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It's unbelievable that yet another Ramadan is knocking on our doors. Ramadan is a time to recharge our batteries, a time to repent even more than we usually do, and certainly, a time to worship more than before.

We're human beings, so we have ups and downs, and Alhamdulillah (all Praise is to Allah), Ramadan is a time for us to catch up and strive once again to make the rest of the year better. Here are ten things we can do during this blessed month to greatly benefit.

1. Purify your intentions
In everything we do, it is crucial to purify our intentions and make sure that we're doing it for the sake of Allah. Doing acts of worship for the sake of Allah is a condition in it being accepted.

2. Repent a LOT
We all make mistakes and sin. But, the best of sinners are those who repent often and strive to do better. Also, repentance should be sincere; from the heart. Allah knows when we're sincere or not.

3. Forgive everyone
We've all hurt someone's feelings, whether intentional or unintentional. As we would have loved for others to forgive us, we should also forgive others for the sake of Allah. Allah loves those who forgive. Better yet, we always ask Allah to forgive us, so it would make sense to also have some forgiveness in our hearts.


4. Pray on time, then add extras
Before doing any extra acts of worship, we should first improve the obligatory ones. After that, let's add the nawafil (sunnah prayers) and work out way up.

"... And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him. And My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing nawafil (praying or doing extra deeds besides what's obligatory) till I love him ..." Sahih al-Bukhari

5. Increase listening, reading, and memorizing the Qur'an
Ramadan is the month of the Qur'an. This is the month in which the Qur'an was first revealed. So it's the best time to increase our reading of the Qur'an. It's also a perfect time to memorize the Qur'an. Not only would we earn rewards in abundance, it would also help us get closer to Allah. It's a good habit to practice now and strive to carry it through the remaining months of the year.

6. Break your fast according to the Sunnah
It can be tempting to overeat before and after fasting, but it's better to eat and drink moderately. The Sunnah is to eat one third, drink one third, and leave one third for air.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was narrated to have said, "The son of Adam (a.s.) does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat a few mouthfuls to keep him going. If he must do that (fill his stomach), then let him fill one third with food, one third with drink, and one third for air." At-Tirmidhi

We should also learn the du'a upon breaking the fast. It is,
"The thirst has gone and the veins are moist, and reward is assured, if Allah wills." Abu Dawud



Iftar is also a perfect time to make lots of du'as in general.

7. Invite others to iftar
You're probably worry-free when it comes to breaking your fast with your family. Some people have no choice but to break their fast alone. A reason could be because they are studying in a different city/country than their families, they are orphans, or they are new Muslims and the only Muslims in their families. Maybe sharing food with someone for a few nights would bring them joy.

If you're unable to do that, you could always sponsor or contribute to some iftar dinners where people gather to break their fast.

8. Give lots of charity
We should always be grateful for the blessings we have in our lives and extend it to others as much as we can. And before sharing, we should make sure that we give what we ourselves would have loved having. It shouldn't be something unwanted and insignificant.

Also, Ramadan is a month where rewards are multiplied. Allah loves charity, so what better time to increase giving charity than in Ramadan?

" O you who have believed, spend from the good things which you have earned and from that which We have produced for you from the earth. And do not aim toward the defective therefrom ..." Surah Al Baqarah (2:267)

9. Remember Allah often and make du'a (supplication)
Allah should always be remembered, but during Ramadan, it should be increased. Remembering Allah is praising Him, making supplications, repenting, and much more. 

"And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So, let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.Surah Al Baqarah (2:186)

10. Seek Laylatul Qadr
Laylatul Qadr (the night of Decree) is a blessed night in the last ten nights of Ramadan. Rewards are multiplied during this night more than any other nights of the year.

"The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months." Surah Al Qadr (97:3)

May Allah take us to this Ramadan successfully and help us witness many more thereafter.

Ramadan Mubarak (have a blessed Ramadan)!




