustrated the truthfulness of Islam Ahmadiyyat. The Spirit of Eid in Canada is extensively celebrated. I saw my cousins making goody bags for friends, cooking extra portions of sawaiyaan (a vermicelli dish), to be distributed amongst family, friends and Muslim and non-Muslim neighbours.

Living in London, England I have always been used to the Mosque being full on Eid day. This time, I was excited to see where I would be offering my Eid prayers and how full the venue would be. To my surprise, the overflow at Bait-ul-Islam Mosque was very similar to what I had been experiencing back home. In fact, the large Mosque was unable to accommodate all members of the community and Lajna, therefore, prayed Eid Salat in Tahir hall, a multi-purpose building adjacent to Bait-ul-Islam Mosque. Again the streets of Peace Village echoed “Assalamo’Alaikum” and “Eid Mubarak” as we all headed back home to enjoy the rest of this blessed day.

Beach Day

Let’s now move a little out of the city of Toronto. June 17th, 2018, marked itself to be an extremely hot day, so we decided to travel to Innisfil Beach Park in Bradford, Canada. A beach Park, providing access to Lake Simcoe for swimming, boating and fishing. It’s an extremely well-planned structure really caught my eye! It has a distinctive parking area, followed by a small park overlooking the lake. Walking on, one sees a relatively big area dedicated to BBQ purposes only and last but definitely not least- a sandy beach! It was the perfect way to overcome a heat even the AC couldn’t seem to control! With enough privacy to enjoy scrumptious BBQ lunch; swing around a Frisbee; have water fights and craft an interesting sand castle, Innisfil Beach made the perfect picnic and nature capturing scenery!

Downtown-Toronto:

High-reaching buildings, heavy traffic, and lovely people; Downtown, Toronto is a must! A city center filled with eye-catching monuments which cannot be missed. The best experience is caught if one walks through the city and becomes familiar with its culture and beauty. We walked a full day starting our journey at Ripley’s Aquarium walking to various destinations including Nathan Phillips Square (acting as a forecourt to the Toronto City Hall) and the famous Dundas Square to make a round trip to Eaton Centre and gain a Canadian mall experience. Similar to London, Toronto is a multi-cultural city, one can easily choose different cuisines to dine at and you’re sure to come across people from different religions, ethnic backgrounds, and nationalities.

 

Ripley’s Aquarium

Ripley’s Aquarium is a place one must visit on their trip to Canada. It is a fascinating adventure for children and adults. Not only are thousands of sea life species collected and beautifully kept in habitats throughout the Aquarium to adore and learn about. Interesting talks are held to help understand the steps we must take to save under-sea animals but also their habitats. Children can run around in the bright-coloured spacious environment, feel various sea life species and try their hands at a number of interesting experiments set up in each gallery throughout the Aquarium. Take pictures, make videos, learn and adore sea life as close as never seen before!

 

And if that doesn’t sound enough, how about visiting the gift job, where I bought a beautiful wooden shark which my nephew and I later, assembled and painted together. From stuffed toys to puzzles, Ripley’s sure has it all!

The CN Tower

The famously known CN (Canadian National) Tower is a tower standing 1,815.3 feet tall. Being the ninth tallest free-standing structure in the world. For those who do not have enough time to visit most parts of Toronto, visiting the CN Tower is an excellent way of overlooking Toronto City and breath-taking sights of sunsets, aeroplanes landing up close and busy trains passing through the city.

 

The CN tower has plenty of spaces to sit and eat, from in-built restaurants. It provides exciting views at each level. The staff takes visitor’s over 300 feet over-ground where visitors have the chance to walk around its globe and adore the city or walk over the glass floor and step out into a very safe gated Terrace. We decided to go to the Terrace, sharp at sunset. Anyone, planning to visit the CN tower should do the same! It was a view one cannot miss and capture in their eyes forever. Anyone not fond of stepping out can also make the best use of the ceiling mirrors and take pictures for the memory of their trip.

