Good story with morals.
>> put_the-_glass_down.pps <<
Good story with morals.
>> put_the-_glass_down.pps <<
We become de-sensitized a little bit at a time. Some years ago, I walked into my office after a Sunday morning service to find a sandwich bag on my desk containing three chocolate brownies. Some thoughtful and anonymous person who knew my love for chocolate had placed them there, along with a piece of paper that had a short story written on it. I immediately sat down and began eating the first brownie as I read the following story.
Two teenagers asked their father if they could go to the theater to watch a movie that all their friends had seen. After reading some reviews about the movie on the Internet, he denied their request.
“Ah dad, why not?” they complained. “It’s rated PG-13, and we’re both older than thirteen!
“Dad replied: “Because that movie contains nudity and portrays immorality as being normal and acceptable behavior.”
“But dad, those are just very small parts of the movie! That’s what our friends who’ve seen it have told us. The movie is two hours long and those scenes are just a few minutes of the total film! It’s based on a true story and good triumphs over evil, and there are other redeeming themes like courage and self-sacrifice. Even the movie review websites say that!”
“My answer is ‘no,’ and that is my final answer. You are welcome to stay home tonight, invite some of your friends over, and watch one of the good videos we have in our home collection. But you will not go and watch that film. End of discussion.
“The two teenagers walked dejectedly into the family room and slumped down on the couch. As they sulked, they were surprised to hear the sounds of their father preparing something in the kitchen. They soon recognized the wonderful aroma of brownies baking in the oven, and one of the teenagers said to the other,
“Dad must be feeling guilty, and now he’s going to try to make it up to us with some fresh brownies. Maybe we can soften him with lots of praise when he brings them out to us and persuade him to let us go to that movie after all.”
About that time I began eating the second brownie from the sandwich bag and wondered if there was some connection to the brownies I was eating and the brownies in the story. I kept reading.
The teens were not disappointed. Soon their father appeared with a plate of warm brownies, which he offered to his kids. They each took one. Then their father said, “Before you eat, I want to tell you something: “I love you both so much.” The teenagers smiled at each other with knowing glances. Dad was softening. “That is why I’ve made these brownies with the very best ingredients. I’ve made them from scratch. Most of the ingredients are even organic; the best organic flour, the best free-range eggs, the best organic sugar, premium vanilla and chocolate.” The brownies looked mouth-watering, and the teens began to become a little impatient with their dad’s long speech.“
But I want to be perfectly honest with you. There is one ingredient I added that is not usually found in brownies. I got that ingredient from our own back yard. But you needn’t worry, because I only added the tiniest bit of that ingredient to your brownies. The amount of the portion is practically insignificant. So go ahead, take a bite and let me know what you think.
“Dad, would you mind telling us what that mystery ingredient is before we eat?”
The portion I added was so small. Just a teaspoonful. You won’t even taste it.”
“Come on, dad; just tell us what that ingredient is.”
“Don’t worry! It is organic, just like the other ingredients.”
“Well, OK, if you insist. That secret ingredient is organic … dog poop.”
I immediately stopped chewing that second brownie and I spit it out into the waste basket by my desk. I continued reading, now fearful of the paragraphs that still remained.
Both teens instantly dropped their brownies back on the plate and began inspecting their fingers with horror.
“Dad! Why did you do that? You’ve tortured us by making us smell those brownies cooking for the last half hour, and now you tell us that you added dog poop! We can’t eat these brownies!”
“Why not? The amount of dog poop is very small compared to the rest of the ingredients. It won’t hurt you. It’s been cooked right along with the other ingredients. You won’t even taste it. It has the same consistency as the brownies. Go ahead and eat!”
“No, Dad … Never!”
“And that is the same reason I won’t allow you to go watch that movie. You won’t tolerate a little dog poop in your brownies, so why should you tolerate a little immorality in your movies? We pray that God will not lead us unto temptation, so how can we in good conscience entertain ourselves with something that will imprint a sinful image in our minds that will lead us into temptation long after we first see it?”
I discarded what remained of the second brownie, as well as the entire untouched third brownie. What had been irresistible a minute ago had become detestable. And only because of the very slim chance that what I was eating was slightly polluted. (Surely it wasn’t… but I couldn’t convince myself.)
O Believers! Fast is prescribed for you as it was for those before you so that you may ward off evil. (Fast) a certain number of days…
(Qur’an: Chapter 2, Verses 182-183)
Every year in the ninth lunar month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims around the world abstain from food, drink, vain talk and certain other actions from before sunrise until after sunset.