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Umm Sumayyah is a mother of two and a former teacher who turned into a home educator after becoming a mother. She is also an editor and a researcher who loves collecting and sharing information on social matters, education, career, and entrepreneurship.
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Assalaam 'alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh! It's been a while and we're back and ready for the next writing contest after Ramadhan in shaa Allah! There have been a few changes on Global Muslim Writers and it's important to update you.
There are three (3) major changes which are the following ...
  • We will now only accept short stories as writing submissions. Poems will no longer be part of the contests.
  • We previously divided contestants into age groups, but that will no longer be the case from now on. Anyone can submit and writings will be judged based on merits, irrespective of the age group.
  • *Previously, the prizes were a) published stories, b) certificate of achievement, c) a journal printable and d) a quote printable. Now, the winner will get a $30 Amazon gift card, his/her story published, and a certificate of achievement. The second-place winner will get a certificate of achievement and story published.
We hope to continue to grow, give Muslims from all corners of the world a platform to share their stories and be heard! We want to showcase the diversity of the Muslim ummah and build bridges.
Please, support our cause, share with your friends and family, join the contests, vote, submit guest posts and keep us in your du'a!


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We live in a time where the internet has a great impact on business, social life, and communication. It can be used for good and for bad. It's up to us to decide what we make of it. Two of its great uses are communication and business. Today, let's talk about business.

With the rise of the internet, many business opportunities have been made available to people from all walks of life. This makes it easy for people who prefer staying home with their families, those with disabilities, and people who are often discriminated against while job hunting to have other options. Although not all of the business opportunities are halal, most are.

Here are ten home-based business ideas for Muslim women or anyone for that matter.

1. Selling Islamic clothing
You can sell hijabs, abayah, and other Islamic clothing through e-commerce platforms such as Etsy, eBay, and Amazon. Another option is to make your own e-commerce website. If you know how to sew, you could make your own clothes. If not, there's always the option of buying in bulk to resell.

2. Doing crochet 
If you know how to crochet or would like to learn, you can turn it into a business. There are many people ready to pay some money to have beautiful baby blankets, hats, baby boots, and more. One of the popular ones among Muslims is selling faceless dolls. Many Muslim parents prefer not to buy 'realistic' dolls with full face, so one alternative they have is getting faceless dolls for their children.

3. Selling used items
Find used items with good quality locally and resell them online. You can find such items in charity shops or other stores that sell affordable products.

4. Selling digital goods
If you know how to use software like Microsoft Publisher or Powerpoint, you can make printables and sell them through digital download e-commerce such as Etsy, Gumroad, E-Junkie, Selz, and Plasso.

5. Making handmade products
Is there anything skin or hair product you already know how to make? If so, make and sell them. If not, you can always learn. A good place to get inspiration is on Pinterest. Selling natural and organic body products is in huge demand these days!

6. Teaching
If you love teaching and are expert at a particular subject, sell your service.

7. Tutoring
Similar to teaching, you can sell your tutoring services in your area of expertise.

8. Becoming a freelance writer
If you're good at writing, sell your services by contacting companies who may be looking for writers. You'd have to do some research to find them. Alternatively, you can also go to job boards such as Indeed, Craiglist (be careful), FlexJob, BloggingPro, ProBlogger, or even LinkedIn to find companies who are hiring. Other options are job boards such as Upwork and Fiverr where you can sell your services through the platform and have clients contact you. One suggestion would be to start a blog to sharpen your writing skills, guest post on other blogs to put your name out there and focus on a niche (category of writing) to strengthen your expertise.

9. Editing or proofreading 
Are you the type to easily catch mistakes when you read articles online? Do you sometimes get a bit frustrated when you read an article and find that the flow needs a bit of work? If so, editing or proofreading may be suitable for you. Now, there is a difference between the two. To briefly put, editing is mainly about changing the choice of words and making sure that everything goes smoothly when reading. It's about bettering the finished product. On the other hand, proofreading is all about catching grammatical mistakes and typos and fixing them.