Scarborough Bluffs

When visiting Canada, seeing mountains, rivers and lakes, was one of the desires which had to be fulfilled! I visited Scarborough bluffs, which are beautiful cliffs overseeing Lake Ontario. This sight was not only full of surprise but also a description of the thought, Allah is the best of all creators. To reach the cliffs, we walked through a small jungle crossing through a narrow way which opened itself to the edge of a cliff illustrating a sight which seemed as though the sky and sea unite at this place. Clear skies and the blue sea with bright greenery and fine crafts of spits and cliffs, this is the beauty Allah the Almighty has hidden in the city of Scarborough, Canada.

Vaughan Mills and Toronto Premium Outlet

Like, any other person visiting Canada, it was a must for me that I make the most of the shopping experience in Canada. Being able to purchase clothes and other accessories at more decent prices, was definitely a delight to my eyes and wallet! I made a few trips over the course of three weeks to Vaughan Mills shopping centre, as it was relatively close to where I was staying. Vaughan Mills exposes you to various shops and places to eat. This is where I had the opportunity to try my very first Sushi dish and the famous Canadian dish: Poutine, which are fries covered with gravy and cheese.

Toronto Premium Outlet is also an excellent choice for anyone in areas around Milton, wanting to explore different retail options in areas or spend a lovely day out with family. With an inclusive but open space, every shop stands out well and demonstrates a safe and peaceful environment. It provided great sales and options to buy clothes for kids and adults of all ages.

Article by Sabiha Khullat Cheema  

In the previous Travel blog, a dear sister described the mesmerizing views of Niagara Falls. In this post, I aim to do something similar and travel through various places in the province of Ontario, Canada. I assure you, just like post 1, this post will pursue you and your parents to book an immediate flight to Canada!

 

My stay

On June 4th, 2018 I traveled to Canada. I am very fortunate that I have a lot of relatives who live in Toronto, Canada. So, the accommodation was not a worry. I stayed with my cousins in Vaughan, which is only a 5-minute drive from the famous Peace Village.

 

Peace Village

Peace-Village is a faith-based sub-division which provides residence to over 200 houses and is centered by the beautiful Bait-ul-Islam Mosque. For an Ahmadi who has not had the opportunity to yet see the astonishing beauties of Rabwah and Qadian, seeing the streets of Peace Village filled with greetings of Assalamo’Alaikum (Peace with upon you) was an experience worth reviving one’s faith. I had the blessed opportunity to see Beloved Huzoor’s (May Allah be his helper) house which was currently under construction, however still a beautiful sight. Sadr Lajna Canada graciously invited me to Bait-e-Maryam, the Lajna office in Peace Village and gave me a detailed tour of the three-storey office. What a beautiful and well-constructed building with the atmosphere of love and harmony! 

 

Reading names of streets such Ahmadiyya Avenue, Bashir street, Mahmood Crescent and visiting a beautiful park named after the late Fazia Mahdi sahiba, all made me realise that by the grace of Allah the Almighty, our community is not only filled with love, respect and honour it has and will insha’Allah conquer the world!

Ramadhan and Eid at Bait-ul-Islam

Fortunately, my trip to Canada covered the last Asha’ra (Ten Days) of Ramadhan. I was very grateful to be able to regularly go to the Mosque to offer my Salat and listen to Dars leading up to Iftaar and Maghrib prayers. Dars lead by respected missionaries of the community was covered in Urdu and English to accommodate all listeners, and topics were covered in great detail. As per traditions of the Canada Jam’aat, anyone present at Dars is given a pack of dates, a water bottle and wipes to open their fast. Each evening spent in Peace Village during Ramadhan illustrated the truthfulness of Islam Ahmadiyyat. The Spirit of Eid in Canada is extensively celebrated. I saw my cousins making goody bags for friends, cooking extra portions of sawaiyaan (a vermicelli dish), to be distributed amongst family, friends and Muslim and non-Muslim neighbours.