Fasting is prescribed in the Abrahamic faiths
The Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions all enjoin fasting. Moses observed a fast of forty days at Mount Sinai at the time of the revelation of the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 24:18) Although less common now, it is Jewish tradition to fast when mourning or when in danger. Most practicing Jews still fast on the Day of Atonement and for the one-week commemoration of the destruction of Jerusalem in 597 B.C. Jesus of Nazareth, peace be upon him, also fasted on the Day of Atonement and the forty days of Moses’ fast to ward off Satanic temptation.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.” (Matthew 4:2)
Many Christians observe a forty-day pre-Easter fast, although now it includes abstention from only certain food items rather than all food and drink. Muslims fast the month of Ramadan and may, optionally, fast on most other days of the year. The One God prescribes fasting for the faithful; and it has many benefits. Material pleasures can be generalized into food and drink, sexual pleasures, and vanity. Fasting requires abstaining from these, going against the natural instinct of Man to observe the commandment of God. This builds and strengthens a person’s self-control, nearing them to their Creator. Other benefits of fasting include:
q Fasting instills patience, teaches self control and discipline.
q Fasting increases compassion for the less fortunate.
q Fasting builds focus on spirituality and deminishes focus on materialism.
q Fasting has many health benefits.
q Fasting can be atonement for sin and can earn great reward.
q Fasting is part of a strong spiritual and physical renewal plan.
q Fasting commemorates important sacred religious events.
The Muslim fast of the month of Ramadan is a continuation of the long history of fasting in the Abrahamic faiths. The self-improvement benefits of fasting make it an important means of improving one’s faith and practice of religion.
“And men who fast and women who fast…God has prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward.”
( Qur’an 33:35)
What does the fast of the month of Ramadan entail?
In short, the fast involves abstention from all food, drink, vain talk, and sexual intercourse for married couples from the time before dawn when the sky becomes light enough to distinguish a black thread from the white thread of the horizon, until after sunset when redness leaves the Eastern half of the sky. Some people are not to able to fast due to age, health, child-bearing conditions, etc., and instead give charity, and/or make up the days of fast they missed at a later time. However, the true spirit of the fast of the month of Ramadan is more than just abstention from a few things. It is a time of sustained, amplified effort toward spiritual perfection. “
Thirst and hunger you undergo, feel and live through, here and now, to bring to your mind the severity and sharpness of the drought and starvation that will be the order of the day on the Day of Judgment.
q Give alms to the poor and destitute.
q Treat your parents and elders with respect.
q Be kind and loving to your children and juniors.
q Take care of and look after your relatives.
q Keep from giving tongue to that which should not even be whispered.
q Shut your eyes to that which is indecent to have an eye for.
q Turn a deaf ear to that which is too slanderous to be all ears to.
q Be compassionate, gentle and benign unto orphans so that after you, your children, if need be, receive the same treatment from others.
q Turn repentant to God and seek His nearness.” –
Holy Prophet, peace be upon him and his family
In addition to fasting and aiming for excellent moral character, Muslims devote as much time and energy as possible in the month of Ramadan toward prayer and supplication to the One and Only God. During some of the nights of this month, Muslims will remain awake the whole night in worship. After the last day of the month of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid ul Fitr to commemorate the completion of the fast. They get together for prayer, food, and modest gift exchange (particularly for children). However, it is a day of mixed feelings, because the most blessed month of Ramadan with all of its opportunities for forgiveness and reward are gone for another year.
“I take refuge with Thy kindest disposition, O Lord, lest the dawn of this night breaks forth, or the month of Ramadan comes to an end, and I still stand as an accused (unforgiven) sinner, liable to be punished, on the Day I am presented before Thee.”
The month of Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar. Since a lunar year is about a week and a half shorter than a solar year, the month of Ramadan cycles backward through the seasons. It is a sacred month because God ordained it for the revelation of sacred texts. Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq quotes the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him and his family, as saying,
“The Books of Abraham were revealed on the first night of the month of Ramadan; the Torah was revealed on the sixth of the month of Ramadan; the Gospel was revealed on the thirteenth of the month of Ramadan . . ., and the Holy Qur’an on the twenty-third of the month of Ramadan.”
It is also considered sacred because it contains the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr). “Qadr” literally means destiny, and on this night God determines each and every event to occur during the next year to any and all of His creation. Imam as-Sadiq, peace be upon him, informs us that,
“During Laylatul Qadr, the angels, the spirit, and the trusted scribes all descend to the lower heavens and write down whatever God decrees that year, and if God wishes to advance something or postpone it or add thereto, He orders the angel to erase it and replace it with whatever He decrees.”
The Holy Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him and his family, tells us about the great blessings of the month of Ramadan.
