Asia sat waiting for her friend Baidah who was coming to visit her. She was surprised at her friend’s demand for a private meeting. Asia thought Baidah must have a serious problem, so she was anxious to see her friend, when she arrived a few minutes late. Asia waited for her to start talking while Baidah tried to appear composed.

Then she said, “Can I ask you a question!”

“Yes, with pleasure!” said Asia.

Baidah said, “I want you to answer frankly.”

“Now you know I am always frank!” Asia assured her.

“Why did you refuse Foad’s proposal of marriage!” burst out Baidah.

Asia was taken aback by the question. She was silent for a while, and said, “Can I also ask you a question!”

“Of course, you can,” said Baidah.

“Why do you ask me a question that might upset me? You know he is my relative and I have refused him for certain reasons.”

Hesitantly Baidah said, “Well, he has proposed to me. That’s why I want to know your reasons for refusing him.”

“Oh, I see!” said Asia, and went silent. Then Baidah began to plead with her saying, “I must know. I am your friend, am not I! Don’t you care for me?”

“Yes, you are my friend and I do care for you, so I will tell you the reason. But first of all, what do you know about him? ” Asia asked Baidah.

“I know that he is a handsome, gentleman, educated, and well mannered with a good social position.”

“That’s right,” said Asia. “He is also wealthy. But is that enough?”

Baidah, pale faced, murmured, “He is not a committed Muslim !”

“You know this and yet you still ask me my reason for refusing him?”

“I know that religion is very important, but he might change”, said Baidah.

“How?” asked Asia.

“Have you ever thought that he might be guided to the right path?” proffered Baidah.

“Is this what you think?” said Asia.

“I think,” began Baidah, “that refusing him is a kind of cowardice. I think we can bring Foad and the likes of him back to religion, and that we should strive for that.”

“O.K., but how are you going to do it?” Asia said.

“I have means” said Baidah. “Anyway why should I refuse him when he has all these good qualifications?

If I leave him, he may marry someone who will increase his disregard for religion. If I accept him, I may bring him back to faith.”

“That’s your opinion” said Asia. “I won’t impose mine on you. However, it is a very dangerous game, or marriage at risk.”

“Oh, please do not exaggerate so Asia. Marriage is an adventure. I feel I can tolerate the experience.”

“You are quite wrong! Experience does not make a fool wise. There is a great difference between marriage to a committed believer, who is careful of his religious duties which protect him from deviation, and a non-committed Muslim, who cares for nothing but earthly pleasures that change with the times.”

“It is a risk” said Baidah, “But if I succeed it would be in the best interests of religion.”

“You say: ‘If I succeed’, this ‘if’ indicates your doubts. Marriage should start on a firm foundation.” Asia told her.

Baidah looked down as if in inner conflict. Then she said, “What is your opinion?”

“I don’t know what to say” said Asia. “I am afraid you will suffer as a result of such an experience. It is a dangerous game. A husband does not usually accept his wife’s opinion and he may even make her accept his. Then the wife may find herself standing at a crossroad leading either to the failure of her marriage or the loss of her religion. You know both are terribly hard to tolerate.”

Asia stopped for a while and waited for Baidah to speak.

When she did it was in a choked voice, “What then?”

“I think you can spare yourself such trouble!” said Asia kindly.

“Suppose I am forced into doing it. What should I do then ? “

“That’s for you to decide Baidah. No one can impose their will on you, whoever they are!”

Baidah was silent, then said challengingly, “I shall take the risk. I hope that I will be successful.”

Asia looked at her and said coldly, “You are free to do what you like. I hope you won’t be sorry afterwards.” Baidah got up saying, “I apologize for having taking up your time.”

Asia, “Nothing to apologize for, I feel sorry for you! “

They shook hands and Baidah left the house. Asia felt she had just lost a friend.


A few weeks later, Baidah sat, waiting anxiously for her husband. It was nearly 11 p.m. and she was very worried. She looked at the clock every other minute, and at half past eleven she heard the door open and close softly. She got up and saw her husband enter. Her face became bright with happiness. She said, “Oh Foad, you are late!” She was scared when she saw he looked disappointed. He said, “Why haven’t you gone to bed yet?”

“How can I sleep when you are still out? ” asked Baidah.

While he was taking off his suit and putting on his pajama, he murmured, “That will cause you a lot of worry.”

“How? ” asked Baidah.

“Because I shall often be late. There is no need for you to stay awake and alone.”

She was disturbed at his answer and could not believe her ears. So instead she said, “Your supper is ready.” Smiling he said,

 “I ate out. Some friends invited me to a club. They held a party in my honour.”

“I hope you enjoyed it. But why didn’t you tell me about it before?” asked Baidah.

“There was no need to tell you, as you won’t go with me to such places,” said Foad.

“Well, at least I wouldn’t have got so worried.”