Living in London, England I have always been used to the Mosque being full on Eid day. This time, I was excited to see where I would be offering my Eid prayers and how full the venue would be. To my surprise, the overflow at Bait-ul-Islam Mosque was very similar to what I had been experiencing back home. In fact, the large Mosque was unable to accommodate all members of the community and Lajna, therefore, prayed Eid Salat in Tahir hall, a multi-purpose building adjacent to Bait-ul-Islam Mosque. Again the streets of Peace Village echoed “Assalamo’Alaikum” and “Eid Mubarak” as we all headed back home to enjoy the rest of this blessed day.

Beach Day

Let’s now move a little out of the city of Toronto. June 17th, 2018, marked itself to be an extremely hot day, so we decided to travel to Innisfil Beach Park in Bradford, Canada. A beach Park, providing access to Lake Simcoe for swimming, boating and fishing. It’s an extremely well-planned structure really caught my eye! It has a distinctive parking area, followed by a small park overlooking the lake. Walking on, one sees a relatively big area dedicated to BBQ purposes only and last but definitely not least- a sandy beach! It was the perfect way to overcome a heat even the AC couldn’t seem to control! With enough privacy to enjoy scrumptious BBQ lunch; swing around a Frisbee; have water fights and craft an interesting sand castle, Innisfil Beach made the perfect picnic and nature capturing scenery!

Downtown-Toronto:

High-reaching buildings, heavy traffic, and lovely people; Downtown, Toronto is a must! A city center filled with eye-catching monuments which cannot be missed. The best experience is caught if one walks through the city and becomes familiar with its culture and beauty. We walked a full day starting our journey at Ripley’s Aquarium walking to various destinations including Nathan Phillips Square (acting as a forecourt to the Toronto City Hall) and the famous Dundas Square to make a round trip to Eaton Centre and gain a Canadian mall experience. Similar to London, Toronto is a multi-cultural city, one can easily choose different cuisines to dine at and you’re sure to come across people from different religions, ethnic backgrounds and nationalities.

Ripley’s Aquarium

Ripley’s Aquarium is a place one must visit on their trip to Canada. It is a fascinating adventure for children and adults. Not only are thousands of sea life species collected and beautifully kept in habitats throughout the Aquarium to adore and learn about. Interesting talks are held to help understand the steps we must take to save under-sea animals but also their habitats. Children can run around in the bright-coloured spacious environment, feel various sea life species and try their hands at a number of interesting experiments set up in each gallery throughout the Aquarium. Take pictures, make videos, learn and adore sea life as close as never seen before!

 

And if that doesn’t sound enough, how about visiting the gift job, where I bought a beautiful wooden shark which my nephew and I later, assembled and painted together. From stuffed toys to puzzles, Ripley’s sure has it all!

The CN Tower

The famously known CN (Canadian National) Tower is a tower standing 1,815.3 feet tall. Being the ninth tallest free-standing structure in the world. For those who do not have enough time to visit most parts of Toronto, visiting the CN Tower is an excellent way of overlooking Toronto City and breath-taking sights of sunsets, aeroplanes landing up close and busy trains passing through the city.

 

The CN tower has plenty of spaces to sit and eat, from in-built restaurants. It provides exciting views at each level. The staff takes visitor’s over 300 feet over-ground where visitors have the chance to walk around its globe and adore the city or walk over the glass floor and step out into a very safe gated Terrace. We decided to go to the Terrace, sharp at sunset. Anyone, planning to visit the CN tower should do the same! It was a view one cannot miss and capture in their eyes forever. Anyone not fond of stepping out can also make the best use of the ceiling mirrors and take pictures for the memory of their trip.

Scarborough Bluffs

When visiting Canada, seeing mountains, rivers and lakes, was one of the desires which had to be fulfilled! I visited Scarborough bluffs, which are beautiful cliffs overseeing Lake Ontario. This sight was not only full of surprise but also a description of the thought, Allah is the best of all creators. To reach the cliffs, we walked through a small jungle crossing through a narrow way which opened itself to the edge of a cliff illustrating a sight which seemed as though the sky and sea unite at this place. Clear skies and the blue sea with bright greenery and fine crafts of spits and cliffs, this is the beauty Allah the Almighty has hidden in the city of Scarborough, Canada.

