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How to Start a Blog: The Quick and Easy Way

I started blogging a few years ago and it has grown a lot since those initial years. I remember when I first started this blog, I would barely get any views but now I am hitting over a thousand views a month and still growing! This is without marketing or anything. It’s all organic traffic coming mainly from Google. Take a look at the bar graph below of my traffic for the past few years. As you can see, it is consistently growing and I am hoping to cross 200,000 views this year. The thing you have to remember about…

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Story of a Poor Afghan Girl in Pakistan

In the West, I always find Muslim relief organizations using images of poor children to raise money. I’ve always wanted to speak to them, to understand where they came from, and how they ended up in their plight. Coincidentally, during my visit to Pakistan I ran into three sisters (ages 7, 9, 10) and decided to have a 20-30 min conversation with them. They were selling coloring books car to car for $50 rupees ($0.50 U.S. dollars). They caught my attention when they were chowing down a plate of food that was donated to them as if they hadn’t eaten…

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A Change in Perspective: My Visit to Sialkot, Pakistan

Here in my birth city of Sialkot, Pakistan about 90% of women wear traditional Islamic clothing (hijab with jilbab) while the rest wear the traditional shalwar kameez with some wearing the hijab with it and others not. So it’s relatively a very conservative city. A few days ago I went to the marketplace with my mom and we came across a woman who was dressed very Western (small tight shirt and tight pants). She was clearly dressed outside the norm of her surrounding culture. She was sticking out like a weed and everyone could point her out. No one said…

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Ali Never Said, “Do Not Force Your Children to Be Like You, They Have Been Created For a Time Different Than Yours”

Firstly, despite it’s popularity over social media, such a statement was never said by Ali, the fourth caliph and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), nor anyone else from among the righteous predecessors. It is said to be a statement of Socrates as mentioned by Ibn Qayyim in Ighatha Al-Lahfan and by Shahristani in Al-Milal wa Al-Nahl. It was also said that it is a statement of Plato as mentioned in Lubaab Al-Adaab. Secondly, the meaning of the statement may be correct if it pertains to virtuous acts that are not legislated in Islamic law. Acts which are not religiously obligated cannot be forced on to…

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How to Put Darood in Arabic on Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) in Microsoft Word

There is a very helpful feature built into Microsoft Word as explained in a video by Sh. Mikaeel Ahmed Smith. This can especially be helpful if you write Islamic articles, essays, research papers, etc. in Microsoft Word. The basic steps are as follows: Open Microsoft Word Type fdfa where you want to put the darood Hold down the ALT key and then press down on the X key Now fdfa should automatically switch to ﷺ There are other Arabic shortcut phrases as well. The chart below goes into more detail about those:

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How to Bring Positive Social Change

Fighting for social justice is a huge part of Islam but unfortunately is ignored by the Muslim masses. The term has been given various definitions but generally refers to justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, privileges within a society, challenging injustice, and valuing diversity. We are told in the Qur’an: “Oh you who believe! Be standard bearers for Justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, Or your kin, whether it be rich or poor” [Qur’an 4:135]. In another verse of the Qur’an, we are told: “We have already sent Our messengers with…

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Do Nonprofits Actually Bring Change?

I am heavily involved with nonprofit organizations (NGOs) and their work and one of the most common questions I am asked by people is, “Does the work actually bring change or benefit?” or “How effective are nonprofits?” I am never able to answer this question with a yes or no because I don’t know how the questioner is defining “change” or “benefit.” The problem is that most people who are not involved in nonprofit work define “change” as a massive turnover of events in a short period of time. However, that is not how we in the nonprofit work define…

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