Foad said, “You should have known that I was at a social engagement. I live amongst educated liberals, and cannot be isolated at home with a woman…” he uttered the last words in a sharp tone and then said, “Now, go and have your supper.”

With tears in her eyes, she sadly said, “I am not hungry.”

Foad said, “Then let’s go to bed.”

Baidah said, “I expect you’ve already done your prayer?”

Coldly, Foad said, “It is after mid-night. Prayer time is over.”

“No”, said Baidah, “It is not yet mid-night. Anyway it must be done even if it is late.”

“You don’t know how tired and sleepy I am!” said Foad.

“Fatigue doesn’t exempt one from one’s religious duty.”

Mockingly he said, “Allah will accept my excuse.”

“No matter-if you love me you must do your prayer.” Angrily, Foad got up saying, “Please do not mix up my love with praying and fasting. Let me love you in my way not yours. Anyway, I will not allow you to call me to account about my prayer every night!”

He threw himself on the bed and fell asleep leaving Baidah shocked at his words. She recalled Asia’s words which had apparently come true.

She hurried to the Holy Qur’an to seek comfort and refuge. She opened it at random and read the first verse of the page which said: …We did them no injustice, but they were unjust to themselves. (al-Nahal, 118)




Days and weeks passed. Baidah could find no way of getting Foad to come to her way of thinking. Whenever she talked about religion, he either mocked her or turned a deaf ear. She tried her best to give him comfort and happiness at home, but she found him more and more interested in spending his time outside. One night she waited long time for him to come home, and when he did he seemed happy, so she thought it would be a good time for her to talk to him.

She said gently, “Don’t you see that I am unhappy?”

Foad surprised said, “You are unhappy? Why? Haven’t I provided you with all the means for your comfort?”

“Yes, I must admit you have! Anyway, happiness is what matters; without it, there is no comfort.”

“Why aren’t you happy then ? ” asked Foad.

Baidah said, “How can I be happy when you are so physically, spiritually and emotionally far away from me?”

“That’s partly true,” conceded Foad, “but I love you so I do not completely agree with what you say.”

“If you loved me you would please me. You know I am not happy about your behaviour.”

“Have I hurt you in any way?” asked Foad, much surprised.

“You have not hurt me physically, but you have hurt me mentally by your disregard for the belief that you promised to respect. You are not careful enough about religion, to bring us closer to each other.”

“Well, I am afraid I cannot change my life style. I cannot give up my friends or my social life. I cannot be cut off from others just to spend my life behind these walls. I cannot perform my prayer in a mosque just to please you. Faith stems from personal satisfaction. It would be nothing but hypocrisy if I worshipped Allah just for you. You know that I am an honest, straightforward person, both in my personal and business dealings. What more do you want? “

Baidah listened, while her heart sank. She said in broken voice, “What about me? Have I no place at all in your life?”

“You are my beloved wife. I love no one but you. Come closer to my heart and you will know real happiness.”

“What do you mean?” said Baidah.

“I mean give up ideas that keep you from enjoying life’s pleasures. Turn to me whole-heartedly, and I will make you taste a life that you are still unaware of. You are at cross-roads, either you put your hand in mine and I’ll take you into a world of happiness, or you stay a prisoner in your house, content with it.”

“Isn’t there a third choice?” she asked. Foad was silent for a while and then said, “Yes, there is. We can separate; and though it would be hard for me, it would be less harmful than if you decided to refuse my suggestion.”

Baidah was silent. She wanted to scream and run away, but she was helpless. She spent a long sleepless night, feeling as if she was between two fires both of which could burn her. She was about to choose a divorce, but then thought of the tiny creature moving in her womb.

This innocent creature tied her both to the house and her husband. She was soon to be a mother. She felt dizzy with thinking and, throwing her head on to her hand, she went into a dreamless sleep. When she woke up her husband said, “Baidah, why didn’t you sleep in your bed?”

She opened her eyes to see him standing near her with a cheerful face as if he was ignorant of the reason why she hadn’t gone to bed. She looked at him silently.

Anxiously, he said, “Why are you pale? Are you sick?” He put his hand round her and sat nearby.

She said, “Do you really not know why I am sad?”

He laughed gently saying, “Even if I know, what can I do about it? I have offered you my heart, so is it my fault if you reject it? By the way, today I have some visitors, so be ready for the occasion.”

“Who are they?” said Baidah.

“Just some friends with their wives.” He was silent waiting for his wife’s reaction.

She said, “Will it be a mixed meeting for men and women ?”

“Of course, you do not really expect me to stick to the old tradition of having a separate room for women, do you?”

“What about me then?” asked Baidah.

“You are free to do what you like,” said Foad.

She was silent for a while; then, wishing to compromise and thus show some understanding, she said, “O.K, I shall be present.”

Her husband was happy-he kissed her warmly saying, “Do you mean it? How happy I am. I shall be the happiest husband. I shall be so proud of your beauty. You are the sun that will outshine their dim lights.”