“[The month of Ramadan is] overflowing with advantages, merciful, ready to put up your sins of omission and commission to God for obtaining his forgiveness. Its days, nights and hours, in the estimation of God, are more select, refined and important than the days, nights and hours of other months. It surpasses all months in merits and favors.…. So, sincerely, free from evil and sinful thoughts and actions, with clear conscience, pray and request that God may give you heart and confidence to observe fast… throughout this month..”
Conclusion: Muslims observe fast, as in any act of devotion, to seek nearness to God, seek His pleasure and Forgiveness, and generate a spirit of piety in Man. Fasting in this month honors the revelation of God’s word and purifies one in preparation for the night of decrees and in hope of forgiveness. Fasting is a yearly spiritual renewal, given abundant reward in this month of God’s Mercy that is part of the Islamic path to the ideal self.
To find out more about Islam, visit: http://al-islam.org/faq/
1. What is the month of Ramadan? (the Islamic lunar month of fasting)
2. Why is this month important for Muslims? (Because it is believed by Muslims to be the month in which the first verses of the Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad & Allah himself has made this month as beneficial by showering with N’ number of bounties)
3. What does fasting mean? ( Fast involves abstention from all food, drink, vain talk, and sexual intercourse for married couples from the time before dawn till sun set)
4. At what age does fasting become a requirement for Muslims? (Puberty)
5. Explain the terms SAWM, SUHOOR, IFTAR. (Sawm = fasting, Suhoor = pre-dawn breakfast meal, Iftar = meal at the end of the daily fast)
6. What are the benefits of fasting? (Many… but fews as to feel compassion for the poor and underprivileged, to build a sense of self-control, and to purify the body and the soul)
7. What marks the end of Ramadan? (Eid al-Fitr holiday)
8. How do Muslims finish off the month of Ramadan? (By seeing the crescent of moon of the next month & celebrating the Eid’ul Fitr)
Self Accounting Excel sheet >> self-accountings.pdf
This is just a sample file you can use it as it is or you can add/delete as per your requirements.
The other important deeds of this night is self scrutinizing, and it would be so much better and desirable that at the end of the month, the fast observing believer should audit his investment and profit, exactly like two partners who scrutinize their investments and gains at the end of the day. He should look at his investment, i.e., age, faith, blessings and illuminations of the Holy Month of Ramadhan and should find out whether at the end of the month his faith in Allah, (the Glorious, the Exalted), the Holy Prophet [s], and religion has increased or not ? He should think how are his ethics and his spiritual condition?
He should think whether the Holy Month of Ramadhan has contributed towards the improvement, perfection and maturity of ethics, and affairs like fear, hope, patience, asceticism, Allah’s remembrance, enlightenment, love, reliance, surrender, consent, Monotheism, heart’s wideness, spiritual contemplation of hidden realities, acceptance of calamities, keeping secrets, detachment from the world, and attachment towards the Hereafter, etc., or not? He should think how are his deeds and character? Has he taken steps towards their betterment? Has he increased his efforts for their correct religious performance ? Especially, he should review his tongue’s actions, and should think whether its sins like lying, speaking nonsense, back-biting, accusation, obscenity and ill-speaking have decreased or not? If after this scrutiny he discovered that his heart’s affairs are still like before, and no step forward has been taken for their betterment, he should realize that he has not been benefited from this esteemed month and its bounties, the way he should have been. That his undesirable and unjust actions have closed the path for the illumination and blessings of this Holy Month, thus, making him deprived from its benefits. Otherwise, it is not possible that illuminations and bounties of this month, especially, the blessing of the Night of Power (Lailatul-Qadr) as well as illumination and bounties of prayers and supplications do not leave any influence upon his actions and affairs. Some one like this should feel sorry for his loss, and from this fear, lest the saying of the Holy Prophet [s], that: “Whoever passes the Holy Month of Ramadhan without his being pardoned, then there do not exist any pardon for him”, might be valid for him.
Therefore, he should arise for his reform, should seek refuge in Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), should beseech Him for help, should All stretch his hands towards the threshold of His generosity, with his tongue and from the profundities of his heart must cry:
“Or, Who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls on Him, and who relieves its suffering.”
– Holy Qur’an (27:62)
He must honestly and sincerely lament upon his sorry state of affairs, from the profundities of his soul and mobilizing his entire existence must cry:
“There is no god save Thee, be Thou glorified, Lo! I have been a wrong doer.”