10. Baking or cooking
You can cook simple and delicious meals that are sought after in your local community and advertise your services in local groups or on Facebook. A popular one is baking. There are many mothers who bake cakes, cookies, and other desserts to sell them from home.
                                                                                                                                   
After deciding what you want to make, the next step would be to make a business plan. You don't have to make it as complex as the traditional way. The main point of writing a business plan is to help you visualize and remember what your business is about, how you plan on advertising it, and the milestones you accomplish to make it work.

While making your business plan, don't forget about the legal parts of a business. Always make sure to do some research about the requirements in your country or state and following the steps.
May Allah make you successful.
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Umm Sumayyah is a mother of two and a former teacher who turned into a home educator after becoming a mother. She is also an editor and a researcher who loves collecting and sharing information on social matters, education, career, and entrepreneurship.
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The title probably made you think, "only one Ayah for a whole week? That is little!" That's the point of the challenge, to start soo little that we have no excuse but to make it a habit and part of our routine. So, what is this challenge really about and how do we go about it?

As we all know, emaan (faith) fluctuates and it's sometimes very difficult to be consistent with our acts of worship. Sometimes, it's easy to read or memorize pages of the Qur'an a day, but there are also days when we go for a whole week, month, or even years without memorizing any Surah or Ayah (verse) of the Qur'an.

It is very important to make it a daily habit to read or listen to the Qur'an. But we all have different abilities,  levels of emaan and different ways of staying motivated. It's beautiful and good to memorize half a page of the Qur'an a day and there are many people doing it, but most people couldn't keep up with that and easily just give up altogether.

When it comes to worship in Islam, Allah values consistency more, even if it is small. When we take very small steps to accomplish something, what we don't realize is that within a period of a time, we see ourselves doing much more than we probably would have done taking bigger steps and giving up down the line.

"The most beloved actions to Allah are those performed consistently, even if they are few." Al Bukhari

If you would like to join this challenge, here are some important tips:

1. Purifying intention
It goes without saying, we should always purify our intentions in whatever we do. In shaa Allah, Allah will make it easier and rewarding. Intentions could always change, so we must make it a habit to constantly reflect and ask Allah to get us on the right path.

2. Deciding where to start 
You're free to start with whatever Surah you prefer. It could be the short or longer ones; as long as you haven't yet memorized it. What makes this challenge effective is that you can do it with any Surah in the Qur'an without feeling overwhelmed because you'd be working with only an Ayah a week. Also, choose your starting day of the week and add a new Ayah every week on that same day. You can also choose a specific time of the day to start if you prefer. If it's easier for you, you can write down your progress. I made a planner specifically for this. Click here to download it. If you use this planner, simply print it as many times as you like on A4 sheets.

3. Reading and memorizing an Ayah
After deciding the Surah you would like to start with, memorize the first Ayah. Begin by first listening to an audio recitation of the verse. Repeat out loud after the reciter once you familiarize yourself with it. If you have children, reciting out loud will have an extra bonus! They will memorize along with you without even realizing it. For the recitation, I would recommend reciters who read slowly and emphasize on tajweed and tarteel (rules and clarity) such as Husary, Ibrahim Al Akhdar, and Minshawy. There are many apps on Android or iOS that you can download. You also have the option to use sites such as House of Quran. If you don't know how to read the Qur'an directly in Arabic, you may read it using transliteration, but I would recommend learning how to read Arabic to make it easier to memorize the Qur'an down the line.

4. Reading the meaning
You have a whole week to try to understand the meaning of the verse if you don't speak Arabic fluently. You're free to either do so word-by-word or by simply reading the general meaning. You can read it multiple times throughout the week if you prefer. Because you'd be dealing with just one Ayah, you won't feel overwhelmed and the meaning would be better ingrained in your memory, in shaa Allah.