Vaughan Mills and Toronto Premium Outlet

Like, any other person visiting Canada, it was a must for me that I make the most of the shopping experience in Canada. Being able to purchase clothes and other accessories at more decent prices, was definitely a delight to my eyes and wallet! I made a few trips over the course of three weeks to Vaughan Mills shopping centre, as it was relatively close to where I was staying. Vaughan Mills exposes you to various shops and places to eat. This is where I had the opportunity to try my very first Sushi dish and the famous Canadian dish: Poutine, which are fries covered with gravy and cheese.

Toronto Premium Outlet is also an excellent choice for anyone in areas around Milton, wanting to explore different retail options in areas or spend a lovely day out with family. With an inclusive but open space, every shop stands out well and demonstrates a safe and peaceful environment. It provided great sales and options to buy clothes for kids and adults of all ages.

Article by Sabiha Khullat Cheema  

My Visit to Toronto, Canada Part 1

niagra_falls

The Niagara Falls is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world with over 14 million visitors each year. The Niagara Falls are located between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and New York, consisting of three different falls, the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls. The Horseshoe Falls are located on the Canadian side while the others are located in New York. The Niagara Falls was the most anticipated aspect of my trip and something I had been looking forward to since I was a little girl. Waterfalls have never failed to amaze me. The beautiful natural flow of water to such depths makes them a fascinating sight. 

My stay was in the Ahmadiyya abode of peace where my mums Aunt lives in Toronto. We began our journey in the afternoon around 12pm, as the journey was one and a half hours long. The weather was beautiful and it was incredibly sunny with temperatures going to 35 degrees. Once we arrived at the Niagara Falls, after parking up, we began the trip with some cold iced frappes from Tim Hortons, a very well known and popular café in Canada. The Niagara Falls attraction is made up of a small funfair with many restaurants and cafes surrounding the area, leading to the waterfall.

As we took the last stride towards the waterfall, I tried to keep my eyes down to ensure I would only see the magnificent sight once it was right in front of me. I opened my eyes to one of the beautiful and scenic places I had ever seen. The noise of the water rushing down with such force embraced my ears and the pleasant rush of breeze across my face made me close my eyes and lean my head forward. I took a while just letting the pleasant sound of the water and the breeze play at my ears, as I turned my head to take in the whole view of the falls. Saying I was “mesmerised” comes somewhat close to describing how I felt standing in front of one of the world’s most beautiful places.

After taking many photos of the view which in no case did justice to the actual beauty of the falls, we went to queue up for the boat ride of the falls. I saw people drenched in water as they were leaving the boat, wearing disposable jackets with caps. We were each handed an orange jacket which we put on as we got into the boat. As the boat started moving we could view the Niagara fall from a different angle from the bottom and see the rush of water falling down, giving off white smoke. As we neared the center of the falls, we felt light spritzes of water fall on our faces. The wind got harsher as we started getting wet with heavy droplets of water the nearer we moved to the falls. The boat took us right up close to the centre of the falls at which point we were all drenched in water from head to toe. I quietly stood at the edge of the boat looking up as far as my eyes could reach to take in the falls and the white smoke. The boat then turned, and we started distancing from the falls. I turned to face the waterfall one last time to take in the last few moments of being at such close proximity.

Once we got off the boat, we roamed around the funfair for a while, enjoying the colourful setups and displays before having a scrumptious lunch of burgers and fries at Wendy’s. We decided to walk back and stand at a different point to view the falls and take some more photographs. For me, I just wanted to cherish a few more moments quietly as I stood and watched the falls. It was definitely a day I will not forget, and I have wonderful memories and pictures to take me back to this trip, allowing me to cherish it forever.