“What has my beauty to do with anything? To please you, I have decided to be present but I will wear hijab.”

Foad drew back in disgust, “In decent hijab? No! I do not want you to be mocked. Just prepare dinner and leave the house. That will be better. I can find some excuse to explain your absence.”

Baidah could not tolerate such an insult. She got up saying, “It is better if I leave the house at once.”

“What about the guests?” asked Foad.

“You can take them to a club”.

“When will you come back?” asked Foad.

“I may never come back!” retorted Baidah.

“What about my child?” asked Foad, calmly and deliberately. Those words were strong enough to remind her of the bitter reality, the great dilemma she was in.

She despairingly murmured, “Oh, what a fool I was! How right Asia was!”

When he heard Asia’s name, he said laughingly, “Oh, that snob! I proposed to her just to crush her pride and religious vanity. Now you remember her; what has she or her advice ever done for you? You are on the verge of destroying your marriage and your family life is about to fail because of this backward Asia!”

Baidah angrily said, “No, I won’t allow you to speak ill of her. Had I listened to her advice I would have spared myself such an experience. Anyway, it is my own fault. I must bear the consequences.”




Two years later, Asia sat thinking of her friend Baidah. She had heard a lot about her that she found difficult to believe. She could not believe that after a bitter struggle Baidah had given in to her husband. She had heard she no longer cared for Islamic hijab but accompanied her husband to parties and nightclubs. She had given birth to a boy, Farid and they said she was always sad and hardly ever smiled. Asia heard such rumours and wished she could see Baidah and learn the truth from her.


That morning the doorbell rang and Asia hurried to open it. She was surprised to see Baidah herself standing in front of her. She was pale and unhappy. Asia welcomed her and led her into the living room. Baidah sat silently, not knowing what to say.

Asia said “Oh, Baidah, how I hoped I’d see you; I’ve heard so much about you, but I was anxious to hear from you yourself.”


Baidah cried bitterly saying, “I have no news except of disgrace and shame! I have been the victim of foolishness and self-deceit. Anyway I am not worthy of your friendship. I have fallen to the bottom of the abyss and am hopeless, may Allah forgive me!”

Asia felt great pity for her and kindly said, “You are still my sister and I must help you, to overcome this awful experience. Now, please tell me everything frankly as you did in the past.”


Baidah said, “Well, you know that I never listened to your advice. I believed in a dream and ran to get it; I tried hard to get Foad to come round to my way of thinking but ailed. He never accepted my religious commitment, and treated me cruelly, humiliating me often. Sometimes, he was gentle and kind and sometimes he was frightening. I thought about divorce, but my son caused me to give up that idea, so I gave in, and obeyed him meekly. He exploited my weakness and increased his domination over me, drawing me ever deeper into disgrace. I accepted everything just as a prisoner accepts his sentence. Now, you see me here!”

Asia could not blame her seeing her as she did and asked, “What’s the problem now then?”

“He divorced me a week ago, because he blamed me for the death of our son”, said Baidah. “Why?” asked Asia incredulously.

“Because I fasted in the month of Ramadhan.”

Asia asked, “Did your son die of hunger?”

Baidah replied, “Of course not. He was both breast-fed as well bottle-fed. He died after an illness.” Asia was greatly moved and felt sorry for the bereaved mother who had suffered humiliation and disgrace. So you see, I have lost everything,” continued Baidah.

Asia hugged her warmly and said, “You have not lost everything. You still have your religion calling you back through repentance, and I am still your loving friend.

You still have the broad road of the future ahead of you. Perhaps this experience will help you to make a new righteous start; a future that is built on firm foundations. Don’t despair, “…surely none despair of Allah’s mercy except the unbelieving people.” (Yousef, 87)


Early on in their engagement, he sat near his fiancée saying, “Oh, how I love you…in fact I adore you, you are my life…” He uttered words of love that she vainly enjoyed listening to. He told her that he could hardly wait for their wedding day, as life away from her was meaningless to him. He wondered how he had managed to live before knowing her. He assured her that she was the source of happiness in his life. He was sure to rent a great house that would match his feelings. They would spend their honeymoon abroad, in one of the western capitals.


He carried on talking, repeating words of love, while his girl was lost in her daydreams, which had at last come true. Suddenly she was aware of her hair dropping across her forehead. She raised her hand to put it in place and said flirtatiously, “You were in such a hurry that you did not even give me time to have my hair done.”

He said, “Your hair is lovely anyway, and you are quite beautiful.”

She smiled, proudly encouraging him to praise her still more. She said, “You did not even wait for me to get my new dress from the tailor.”

He said, “Have not I said that this does not matter. I never worry about such things as my real aim has been reached.”

She eagerly said, “Are you quite sure?” He said,

“Yes. I swear by my love, that I mean every word.”