5. Reading the Tafsir 
The Tafsir of the Qur'an goes in depth about the meaning of verses, events that surrounded the revelations, and probably related stories. This is important for those who speak or do not speak Arabic. You don't have to do this part, but it will help you understand the Qur'an even better. Again, doing this with only one Ayah for the whole week would make it a breeze. I would recommend Tafsir ibn Kathir.

6. Sticking to the routine!
Once you begin, you may find this challenge too easy and want to increase the number of Ayaat; do NOT! Why am I saying this? Doing more from the beginning may result in you giving up later down on once you feel a bit overwhelmed. The point of this challenge is to build a healthy and effective routine without feeling overwhelmed. 

Once you form a habit that you're comfortable with, you can slowly and gradually increase the number of verses. Please, for the first four weeks, do NOT memorize more than one Ayah a week. If you want to increase it after the first month, go ahead. If you find yourself falling back, get back to one Ayah. But, if you are comfortable with two Ayaat after a month, you may increase it again. Basically, go slowly and steadily. But whenever you see yourself falling back, decrease the number of Ayaat. I hope you get the point.

Benefits

1. Gaining rewards
There are many virtues of reading the Qur'an. One of them is the reward gained by simply reading each letter of the Qur'an. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was quoted to have said, "Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah will receive a reward. And the reward is multiplied by ten. I'm not saying that Alif-Laam-Meem is a letter. Rather, Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter, and Meem is a letter." At-Tirmidhi

Now imagine repeating those letters multiple times a day and week.

2. Getting into a good habit
Don't worry about how little the numbers may be, focus on the fact that you would be reading and studying the Words of Allah. How amazing is that! And doing so on a regular basis ...  nothing beats that.

3. Getting long-term memory of the Qur'an
Reciting the same Ayah for an entire week will make it almost impossible to ever forget it. Memorizing a lot at once is possible, but what is the likelihood of retaining the information on a long term? Don't get me wrong, it is possible, but it's more effective to start slowly and first make memorization an enjoyable habit.

4. Loving the Qur'an and having it on your mind all the time
Repeating the same verse multiple times will make it easier for you to enjoy the process. It will make you feel less intimidated and always look forward to reciting it throughout the day.

5. Getting closer to the Qur'an
There's nothing better in this world than listening to the Words of the Creator of the Heavens and the earth. We often take having access to the Qur'an for-granted to the point where we could go for months or even years without opening the Book. Starting slowing may help take care of that problem.

6. Feeling closer to Allah
One thing that makes many of us often fall back is when we feel distant from Allah. The problem with that is that it becomes easier to sin because we don't feel a connection or aren't very conscious of our actions. Once we start to feel a special bond, it helps us eliminate unwanted actions we could have otherwise found ourselves doing.

7. Gaining in-depth knowledge
As you would be learning the meaning and hopefully the Tafsir of each Ayah, your knowledge of the Qur'an will increase, in shaa Allah.

8. Feeling better about yourself 
Many of us have had times when we felt that we were doing it all right; memorizing, reading the Qur'an, and doing many other extra acts of worship, then it all disappeared. How did that feel? We probably felt low, like hypocrites, and tried to shy away from Allah because we didn't think we were good enough. That feeling can create more problems down the line. It's normal to have highs and lows, but when we get soo down that we feel like making efforts is now pointless, that's where the problem lies and it starts opening doors to more worms. Creating a habit of connecting with the Qur'an every day by simply repeating the same Ayah for an entire week can make a huge difference in how we feel about ourselves as Muslims.

9. Possible and easy for anyone
This challenge can be done by just about anyone with a minimum ability who puts his/her mind to it. The efforts are little, but the rewards are great. If reading is a struggle for you, this is the time to practice. If you don't think you have a strong memory, this challenge is for you. If you just became a Muslim and don't feel confident enough in reading the Qur'an, this challenge is for you. If you believe pronouncing Arabic words is a challenge for you, well, the repetition in this challenge will make it easier for you in shaa Allah. And, you get more reward for your efforts while struggling.