Article by A.M Hadi               Pictures by A.M Hadi and S.K Cheema  

My Visit to Washington DC, USA

Our arrival in the USA was a little more complicated and delayed than was expected. Having missed our direct flight to Washington, we were handed alternative boarding passes for a connecting flight from New York to DC. A further misfortune was the fact that our beloved Aunty had boarded our initial flight… without us. It’s safe to say the air hostesses got an earful once she realised they were nearing take-off and she was still seated amongst three empty seats. On the other side… we sat watching from behind the airport windows as our flight began to take-off… praying our Aunty was alright. Nevertheless, eventually we reunited at the DC International Airport and it’s safe to say, we had never been happier to see our Aunty.

The rest of our stay in DC was eventful, to say the least. We stayed with my Aunt’s family in Maryland, who are extremely blessed to have a house right by Bait Ur Rehman Masjid. Taking us from central DC to every shopping mall possible, our family sure kept us moving and entertained. Seeing the White House in real life felt surreal, although it was rather difficult to get a good glimpse of through the dozens of security measures surrounding it. Capitol Hill as we hear it in all the American shows, had the inner tourist in me going wild- it felt as though I could finally draw a personal connection to all the American TV I had watched. The food and the portion sizes lived up to their expectations and certainly did not disappoint! 

With the grace of Allah, we also had the opportunity to attend our second Jalsa of the year after having attended Jalsa Salana Canada only a few days prior, we were now blessed to be making our way to Pennsylvania for the 70th Jalsa Salana USA 2018. The American Jalsa Salana was a different kind of experience altogether, but regardless, the sense of familiarity I felt despite being from across the globe, remains very close to my heart. From sitting amongst sisters listening to the inspirational speeches, having duty holders request us to stop talking, estimating what toilet queue will end faster, to queuing up for the delicious langar food; the sense of familiarity was comforting, to say the least. But that is the blessing of our Jamaat, no matter which part of the world you travel to, you know one thing will always remain the same, and that is the love and unity of Khilafat. Alhamdullilah for a mesmerising trip.

Author: Aneela Mahmood  

Get Organised! Desk Organisation Command Center

get_organised

 

SUPPLIES:

  • 4 Clip Boards
  • 4 Mini Metal Clips
  • 4 Sheets of Cardstock
  • 3 Mini Craft Paper Tags
  • 1 Small Metal Tin
  • Stickers and Embellishments
  • 3/4 inch elastic
  • Stapler
  • Post-it notes
  • Craft Glue/Hot Glue
  • Scissors

Sit down and think about what 4 areas you

want to have on your desk command

center. E.g.:

  1. Calendar
  2. Dry Erase Board
  3. Post-it notes/odds and end storage
  4. Pencil holder/clips for holding notes

TO MAKE CALENDAR:

Use a piece of cardstock that comes printed

with a calendar already on it. You certainly

could use a pre-made calendar or find a

printable. Cut it down to size to fit on the

clipboard. After each month is over replace

it with a new preprinted month!!

 

 

 

DRY ERASE BOARD:

Take a piece of gold foil cardstock, cut the cardstock to fit your clipboard…so easy!! Using some craft glue; glue everything down to the clipboard!!

 

POST IT NOTES/ODDS AND ENDS STORAGE:

To make the Post-It note holder, use 3/4 inch elastic and wrap it around the Post-It notepad until it is snug but not too tight. Remove the notepad. While keeping the elastic in the same spot staple the ends together. Now you should have a bracelet type shape from the elastic. It should be just tight enough to hold the sticky pad. Using your hot glue gun secure the elastic to the clipboard. If you use the pop up Post-It notes you won’t have to remove the entire pad every time you need a new sticky note…. pretty cool!! Use a small metal tin and hot glue it to the clipboard. It is the perfect spot for small desk items.

 

PENCIL HOLDER/CLIPS FOR HOLDING NOTES:

To make the pencil holders just use some craft paper tags with pockets. The paper is thick enough to withstand holding a few items per tag. Perfect place to store your dry erase markers and scissors! These were all secured with the hot glue gun. Use hot glue gun to secure the metal clips in place.

Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or on the Nasirat Website.

Owner/Author Jennifer Hadfield Website link: Tatertots & Jello  https://tatertotsandjello.com/desk-organization-command-center/

 

 

 

 

 

Supplies:

  • 4 Clip Boards
  • 4 Mini Metal Clips
  • 4 Sheets of Cardstock
  • 3 Mini Craft Paper Tags
  • 1 Small Metal Tin
  • Stickers and Embellishments
  • 3/4 inch elastic
  • Stapler
  • Post-it notes
  • Craft Glue/Hot Glue
  • Scissors

Sit down and think about what 4 areas you want to have on your desk command center. E.g.:

  1. Calendar
  2. Dry Erase Board
  3. Post-it notes/odds and end storage
  4. Pencil holder/clips for holding notes

To Make Calendar:

Use a piece of cardstock that comes printed with a calendar already on it. You certainly could use a pre-made calendar or find a printable. Cut it down to size to fit on the clipboard. After each month is over replace it with a new preprinted month!!

Dry Erase Board:

Take a piece of gold foil cardstock, cut the cardstock to fit your clipboard…so easy!! Using some craft glue; glue everything down to the clipboard!!

Post It Notes / Odds and Ends Storage:

To make the Post-It note holder, use 3/4 inch elastic and wrap it around the Post-It notepad until it is snug but not too tight. Remove the notepad. While keeping the elastic in the same spot staple the ends together. Now you should have a bracelet type shape from the elastic. It should be just tight enough to hold the sticky pad. Using your hot glue gun secure the elastic to the clipboard. If you use the pop up Post-It notes you won’t have to remove the entire pad every time you need a new sticky note…. pretty cool!! Use a small metal tin and hot glue it to the clipboard. It is the perfect spot for small desk items.

Pencil Holder / Clips for Holding Notes:

To make the pencil holders just use some craft paper tags with pockets. The paper is thick enough to withstand holding a few items per tag. Perfect place to store your dry erase markers and scissors! These were all secured with the hot glue gun. Use hot glue gun to secure the metal clips in place.

Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or on the Nasirat Website.

Owner/Author Jennifer Hadfield Website link: Tatertots & Jello  https://tatertotsandjello.com/desk-organization-command-center/

New Years (Jan 2019)

Benefits of Tahajjud

What is Tahajjud Prayer?

Tahajjud prayer is a type of optional, voluntary prayer (Nawafil). It can be offered individually or in a congregation.

 

When is it offered?

Tahajjud prayer is offered in the late hours of the night. The time for Tahajjud prayer starts after midnight and ends when the time for Fajr prayer starts. To offer Tahajjud prayer, one has to go to sleep after Ishaa prayer and wake up at night to pray again. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) used to offer Ishaa prayer and then go to sleep, waking up again just after midnight to pray Tahajjud. To make up for that sleep, he would usually then take a short nap in the afternoon.

 

How many Raka’at is Tahajjud prayer?

Tahajjud prayer typically consists of 8 raka’at, offered in sets of two raka’at. However, anywhere between 2 to 8 raka’at can be offered. In a Friday Sermon delivered on January 2nd 2015, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (may Allah be His helper) said: Our Jama’at should be regular in Tahajjud. If not much they should offer two units of Prayer.’

 

What are the benefits of Tahajjud prayer?

Tahajjud prayer is a way of becoming close to Allah Almighty. Tahajjud prayer allows you to gain Allah’s special favours as prayers that are offered in Tahajjud are more readily accepted by Allah. One becomes closer to Allah when offering Tahajjud prayer as he/she gives up sleep and the comfort of a bed to pray to Allah Almighty.

 

Although it is not obligatory, it is very strongly emphasised by the Holy Quran. It has always been the practice of the pious people to perform this Prayer regularly in order to gain Allah’s special favours. The supplication made during Tahajjud Prayer are granted acceptance by God Almighty readily. It is also a vehicle for achieving nearness to God, because at that hour, one gives up sleep and forsakes the comfort of one’s bed, to fall prostrate before one’s Lord.