She said, “I am very happy. I have always hoped to get a husband who does not care for material things…”

He said, “I am just like that, you can be sure.”

She went on, “You know that money is something that comes and goes. I don’t care much for it. In fact, I give all of my salary to my father who suffers financial difficulties.”

At first he did not answer, then he said: “It is nice that you help your father. Financial problems cannot be tolerated. Then I suppose we can’t rent a big house!”

She said, “Whether big or small, it does not matter .It should at least be comfortable.”

He said, “Yes, there should be all the necessary amenities: a refrigerator, a cooler, a washing machine…”

She interrupted him saying, “Such items can be bought one by one. At first we can start a simple life. You know that at present my father cannot help us.”

He was silent again. He looked at his watch and then said, “Simplicity is nice. I think we should not go abroad! “

She answered, “Yes, that is much better. You know I must pay back my debts!”

No longer he could conceal his disappointment, so he said sharply, “Then, your salary is already spent in advance!”

She said, “Nearly!”

He moved in discomfort saying, “I, myself am in debt, so, I’d better not marry at present.”

Standing up he said, “We may not meet again. I wish you good luck!”

He left quickly as if running away from a monster! Only few minutes before he had spoken words of love and claimed that he could not live without her. The waiter came to her with the bill that the young man had not paid.

Amused she said to herself, “I guessed right! I was right to lie about my wealth. How stupid he is! He never thought I was testing him. My bank balance is good and I am not in debt to anyone! Anyway, it was a good experience for me, even if it was a bad bargain.”

By: Martyr Bintul Huda


When Ahmad returned home, his wife Maryam was still out. He sat down next to his children and joined them in their game. Afterwards, he picked up a book and passed the time reading. Finally at 10 o’clock that evening his wife returned home. She did not even allow Ahmad to greet her, but quickly rushed passed him to her room and took off the mask that transfigured her natural form. She looked less beautiful but more gentle. From her behavior, Ahmad knew that she had something to tell him.


As soon as the children went to bed, she said to her husband, “Oh, Ahmad, you have not asked me about my visiting today.”

Ahmad smiled and said, “I hope you have enjoyed yourself.”

Maryam said, “…I had a wonderful time! The house and the garden were magnificent, and their table was rich with delicious foods. My friend, Hana, had the most beautiful wig. Dr. Iram’s wife wore an expensive suit. It was quite beautiful.”

Her husband smiled ironically and asked, “The suit or the Dr.’s wife?”

“Oh, the suit was wonderful! But I was too embarrassed to enjoy the visit,” she added. Ahmad silently beseeched Allah to give him patience and said to himself,” This is just the beginning; Allah will help me in the end.” He did not answer his wife’s remarks. She continued, “It seems as if you do not care for me. Am I nothing to you? You do not ask the reason for my uneasiness. You regard me as if I were a stranger.”

Maryam seemed truly upset, so her husband said to himself, “I place my affairs before Allah. If I do not ask her the reason, she will cry.”


He gently asked her, “Why do you think such a thing? You are my dear wife and the mother of my children. Why are you upset? Were you embarrassed by your clothing?”

“Oh no, although it was not as beautiful as the Dr.’s wife’s suit. I can buy a better one in the future. The source of my uneasiness has been in my failing to ask my friends to visit me. It has been a long time since I last invited them to my home. How would they account for such delay? Surely they will think it is due to some financial hardship, or that you are a miser or ignorant of social formalities. Such ideas hurt me, since I know you are an excellent husband and a good father.”

“Thank you for the compliment. Now what exactly do you want?”

Maryam replied, “Today is the fifth of the month. I can fix a day for their visit as long as we can afford to spend some money.”

“You talk as if the event is a victorious battle in need of great preparation,” Ahmad said. His wife laughed, “No. it is not like that, but it doest cost….”

Ahmad said, “But how can we manage until the end of the month if your party will be expensive? We are already in debt. Now you want to make matters worse.” “You can borrow some money from your friends,” his wife suggested. “You know I have borrowed from many of them. How can I ask for more?”

“Oh, how miserable I am! I was brought up in a rich family and lived a luxurious life. Now I cannot even afford to invite my friends over for an afternoon. Oh, what a shame! How am I to face them? Can I show myself in society? This means I must isolate myself and give up all of my friends.” Maryam started crying, while her husband tried to convince her of his viewpoint. She never listened to him, but said, “Oh, surely I shall suffer from sickness. If I stay two days at home, I shall suffer a nervous breakdown and lose my appetite.”


Finally, Ahmad gave in and agreed to his wife’s demand. His wife arranged everything for the special day. She asked her sisters to help her arrange the rooms for the occasion. She would have never imagined that the outcome of her party could be the destruction of her family life. On the day of the party, Maryam asked her husband to stay out until a late hour and she sent her children to her mother’s house. She got herself ready for her guests, who arrived shortly before sunset. They were all dressed in the latest fashion and with full makeup. The home was soon filled, and gossip and idle speculation dominated the conversation. Each was criticized by the other. One’s dress was not to the taste of the other; and this hairdo was not nice as another’s. Silly talk and jokes filled the air.