– Holy Qur’an (21:87)
His condition should be such that shame and degradation of wrongdoers, anxiety and fear of sinners should be apparent upon his face. He must request for forgiveness and pardon with the degree of anxiety in proportion to the magnitude of his sins and the calamity inflicted upon him. If Allah forbid, his lazy and deviated self prevents him from offering repentance, at least, his case should not be worst than Satan’s; acting exactly in the same manner as he besought Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), and also accomplished his objective – i.e., not to be disappointed from His kindness and generosity, not remaining negligent, in spite of all the damages and deviations, not closing the eyes from the Lord’s magnanimity; and in summary in the last night of this month, for compensation and provision of the benefits and rewards – lost by him during the entire month – as well as for reparation of losses and damages inflicted upon, he must do whatever he can, and in this manner should prepare himself for the Day of Eid ul-Fitr – the day for presenting ourselves before Allah, (the Glorious, the Exalted) so that he should not remain empty handed from being benefited from great rewards, because indeed deprivation of them would be a tremendous loss and damage which would be irreparable.
Last week, a man took his children to a restaurant.THE six-year-old son asked if he could say grace.
As they bowed their heads he said, “God is good, God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all! Amen!”
Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby, he heard a woman remark, “That’s what’s wrong with this country. Kids today don’t even know how to pray. Asking God for ice cream! Why, I never!”
Hearing this, the son burst into tears and asked me, “Did I do it wrong?
Is God mad at me?”
As the man held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job, and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table.
He winked at the son and said, “I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.”
“Really?” the son asked.
“Cross my heart,” the man replied.
Then, in a theatrical whisper, he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), “Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes.”
Naturally, the man bought to kids ice cream at the end of the meal. the son stared at his for a moment, and then did something to be remembered the rest of life.
He picked up his sundae and, without a word, walked over and placed it
in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, “Here, this is for you.
Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already.”
1. Commit to Raising A Moral Child
How important is it for you to raise a moral child? It’s a crucial question to ask, because research finds that parents who feel strongly about their kids turning out morally usually succeed because they committed themselves to that effort. If you really want to raise a moral child, then make a personal commitment to raise one.
2. Be a Strong Moral Example
Parents are their children’s first and most powerful moral teachers, so make sure the moral behaviors your kids are picking up from you are ones that you want them to copy. Try to make your life a living example of good moral behavior for your child to see. Each day ask yourself: “If my child had only my behavior to watch, what example would he/she catch?” The answer is often quite telling.
3. Know Your Beliefs & Share Them
Before you can raise a moral child, you must be clear about what you believe in. Take time to think through your values then share them regularly with your child explaining why you feel the way you do. After all, your child will be hearing endless messages that counter your beliefs, so it’s essential that he/she hears about your moral standards. TV shows, movies, newspapers, and literature are filled with moral issues, so use them as opportunities to discuss your beliefs with your child.
4. Use Teachable Moments
The best teaching moments aren’t ones that are planned—they happen unexpectedly. Look for moral issues to talk about as they come up. Take advantage of those moments because they help your child develop solid moral beliefs that will help guide his behavior the rest of his life.
5. Use Discipline as a Moral Lesson
Effective discipline ensures that the child not only recognizes why her behavior was wrong but also knows what to do to make it right next time. Using the right kind of questions helps kids expand their ability to take another person’s perspective and understand the consequences of their behavior. So help your child reflect: “Was that the right thing to do? What should I do next time?” That way your child learns from his mistakes and grows morally. Remember your ultimate goal is to wean your child from your guidance so he or she acts right on his or her own.
6. Expect Moral Behavior
Studies are very clear: kids who act morally have parents who expect them to do so. It sets a standard for your child’s conduct and also lets her know in no uncertain terms what you value. Post your moral standards at home then consistently reinforce them until your child internalizes them so they become his or her rules, too.
7. Reflect on the Behaviors’ Effects
Researchers tell us one of the best moral-building practices is to point out the impact of the child’s behavior on the other person. Doing so enhances a child’s moral growth: (“See, you made her cry”) or highlight the victim’s feeling (“Now he feels bad”). The trick is to help the child really imagine what it would be like to be in the victim’s place so he or she will be more sensitive to how his or her behavior impacts others.
8. Reinforce Moral Behaviors
One of the simplest ways to help kids learn new behaviors is to reinforce them as they happen. So purposely catch your child acting morally and acknowledge his or her good behavior by describing what he or she did right and why you appreciate it.
9. Prioritize Morals Daily
Kids don’t learn how to be moral from reading about it in textbooks but from doing good deeds. Encourage your child to lend a hand to make a difference in his world, and always help him or her recognize the positive effect the gesture had on the recipient. The real goal is for kids to become less and less dependent on adult guidance by incorporating moral principles into their daily lives and making them their own. That can happen only if parents emphasize the importance of the virtues over and over and their kids repeatedly practice those moral behaviors.
10. Incorporate the Golden Rule
Teach your child the Golden Rule that has guided many civilizations for centuries, “Treat others as you want to be treated.” Remind him or her to ask himself before acting, Would I want someone to treat me like that? It helps him or her think about his behavior and its consequences on others. Make the rule become your family’s over-arching moral principal