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The winner of the September 2018 writing competition is Sabrina Azhar with her poem titled 'A Message to the Youth'


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
Group D 
September 2018 Writing Contest
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Dear brothers in Islam, please lend an ear👂 My words are on behalf of all sisters here You are now in the 'prime' of your lives In search already of your future wives Whether here with family or friends abroad Wherever you are, you cannot deceive God He is All-Watching and records all that you do🎥 So beware of false desires and illegal traps too Satan becomes your partner when you are alone And it all starts with a text through your phone📱 This will only bring you temporary timepass pleasure Whereby later you'd realize you wasted your leisure To prevent falling into sin, first lower your gaze Picture yourself in front of a fire, set ablaze🔥 That would not make you take a step forward And in the sight of Allah, you will be honoured Temptations are the roots of indecent sins And the one who controls them surely wins Success in this world and in the Hereafter Only if you're sincere and obey your Master Keep up with your limits, don't take a chance 'Cause you could be ruined by that one glance👀 The struggle and the pain that comes along Would be devastating as it is very very wrong For those of you who have already found your spouse Be loyal and treat her fondly - the queen of the house Nevertheless, she faithfully sacrificed her life for you 💑 So in return, she truly deserves more than what you do We live in a world of women who advertise With false makeup leading to bastardize 💅 So guard your eyes and shield your heart And allow not your marriage to fall apart Don't let the thoughts of greener grass enter your mind The devil will over-power you and whisper: 'Love is blind' So each day you walk outside, Fight the evil thoughts inside➿ And be a great role model for the rest of humankind.
____________________________________

Sabrina Azhar
Country: SriLanka
Group D 
September 2018 Writing Contest
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I remember when my daughter was just learning to walk. As I watched her, she fell multiple times, then got right back up. I was amazed because, through her actions, she was teaching me that we come into this world knowing that it takes resilience to make it in life. Her innate determination made me realize one thing, "Babies teach us that we were meant to fall and get back up."

As we grow up, we forget what it was like to be courageous despite challenges. But the truth is, we really were built to persevere. Jannah isn't earned through giving up. Getting your dream career or house isn't gained by giving up. Taking care of your old parents or working for your family will not happen if you give up. If you're trying to get a high score on your exam, lose weight, gain weight, or learn a new language, just know that it will for sure not happen if you give up.

Are you trying to memorize the Qur'an? Are you struggling with praying all your five daily prayers on time? Guess what, it won't happen if you give up. Life is all about falling and getting back up. And when we fear to fall, that's when we really fail. This speaks right into my soul as I believe it probably does to yours as well.


Children are a great example to remind us of how we started on this earth. We may have forgotten how it was, but we are given multiple chances to reset the button or continue the journey with hopes. That's not to say that it will be easy today, tomorrow, or even the hundredth time. But what it does mean is that
with every chance we take, we improve. And as we improve, we get closer to our goal. 
Observing my daughter struggle to walk yet not giving up was a valuable lesson for me. I was worried every time her feet wobbled. And when she fell, that was the worse feeling for me. I tried numerous times to stop her and let her know that it was enough for today and that I was proud of her. But, her determination didn't allow me to stop her from her next milestone. She kept going.

Every time I forget this moment and pity myself through my struggles, I'm quickly reminded to knock it off and remember where I started. Really, babies do teach us that we were indeed meant to fall and get right back up!

As I was writing this blog post, my other child fell down from a chair and started crying. Guess what ... that little kid went right back up on that chair after crying! See what I mean? We were built to persevere; subhanallah.

Are you struggling to accomplish something that means a lot to you? Guess what, be ready to fall multiple times before finally making it. Don't expect others to care about goals more than you. Most people won't even care if ate today or the whole weak; as disappointing as it may sound. Everyone has his/her own struggles. Make small steps towards your goals. It's okay to be afraid of failing to a certain degree. But what's not okay is letting the fears stop you. You got this.



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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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