At 8 o’clock, Maryam called her guests to dinner. Suddenly the phone rang and one of the guests was called. As soon as this lady put down the phone, she came to Maryam and apologized for having to leave at once. Her husband had warned of a red alert and she had to reach home before the lights went out. Upon hearing this news, the other guests rushed towards the door. They left without even a good-bye. Maryam emerged from the kitchen to see that her guests had all disappeared. She was shocked and dismayed to see her party come to such an end, especially when she thought about all the trouble she had gone to and the dispute with her husband about the matter. She had hoped to make a good impression on her friends. She sat down and wept bitterly. She wished her husband would come home early, before the red alert sounded. She waited to hear its wailing but there was none.


At 10 o’clock Ahmad came and was surprised to see the house empty. His wife told him the whole story. She feared that he would be angry, but he was quite at ease. He said, “It may be a lie. There is no need for an alert since there are no impending raids. Anyway, I hope you have learned a lesson.”

The wife said, “Indeed, I have. I won’t undergo such an experience again.”

The next day, Maryam’s friend phoned and apologized for the previous evening. Her husband had lied to her in order to get her home early since her child had been crying for his mother.

Maryam told her friend that it had been a silly joke, but a good lesson too.


It was by chance that Tuqa found a small diary lying on the ground outside the public library. When she picked it up and opened it to the first page, she read the following lines:



“Am I strong enough to hold onto these tiny threads of hope? Can I continue in spite of these difficulties and reach the source of light behind these clouds? Who can give me a helping hand so that I can endure this cruel life? Oh God, what darkness surrounds me!” Tuqa read another page:



“Again I resort to my diary to complain about my suffering. I feel as if my nerves are about to shatter …I have no one to talk to; no one at all. Oh, why can’t I sleep? The moon and the stars gaze upon me as if mocking my dreams.”Tuqa looked for an address in the diary but she could only find a name-Huda Najafi. She went into the library and asked to see the list of book borrowers of the past week. Finally, she found the name she was looking for. Huda’s address was written next to her name, so Tuqa decided to pay her a visit to return the diary and see if she could help this troubled sister.


The next day, Tuqa went to Huda’s house. As she rang the bell, she wondered if she was doing the right thing. But since she knew that her intention was pure, she was at ease. A young girl opened the door, and Tuqa asked to see Huda. The girl asked her to enter and showed her to Huda’s room. Huda was surprised to see an unknown visitor, but she welcomed Tuqa with a warm smile. They shook hands and sat down. Tuqa took the diary out of her purse and gave it to Huda, who was very happy to see it. She held it close and said, “Thanks God I have it -at last! Thank you for bringing it to me!”


Tuqa introduced herself and said, “Please excuse me for reading a few pages of your diary. I found it yesterday on the ground, near the library.”

“There is nothing to apologize for! I have suffered greatly since I lost it. I was nearly heart-broken when I realized that my diary was missing.”” Why should you be so upset at the loss of a few pages?” asked Tuqa.

“These words reflect my innermost feelings; they are like apart of my soul,” replied Huda.

“But such reflections are but a small part of a person’s thoughts, since life is an enormous theatre comprised of countless images. Life is like a wild garden wherein various kinds of flowers fill the air with their fresh scent. Yet there are also trees and thorny weeds in the garden, which may hurt a person. The earth from which flowers emerge nourishes weeds as well.”

Huda listened attentively, and then said, “Thorns cause one to bleed, and weeds hinder the growth of blossoms.” “It isn’t always so,” replied Tuqa. “Hopes and disappointments follow each other in turn. This is a natural law of life. However, great one’s sufferings are, one still hopes for the dawn which follows even the darkest night.”

In a weary voice, Huda said, “But this dark night may be so long that it causes one to lose hope.” “You can counter feelings of hopelessness by having true faith in Allah’s help and guidance. A life of hardship is of no value if one forgets about Allah and His Compassion. Master yourself, and you can direct your thoughts and actions towards the right path.” “But some things are beyond a person’s control and cause pain and disappointment,” Huda persisted.

“Still”, said Tuqa, “Disappointment is not in itself evil. If a believer has strong faith, a new door opens when another is closed. Never give up hope.”

Tears formed in Huda’s eyes and she said, “I don’t know. Perhaps Allah has sent you to save me from my despair.”