If you feel low and want to get back on track with the Qur'an or Islam in general, this challenge is for you. If you're seeing yourself slowly decreasing on all the extra acts of worship you used to do, this challenge is for you. If you just want to create a consistent habit with the Qur'an, you have to try this challenge.


Of course, it's always better to learn the Qur'an with a qualified teacher, but don't limit yourself if you don't have that option. Besides, even if you did have a teacher, you would still have to be the one practicing the recitation and the teacher would correct you when you make mistakes. So either way, it's important to form a habit of reading the Qur'an as often as possible, even if it's repeating the same verses multiple times. Remember, it's not a race; some of the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) took many years to memorize and understand the Qur'an.

So, are you in?

Share this post with your contacts, friends, and family and let's share the rewards of spreading good while also helping one another!
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Umm Sumayyah is a mother of two and a former teacher who turned into a home educator after becoming a mother. She is also an editor and a researcher who loves collecting and sharing information on social matters, education, career, and entrepreneurship.
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The winner of the writing contest for September 2018 is ....
Sabrina Azhar for her poem titled A Message to the Youth

September 2018 corresponds to one of the four Hijri months of writing submissions on Global Muslim Writers. The 24th of September was the deadline for the writing submissions. Two of the writings have been selected for publication on GMW as the best writings.

As usually mentioned, only the age-category that has enough submission will be published during the contest. Again, Group D is the only one so far as most of the readers seem to be from that category. All submissions were poems this time.

If you're a writer, submit your poem or short story for the next competition.

And now, the two (2) short-listed writing contestants for the month of September 2018 are:

Muslimah9  - poem titled Journey to the Creator
&
Sabrina - poem titled a Message to the Youth

Please show your support to the wonderful and talented writers by clicking on the title of each poem above to read them. 
Once you've read each poem and have decided the one you believe should win first place, vote for the best poem of September 2018 on this page. 

You can vote from Wednesday, September 26 until Friday, September 28 at 11:00 PM GMT.

Please vote for only one contestant; only one time.
Jazak Allahu khayr for your support.

Vote Below

Best Poem (Group D) of September 2018 is...

Journey to the Creator
A Message to the Youth
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Self went through a tough childhood. You wanted to tell it, it wasn’t strong enough on its own.
Self wanted to have close friends and companionship who left it. You wanted to show it wasn’t for the people to hold on to. Self went melancholic You wanted to tell it had no way out but You. Self gathered itself up temporarily, a guidance from You. Yet, it still went out to face the world, not You. Self relied on attention and love of creation. You left it alone and took away the contentment from it. Self grew weak again, unhappy. As You shed on it the light of Your guidance, guiding self on the quest of contentment. Self grew arrogant, still competing for the temporary. You left it alone, taking away the contentment from it. As a mother who picks up a falling child, into her arms, where it belongs - safe. You, who wanted self away and her back, waited to be called out to. Self submits And You come running to its aid Self cries. And You answer its calls. Self prays for itself to be locked away. Behold, Be and it is! Now there is nothing but her. Like a coconut shell. The rugged and the course layer is off. But the next shell is still hard as a rock. Before you reach its sweet waters. Inside her soul, she sees many layers. Each one like a level unlocked to the beloved Soul cries, the world seems like a prison with the self locked away. You guide it to remember You as You have always remembered soul. Soul remembers You But You take away the contentment again, Oh Beloved! Soul suffers. A longing for the lover. Soul grieves. You guide it again. Soul falls in love with grief itself. As You tell soul that true love is full of pain and trials. Soul submits to both the pain and bliss of the Beloved Soul craves nearness. You guide it to lower its existence even more Soul disappears with time into nothingness Until there's just YOU. The nothingness asks You, where have You been all along my Beloved? You answer: I was always here, closer to you than your jugular vein, but your love for anyone or anything other than Me kept you away from Me. Like moths who destroy themselves in the love of fire And like a flood destroying everything in its path The sweet waters now flow endlessly...
____________________________________

Muslimah9
Country: Pakistan
September 2018 Writing Contest
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