Tahajjud not only benefits an individual’s relationship with Allah, but also has physical benefits. In a Friday sermon delivered on 2nd January 2015, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (may Allah be His helper) said: ‘Tahajjud should be organised because it was the way of the earlier righteous ones and it is a source of gaining closeness to God. This practice keeps one away from sin and removes bad habits and also keeps one away from physical ailments.’

Although it is not compulsory, Tahajjud prayer and its benefits have mentioned several times in the Holy Quran:

 

Verily getting up at night is the most potent means of subduing the self and most effective in respect of words of Prayer. (73:7)

 

Starting the New Year with Tahajjud

The New Year is celebrated across the world with fireworks and celebrations happening throughout the night, however, the majority of these celebrations consist of worldly activities have no religious concern. As Ahmadis, we are guided by Islam and our Holy Prophet (saw) to spend our New Year by self-reflecting and praying to our creator. In a Friday Sermon delivered on 30th December 2016, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (may Allah be His helper) guided us all by saying: Thus, if we spend the last night of the previous year and the new day of the New Year pondering over our spiritual conditions and by spending time supplicating towards Allah then we will be the ones who will be working towards a good life hereafter. And if we also indulge in worldly wishes and affairs, then we will lose a lot and gain nothing.’

 

References:

  1. https://www.alislam.org/library/book/ramadhan-blessings/rules-of-fasting/
  2. https://www.alislam.org/friday-sermon/2015-01-02.html
  3. https://www.alislam.org/friday-sermon/2016-12-30.html
  4. https://www.alislam.org/library/book/salat/prayer-offered-in-abnormal-circumstances/
  5. Hygiene of Sleep, Dr. Shah Nawaz Khan – The Review of Religions, April 1993, https://www.alislam.org/library/misc/hygiene-of-sleep/

By Mashel Chaudhry

A Man and His Sons

Once there was a man who had five sons. Instead of living together peacefully and calmly, they were constantly bickering and fighting. Their father was fed up with their constant arguments, so he decided to teach them a lesson. He gathered five sticks, that were all the same size and tied them all together. Smiling smugly to himself, he called his sons. After the usual pushing and shoving, they finally stood in front of their father. “I would like you to take this bundle of sticks and break it for me.”He said The eldest brother smirked and grumbled, “I can do that easily!” He tried and he tried but he couldn’t break the sticks. The others scoffed at him and laughed. “Let me have a go.” said the second brother. Again he tried and tried, broke out into a sweat but he couldn’t break the bundle of sticks either. One by one all the brothers tried to break the sticks, but they all failed. “It’s impossible!” They cried “I’ll show you how it’s done!” said the father. He untied the sticks and gave each brother one stick each. “Now try.” He said Each of the brothers broke the sticks easily, they looked at each other in confusion. What was their father trying to tell them? Finally, he said “Let this be a lesson to you. When the sticks were tied together they were strong and unbreakable, but on their own, they were easy to break. So do you see, if you are united you are strong, on your own you are weak United we stand, divided we fall.”

The Fox and the Stork

The Fox and the Stork became very good friends. One day, the Fox decided to invite the Stork for dinner. The fox prepared a delicious soup, but, as a joke, presented the soup in a very shallow dish. When the stork arrived, the fox happily lapped and licked up the soup, but the stork could not do anything except wet the very end of her beak in the soup, without tasting one drop. She left the dinner hungry, and the fox apologised that the stork had not liked the soup. The Stork waved away the fox’s apology, and in return, offered to cook dinner for the Fox the following day. So, the next day, the Stork awaited Fox’s arrival and when he arrived, he found a table laid with two very long-necked flasks which held the meal. The stork easily dipped her beak into the food and ate hungrily, but the Fox could not fit his snout through the flask neck. The Fox left the dinner as hungry as when he arrived and had learned his lesson: One bad deed warrants another.