Tuqa recited a verse from the Holy Qur’an:

“…and despair not of Allah’s Mercy; surely none despairs of Allah’s Mercy except the unbelievers” (Yusuf, 87)


Then Tuqa stood up, saying it was time for her to leave in order to reach home and perform the evening prayer. Huda begged her to stay a little longer and suggested that they pray together. After praying, they resumed their discussion and Tuqa reminded Huda of the Qur’anic verse:

Do people think they will be left alone saying: We believe, and not be tried? And certainly we tried those before them so Allah will certainly know who are true and He will certainly know the liars. (al-Ankabut, 2 & 3)


Tuqa added, “I all that we experience during our brief lifetimes prepares our soul to control itself through using good will. Some losses are considered to be disasters while, in fact, they are disguised blessings. A calamity which disrupts a happy life may be a means to crystallize thoughts and can direct a person towards faith in Allah and obedience to His orders.”

“My dear friend Tuqa, I thought that I was a good believer in Almighty Allah, but I was about to fall apart.”

Tuqa firmly stated, “Faith will defeat earthly concerns through submission to Allah and acceptance of His Will. Failures can teach us many useful lessons. Hardships can make a person wise if they stand firm.”

Thinking that she had given enough advice for one afternoon, Tuqa tried to change the subject, “Aren’t you going to ask me how I found your home?” Huda replied, “I believe Allah sent you to me, no matter how you found you way.”


It was time for Tuqa to leave, and Huda made her promise to visit again soon. The next meeting between Tuqa and Huda took place a few days later. This time, Tuqa decided it was better to let Huda do most of the talking. Huda talked about her younger sister, whom she said had a great desire for learning. Huda said, “She studies continuously, but I fear that she may one day give up her studies.”

Tuqa asked, “What makes you think so? I think that she may become even more interested in acquiring knowledge as she gets older.” “But life is not generous enough to help one achieve one’s dreams and wishes,”

Huda replied. “Pessimism should not dominate anyone’s thoughts. If evil has an effect on a person’s life, goodness is still more effective. Rays of sunlight can penetrate the thickest clouds,” Tuqa said. She felt that her friend still needed encouragement, so she added, “Muslims know the origin of life, the story of creation. Almighty Allah gave all human beings the opportunity to perform good deeds in this life and has given them the chance to worship Him. This worshipping of Allah gives us the opportunity to evolve into more, which will benefit us in the next life, the Hereafter. Therefore, if one comprehends the aim behind this worldly life, the death of a dear one can be tolerated.

“As for suffering due to material poverty, a wise person should know that true poverty is embodied in spiritual shortcomings, which can bring about various illnesses,” Tuqa concluded.” Nevertheless, poverty can cause one to be ashamed,”

Huda said, “There is nothing shameful about poverty,”

Tuqa told her. “One should be ashamed to be rich and dishonest. A poor man who remains virtuous and rejects dishonest means of living enjoys self-respect. Poverty not only is not a source of shame, it is an aspect of the lives of righteous believers. As Allah states:

And We will most certainly try you with something of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits,’ and give good news to the patient. (al-Baqarah, 155)


Tuqa continued, “A Muslim is not envious of another’s good fortune. He feels optimistic that he will have his r turn one day. A wise believer has a strong will, and if he is betrayed by a friend he will not regret the loss of such a person. Perhaps such an experience will cause him to choose his friends more carefully.”

“But one can be hurt by ingratitude or even aggression when one tries to help another.”

Tuqa answered, “This is not the case with a true Muslim who does not trade his good deeds. He is ready to help purely based on his good faith and expects nothing from anyone but Allah. It s better that good deeds be rewarded in the Hereafter.”

“What you’re saying is true. You have been so kind and helpful to me that I can hardly find a way to express my gratitude”, Huda said.


Tuqa told her, “There is a narration from our Prophet (s) ‘If one cares for a fellow believer, one should manifest one’s concern.’ The best thing you can do is to respond to Islamic ideals and think over my words. As material concerns bring about unhappiness, so do spiritual values lead to happiness. Imam Ali (a) says: ‘If a man behaves properly in matters concerning himself and Allah, Allah keeps proper the matters between him and other people; and if a man keeps proper his affairs for the next life, than Allah keeps proper for him his affairs of this world…’ ” (Nahjul Balagha)


Feeling much better, Huda said, “Due to your helpful words, I feel optimistic about the future. I shall never feel hopeless again. I will use my faith like a weapon to confront hopelessness and to strengthen my will.”

Tuqa happily replied, “Faith produces security and calmness. Faith itself is obedience to Allah’s commandments. Through faith, earthly concerns are shaped and invested with various meanings. Hence, sickness can alleviate sins and disappointment can lead to victory. The Qur’an says:

Surely We have made whatever is on earth an embellishment for it, so that we may try them (as to) which of them is best in work. (al- Kahaf, 7)


“We are tested by Allah throughout our lives. Now that you have helped me out of my difficulties, will you remain my friend?”

Huda asked. “Of course! Our common faith has sealed our friendship. The best sort of friendship is based on spiritual harmony and righteous ideals. Such a foundation is unshakeable. The faith that floods a believer’s heart is enough to flood the entire universe with mercy and compassion.”

“Have you noticed how few establish relations based on faith and common ideals?” asked Huda.

“Yes that is precisely why the majority fail and friendship so often turns into enmity. But since we are inspired by faith and we have good intentions to reform society, Allah will surely help us.”


By : Martyr Bintul Huda



The lady of the house, dressed in the latest fashion, was waiting impatiently for her daughter Zaynab to get dressed for the wedding party. The lady was impatient, and walked up and down the room. Now and then she stopped in front of a mirror to have a look at her image. Her daughter was a bit late, so she rang a bell and a pretty maid came in the room. She was wearing a short dress and had her hair done.

The woman admired the attractive maid and said, “I see, Samia, you have finished before your little lady. Go and tell her to hurry up. We have no time to spare.. It takes an hour to reach the bride’s house.”

The maid replied, “Yes, my lady.” Samia left the room and soon returned, saying that Zaynab would be getting ready now. Zaynab’s mother became angry and exclaimed, “What has she been doing all this time?”

The maid answered, “She has been praying.”

“Praying?! Oh, what an abnormal girl she is! Go again and tell her to hurry up.”

The maid went out and came back to announce that Zaynab was coming.

The mother said, “What did you say? How could she get ready in such a short time? Surely she will bring disgrace to me at this party. How I pity her. She is spoiling her beauty by negligence and indifference.” Admiring herself again in the mirror, she saw her daughter enter with a smile on her angelic face.

The daughter said, “Here I am mother, quite ready.”

Her mother gave her a sharp look, and said ironically, “Of course you are ready! What is this? Are you going in this long dress? Where is your make-up? Is there a girl of your age who does not know how to color her lips or put on eyeliner except you ? I have been waiting all this time while you did nothing but pray. Now you say you are ready!”


Zaynab waited for her mother to finish, then she said politely, “Yes, I have performed my prayers since it is my religious duty, and I cannot pray at the party which will end after prayer time. My dress is not that long, but it certainly is not a mini. My hair is tidy, with no need to waste my time at a hairdresser to be polluted with chemicals. As for the make-up, of course, I know how to color my eyes and my lips, but I feel this is not necessary. I like to show myself as I am, with no mask on my face. “


Her mother turned her head away, disapproving of her daughter’s logic. She said, “Let us leave before you get on the pulpit and give us a long sermon, as is your habit. But I feel bitterness when I see the maid exceeds you in her good appearance.”

Zaynab replied, “If such measures are the true criterion, I agree that she does exceed me.” The mother stated,” In fact, I don’t know how you are going to face the famous people there. You will appear so poor and humble among the men and women.”

“The party is not for both sexes,” Zaynab replied.

“Had it been like that, I would not have agreed to go. In any case, there will not be any singers or music of any kind.”

The mother laughed in a mocking tone and said,

“Then the party is for giving a religious speech on the decency of hijab.”

Zaynab answered quietly, “No! There is no religious speech. It is only a formal farewell party to a bride starting her honeymoon.”

The mother feared delay, so she said to her daughter, “Come on; tell me the details on our way to the party.” Zaynab put on a long black coat and a scarf on her head as she always did. They got into their car, with the maid carrying a box of her mistress’s cosmetics.

While they were driving, Zaynab’s mother asked her daughter, “How do you know that the party is not for both sexes?” Zaynab answered, ” It was supposed to take place at one of the clubs, according to the bride’s mother. But my friend, the bride, is a good believer, as you know. Thus she refused to have her wedding party according to western values, or in defiance of religious morals. Quarrels started between the mother and daughter. But the groom took the side of the bride, and my friend insisted on canceling the celebration. Finally her mother gave in and agreed to have a simple farewell party.”

Zaynab’s mother was astonished and asked, “Does the groom have the same reactionary beliefs as the bride?” Zaynab tried to smile at her mother’s cruel words.

She said, “Of course he has the same beliefs, and he is of equal moderation. Otherwise, she would not have agreed to marry him. A good believer does not marry a playboy who is totally different in beliefs and ideals. Disputes in such matters are a serious threat to a marriage. How can you brand such ideals ‘reactionary’ while they are the essence of our religion? They are clearly elaborated in the Holy Qur’an .Our belief is the right path, while the non-Islamic way is the reactionary one, since it goes back to the primitive stage of humanity when there were no Divine creeds or human values.”


Her mother was affected by the argument and she said,” You are right, but civilization requires something different.”

Zaynab replied, “Oh, mother! What civilization is this ? Tragedies and disasters are under the surface. Bright masks hide devilish motives and inhuman desires. Oh, mother! We should not be fooled by this civilization.”

The mother spoke in a sorrowful tone, “This is the general attitude of the day and the social measures that count.”

“We shall try to defeat such perceptions,” Zaynab said. “We will prove that in a society, a young girl can show herself through her real personality -not by her make-up or her fashionable clothing. When she has an independent personality, she will taste the sweetness of victory. It is contrary to woman’s true nature to expose herself in a framework of fashion or make-up, which is only a means for public exposure.”


They arrived at the house of the bride. The mother tapped her daughter on the shoulder and said, “May Allah bless you. I wish I could have your strong faith and self-confidence.”



24 Qualities That Geniuses Have in Common

I am reposting here an excellent article taken from  . It was first printed by the National Enquirer in 1980 and later reprinted and re-distributed by L. Ron Hubbard (with permission). I have read it many times since then and I feel I just need to share it, it has worked well for me. Let’s all become a genius! D

The worlds greatest geniuses have all had 24 personality characteristics in common and you can develop the same traits yourself, says an expert.

“Most people have the mistaken idea that geniuses are born, not made”, declared clinical psychologist Dr. Alfred Barrious, founder and director of the Self-Programmed Control Center of Los Angeles and author of the book,Towards Greater Freedom and Happiness.

“But if you look at the lives of the worlds greatest geniuses like Edison, Socrates, DaVinci, Shakespeare, Einstein, you will discover they all had 24 personality characteristics in common.

“These are traits that anyone can develop. It makes no difference how old you are, how much education you have, or what you have accomplished to date. Adopting these personality characteristics enables you to operate on a genius level.”

Here are the Characteristics Dr. Barrios lists, which enable geniuses to come up with and develop new and fruitful ideas:

  1. DRIVE. Geniuses have a strong desire to work hard and long. They’re willing to give all they’ve got to a project. Develop your drive by focusing on your future success, and keep going.
  2. COURAGE. It takes courage to do things others consider impossible. Stop worrying about what people will think if you’re different.
  3. DEVOTION TO GOALS. Geniuses know what they want and go after it. Get control of your life and schedule. Have something specific to accomplish each day.
  4. KNOWLEDGE. Geniuses continually accumulate information. Never go to sleep at night without having learned at least one new thing each day. Read. And question people who know.
  5. HONESTY. Geniuses are frank, forthright and honest. Take the responsibility for things that go wrong. Be willing to admit, ‘I goofed’, and learn from your mistakes.
  6. OPTIMISM. Geniuses never doubt they will succeed. Deliberately focus your mind on something good coming up.
  7. ABILITY TO JUDGE. Try to understand the facts of a situation before you judge. Evaluate things on an opened minded, unprejudiced basis and be willing to change your mind.
  8. ENTHUSIASM. Geniuses are so excited about what they are doing, it encourages others to cooperate with them. Really believe that things will turn out well. Don’t hold back.
  9. WILLINGNESS TO TAKE CHANCES. Overcome your fear of failure. You won’t be afraid to take chances once you realize you can learn from your mistakes.
  10. DYNAMIC ENERGY. Don’t sit on your butt waiting for something good to happen. Be determined to make it happen.
  11. ENTERPRISE. Geniuses are opportunity seekers. Be willing to take on jobs others won’t touch. Never be afraid to try the unknown.
  12. PERSUASION. Geniuses know how to motivate people to help them get ahead. You’ll find it easy to be persuasive if you believe in what you’re doing.
  13. OUTGOINGNESS. I’ve found geniuses able to make friends easily and be easy on their friends. Be a ‘booster’ not somebody who puts others down. That attitude will win you many valuable friends.
  14. ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE. Geniuses are able to effectively get their ideas across to others. Take every opportunity to explain your ideas to others.
  15. PATIENCE. Be patient with others most of the time, but always be impatient with your self. Expect far more of yourself than others.
  16. PERCEPTION. Geniuses have their mental radar working full time. Think more of others’ needs and wants than you do of your own.
  17. PERFECTIONISM. Geniuses cannot tolerate mediocrity, particularly in themselves. Never be easily satisfied with your self. Always strive to do better.
  18. SENSE OF HUMOR. Be willing to laugh at your own expense. Don’t take offense when the joke is on you.
  19. VERSATILITY. The more things you learn to accomplish, the more confidence you will develop. Don’t shy away from new endeavors.
  20. ADAPTABILITY. Being flexible enables you to adapt to changing circumstances readily. Resist doing things the same old way. Be willing to consider new options.
  21. CURIOSITY. An inquisitive, curious mind will help you seek out new information. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know it all. Always ask questions about things you don’t understand.
  22. INDIVIDUALISM. Do things the way you think they should be done, without fearing somebody’s disapproval.
  23. IDEALISM. Keep your feet on the ground — but have your head in the clouds. Strive to achieve great things, not just for yourself, but for the better of mankind.
  24. IMAGINATION. Geniuses know how to think in new combinations, see things from a different perspective, than anyone else. Unclutter your mental environment to develop this type of imagination. Give yourself time each day to daydream, to fantasize, to drift into a dreamy inner life the way you did as a child.

1980 National Enquirer/Transworld Features

%d bloggers like this: