Saturday, 25 October 2014

Happy New Islamic Year , 1436 AH.



I  got an email from a friend, wishing me New Year, couple of days before.  I was surprised, if my friend is mad as it’s October, then I opened the image and got to know that it was start of Islamic year. I hurried to my Facebook and updated a status, wishing all, a Happy New Islamic Lunar Year, a storm of wishes started coming towards me and then I came across some messages from Pakistan where friends made me to realize that new year has not started yet.

I checked in Google and saw that it will start on the evening of 24th October 2014 . So Hijri new year has started in Middle East but seems Pakistan is behind and surprisingly this time the gap is of two days. 

So now we are in new Islamic year 1436 AH.  

Islamic lunar calendar starts with crescent moon sighting. Crescent moon may appear one or two days later the new moon, poor weather can delay the sighting. The AH  – "Anno Hegirae" which is Latin  or  you can simply say "After Hijrah" The meaning of  hijrah–emigration. The word Hijri is taken from Arabic language.

Hijri Calendar first started with the emigration of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) from (Mecca to Medina ) Makkah towards north, 270 miles to Madinah in 622 AD. Prophet Muhammad migrated towards Medina to establish a place where he, with his companions can practice the laws of Islam without any problem.

First month of Islamic calendar is Muharram, and Islamic year has 354 days in 12 months.The month of Muharram has special importance for Muslims but the 10th day has it’s own significance. Many Muslims fast on 9th, 10th or 10th, 11th of Mahram to mark Ashura, this day marks the death anniversary of Hussain Ibn-e-Ali, grandson of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) who was beheaded during the battle in Karbala that is now in Iraq. The fasting on these days is not obligatory. With the start of Muharam you can listen about the importance of days in Islamic history from the surrounding Masjids if you are living in any Muslim country. In their speeches, scholars and clerics emphasize the importance of first 10 days of Muharam. These days are considered as the days of mourning and peace. Islam forbade Muslims to fight in four months throughout the year and this is first month in which fight is forbidden. This is a month of non-violence.  

Sunni and Shia sects in Islam mark these days in different ways. Shia’s celebrate whole month of Muharram as a month of mourning and flagellate themselves with knifes, rods , chains, strike their chest and backs and cry. Sunni Muslims celebrate it to mark victory of Prophet Mosses over Pharaohs of Egypt.

Many Islamic organizations organize conferences and seminars to highlight the importance of historical event in this particular month, many television channels broad cast special transmission and lectures are delivered by scholars marking the martyrdom of Harzrat Hussain on 10th of Muharram. In few countries of the Muslim world there is holiday on 10th of Muharram. 
 
Astronomical calculations are used to find future dates in many countries of the world and some get them by the glimpse of the crescent moon. The calendar that is used in Saudi Arabia is called Umm al Qura, it is also followed by few other Middle East countries. Muslims from around the world follow same festivals on different dates in Muslim countries. But many countries just follow Saudi Arabia to follow Ramadan and Eid festivals.  In Pakistan the people of province , Khyber Pakhtoon Kawa (KPK) start fasting with Saudi Arabia and also celebrate Eid with it but rest of country start Ramadan and celebrate Eid by actual sighting of moon. That normally appears with the difference of one or two days. For the first time, in my life, Eid –al-Adha, 2014  was celebrated in Pakistan  with the gap of two days, from Saudi Arabia. Muslims have only two Islamic holidays throughout the year and they are on festivals of Eid-al-Fitar and Eid-al-Adha.

Expected first day of new Islamic year in 2015 is Thursday, October 15.
 

You can check a post of Washington times for 1436 and importance.  Celebration of Muslim new year is a cultural tradition , not the religious one. This celebration is much different from the Georgian New year celebration, it is actually so quiet. People mostly pray during the day and repent for their sins of last year and ask for forgiveness from God. This year 1436 started on Friday that is marked as an important day of the week.    

Islamic calendar is mostly followed to check the dates for Islamic festivals and holidays. So I would like to say a Happy New Year to all Muslims around the world and my friends who follow Georgian calendar, I wish you in advance.  I wish this year will bring prosperity and success for whole world and we will rise up, forget about differences and start living peacefully. May this year bring abundance of  blessings and may God shower us with Taqwa ( fear of God).

Thank you Ahsan Rafique for a beautiful picture of Masjid-e-Nabwi Madinah Manawara , Saudi Arabia. 

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Thursday, 23 October 2014

How to Prepare for Exam.

Preparing for Maths Exam.

During our studies mostly we are stressed in exams – at least this is true about me. The world is changing so do our educational system. We have shifted from annual exam system to semester exams and now have to be examined twice or thrice compared to once of annual system. 

There are different types of students with different level of intelligence so their stress level also varies during exams.

The gifted students with their extraordinary intelligence and those who work hard with concentration are confident enough of not getting puzzled during exam and trust their preparation during exams as they learn everything beforehand.

The other category is of those students who are average in studies and mostly not hardworking and are contented with the study during exam. This is the type of students who are stressed during exam.

You can check this to know how to improve mathematics????  Always remember that; 
Practice is the key to better grades.
Are you thinking to prepare for exam? In this post I will share few tips with you for the preparation of your math’s exam. With these tips you can improve your skills of solving problems and get better grades. These tips will help to improve memory during exams and will ensure your success during exams and will give you best results

I have shared these tips generally but you can apply these techniques specifically to mathematics exam, it will help you a lot. I am teaching math from almost 10 years and I came across students using different strategies to study. In this post I tried to note them down for you.
So here are few Study Tips

1. Mark all included chapters.
You must be clear about the course that will be included in exam. Consult your syllabus or your teacher to get the course of exam. Prepare the list of all the topics that will be included in exam. Try to write all basic concepts in your own words. Make a list of all the formulas or concepts that will be included in exam. Try to understand the concept in such a way that you can easily explain it to anyone else. Do not try to memorize the concept try to understand the basic concept of the theory.  
2. Start a week before exams.
You need to have enough time for study. So always start studying a week before the exam. After writing topics also decide about the time that you can spend on each topic , it will help you to complete your study during a specific time and will also help to solve exam in specified time.

3. Ask questions during class.


Do not hesitate to ask stupid questions about new concepts and theories during class. Every question is invaluable. Go after your curiosity, do not hesitate to ask– there is no such thing during study! According to William Arthur Ward “Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.” It will help you to better prepare for your exam.

4. Organize your study space.

Select a proper study space and try to sit in a calm and quiet place to concentrate. Always try to stay away from distractions during study. Try to switch off your TV, mobile and keep them closed until you finish your study plan. Have some note book, pencil and calculator with you. When you will be solving question on a separate sheet maintain a list of questions that can be solved by different formulas, if you want you can write few question related to each rule. Devote more time for hard chapters. 

5Use charts for study. 


Always create flow charts and diagrams related to topics , concepts , definitions and formulas. It will help you a lot during preparation and revision, it will take less time to revise with these charts. Always highlight the topics that you are not clear about. You can emphasize more on them during study and revision.
Try to finish those topics that you understand properly first. This will also help you to save some time for the remaining topics.

6. Solve old exam papers.

Take old exams papers and quizzes from department or download related worksheets from online resources and practice more questions and once you are done with one topic try to quiz yourself on that , it will help you memorize the topic properly. Ask from your seniors about the teacher and style of exam questions , it can help you study in a certain way as mostly teacher stick to their specific pattern when it comes to exam and do not try to experiment much. You can check a post about my favorite teacher , who completely changed me.

7. Arrange study with friends, explain & learn.

I feel this is best way to learn any concept when you will explain any concept or question to friends or class fellows then your concept will be clear and it will stay in your mind for a long time.

Take help from your friends about the topics that are giving you trouble. Arrange study groups with friends and study together. It can give you a chance to know a different and simple method for solution of question by some friend. You can best understand concepts through discussion with the friends.

8. Take regular breaks.

Have a flexible study plan with better outcomes and do not try to over stress yourself. Take regular breaks during preparation of exam as your mind needs proper rest to copy all the concepts  in your mind. Stick to study plan and be aware of your goals. Keep your goals in mind during study, as it will help in help you to prioritize and also quicken your understanding, as well as give you challenge and passion. Try to study each rule properly as in mathematics are rules are connected together. If you miss one then it will hard to understand next concept.

9. Healthy Diet & liquids

Have healthy food, during the preparation of exams and do not skip any meal. Do not eat snacks but prepare nutritious food as it will help energize your body and mind. Hydrate your body with plenty of water and fresh juices as this will freshen up your mind. Drink a lot of water.

10. Wake up early & revise.

Set your alarm almost three hours before exam. Try to take proper rest during exam. Proper sleep will give a chance to have a deep impression in your memory of what you have studied. After getting up take a shower and drink some juice or milk and then start your revision. First run through all the concepts that you have recently understood during the preparation in your mind.  If you forget, check your notes— try as hard as you can, to remember concepts in your head before opening the notes. Then slowly move on to those topics , that you know well , from previous learning. Then at the end if you have time once more go through the hard concepts , afterwards have a breakfast full of energy and then go to your university.

Stop talking or thinking about exam almost 30 minutes before. Try to talk with friends and have some fun. It will help to relax your mind and take deep breaths. If you follow these few tips then you will surely achieve your target goal in your studies. Remember to make a habit to study daily and if you are successful in doing so you do not need to stress in exam at all.

For further information you can check this link;
http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/studyadvice/Studyresources/sta-preparing.aspx





  •   If you are taking math you must understand the importance of practice, even super genius student need practice of mathematical problems and applications.

       Try to develop interest in math, if you are successful in that, math will always bring a thumbs up for you. 

  • So from now on , " MATH EXAM???" .... NO PROBLEM :) 

    Tuesday, 21 October 2014

    A Way Out from Helplessness.





    I am quite depressed after receiving a call from my friend who was upset because of few family issues. I am still shaking my head to keep myself away from echoes of the words, questions, feelings and emotions that she expressed. I am writing down her concerns, problems and trying to figure out some solution. I was so sad to hear all that and I do not know how I overcame my emotions and managed to say few relaxing sentences. I was unable to control my trembling voice and shaky emotions. I was feeling I will burst into tears and leave her in critical situation. So here I am sitting at 3:00 a.m. and recollecting her harsh experience.

    Her questions, “Why sometimes we become so helpless in our lives? Why we are not left with any way out? Why people feel it as their birth right to interfere in our lives and try to dictate as if they are in charge of our lives and better understand it than us? Why , Why ???? “ are still ringing in my mind. 

    Sometimes in our lives, there comes a time when we want to get rid of everything, leave world and go to jungle, run away from all the joys and comforts, friends, family and everything that we long for. Nothing seems to help or relax us. Granting forgiveness seems hardest of all. Our mind seems full of hate towards those who had hurt us. We feel broken, hollow, hurt from inside with a deep hole in our soul. Our heart seems bleeding and fallen deep in dark shadows. During such crucial time nothing seems working to fill the hole; no friend, no chat, no laugh, no joke. Got the picture from Facebook. 

    We carry grudges in our hearts. The quietness within seems killing us. There seems no light, no hope, no love, no peace, no way out….. BUT….. a dark, dark night. We try to look for the ways to get a moment of peace and to forget the pain. We cannot get rid of screams of our past harsh memories. We wish to destroy all, to fix our pain. 

    We are filled with grief , darkness, hate, rage and revenge. 

    A rebel is going inside us all the time to finish others or to vanish our self to be contented. We feel these are only left options with us. Its like just killing and mutilating our body, mind and soul. We think our bodies are lifeless

    The pain, that we gain from; resistance, unacceptance, failure and anger seems never ending.

    Do you have any way to get rid of this pain of loss, tearful eyes, broken believes, aching bones and soul ?

    We want to remove the stab from our heart that is hurting us. We seem just stuck and shocked. We do not want to see our dreams shattering right in front of our eyes, we get ready to do everything in our power to protect them. We look for help and guidance in each direction with a continuous desire for some ease. We want to end violent aggression going on inside us. We wait for MIRACLE!

    Many choose drugs, alcohol, develop strange habits to get some moments of satisfaction when their heart breaks. Some jump to conclusion of taking their lives- by committing a suicide. 

    Only one solution comes to my mind to overcome such situation.

    I feel this is the time for us to turn to our God , our Creator, the most Merciful and Powerful. He is the one who can ease us, comfort us, help and guide us. He knows our pain and without telling He knows that all, we need to turn to Him, this is all that can bring a beam of light in our dark night. To help us grow against all odds and evils. He can teach us how to forgive and move on. He is the only one who can bring Peace to our hearts and souls. A bow down in front of Him can save us from many downs. 

    I believe , our belief on God can remove the darkness and shadows inside the heart. It can brighten your ways. 

    We need to overcome the threats from others and began to hope. Our hope can be our shield in this time of despair. To get rid of such panic condition try to appreciate good things in life. All anger will change in softness and love. 

    God is only one who can give us motivation and inspiration. 
    We always come across ‘ pain changes people’ , but I believe, “ Prayer changes people”.
    Pain should bring better changes in life as we all believe, “ no pain, no Gain.”


    I believe in such situations you should not give up hope, it is something that will keep you 
    moving. Try to think about the causes of this hate and anger and try to overcome it. Hope is key to success and happiness. It will bring you out of depression and misery. Everything will be fine at end, after every dark night there is a bright sunny day. 

    Darkness can not be removed with darkness and hate can not be removed with hate but
    only with light and love. 
    Got this picture from Facebook.


    I have written about some causes of depression, anxiety and few solutions here.
    I will be happy to hear your thoughts. I hope you will share with me how you overcome such situation in your life. Do you have any other way out of such situation???? 

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    Friday, 10 October 2014

    International Day of the Girl Child - to Fight Challenges


    #dayofthegirl: In the Line - To Challenge Violence

    11 October is recognized as the International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC). The day is observed to promote the rights that young girls deserve and to help them fight the challenges they are facing. You can check the details here. 

    You can also check this for some picture and more stories. 

    I have written a post on International Women's Day , you can check it here.
    Today I want to share the story of a girl who was a victim of domestic violence, illiteracy and poverty but was strong enough to fight against them and was struggling to get her right of education.

    I visited the hospital where my mother was working during my holidays. My mother went to examine some patients in the ward and asked me to accompany her. She wanted me to meet Mona and asked me to give her some comfort by talking to her. I was wondering what my mother wants to do, how I will talk to a stranger. When I reached at last bed, my mother introduced me to a beautiful girl, Mona. She was lying on the hospital bed, with broken arm, injured foot, few bandages on her face and with stitches on her forehead. I was shocked to see her condition. Her beautiful eyes which were full of tears and disappointment were telling her story.

    I was very sad to see her condition and I could not control my tears that rushed out of my eyes rolling down my cheeks. My mother pressed my hand to tell what I was doing. I was completely lost in her beautiful sparkling eyes and I could see immense pain and fear on her face. Emotions of anger, anxiety and depression rushed into me. I was able to notice her discomfort clearly. My mother told me what happened to her and then she held Mona's hand and exclaimed that she is a brave woman and she will fight her pain with courage and told her that time is the best healer . 

    She started sharing with me about her life. I came to know that Mona was just 14 years
    old when she was married to a 36 years old cousin. Her parents were unable to  bear her expenses for life and thought it is better to marry her and just get rid of her. She was managing a one room mud house and was working on newly constructed road with her husband to eat at most two times a day. She has reached hospital in critical condition after her husband beat her for not giving him money to waste on drugs. It was not first time she was beaten by her husband but this was severe than all attacks. I was feeling very sad for her pains and the situation she faced in young age.  

    The meeting time was over in the hospital and I had to leave though I didn't want to leave her. When I was about to leave, Mona tried to put her hand under her pillow to pull out something and I jumped in to help her. I managed to take out some torn papers from a Urdu language book. I laughed and asked her from where did she get that. She replied that she found them in the garbage that she collected few months ago. I asked her if she can read and she started looking at page and read few lines and I was surprised and I asked from her,” From where did you learn to read?”. She replied that she was working as a maid for a lady, where she had to wash clothes and clean home. The lady who employed her was kind enough to teach Mona how to read. She said, "I know all this book" and asked if I can give her next level book. I promised to do so and the next day I went with the book and a note book. The joy that I noticed on her face cannot be expressed in words. She started crying after getting her new book.  

    We have many such incidents happening around us in our society where some are severely injured requiring treatment in hospital and some victims just hide and feel it is better to stay at home until the wounds of physical torture are gone. Some men in our society feel that it is their birth right to physically attack women who are under their control.

     I hope these scars of Mona will not ruin her life and she will return to normal life soon. I stayed with her for few hours and she told me a lot about her dreams, her ambitions with enthusiasm. Though she tried to put a smile on her face, I could sense how deeply she was hurt inside. I was hoping that these violent attacks  will not ruin her trust on people, her confidence and chances for normal life.

    What is the root cause behind such violent eruptions from male in our society? I believe that lack of basic needs of life creates unrest in male and they express their frustration over their poverty, illiteracy and failure to the easiest target - female.

    Mona was only 16 and had 12 brothers and sisters. She was married to a cousin whose story was not different at all. He too came from same poor background living below the poverty line.

    I consider it worth mentioning that the study of Islam reveals the fact that Islam started during the time of ignorance where girls were buried alive after their birth. Islam stood for women's rights and Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) told that violence against women is crime against humanity and big sin. Men are supposed to protect women, not beat or torture her. 

    Dr. Bilal Philips has mentioned on his Facebook page," The rights given to women by Islam in the 7th century were unparalleled anywhere else in the world at that time. The rights were earth shaking. Many of those rights were not given to women in western countries until the 20th century, 1400 years later." 

    All of us are familiar with domestic violence and throughout the world many women are coming out against such violent attacks against them.  All such violent physical attacks must be stopped. Government need to spend more on free education, and provide basic necessities and jobs to ease the suffering of the poor people. It must ensure equality in society and give opportunity to all to live a life they long for and be the one they want to be. We as an individual can inspire people to raise voice against injustice, and we have to play our role to empower girls like Mona to end child marriage, child labor and  violence against them. Religious scholars should repeatedly give lectures on importance of protecting women in Islam and should emphasize on education and teach values of respect and humanity.


    I deem it worth mentioning that on this specific day Nobel Peace Prize was grated to Malala Yousafzai & Kailash Satyarthi who are working for the rights of children and girls. You can check the details here.


    Whenever you see such violent attacks and stories of domestic violence and oppression from any part of the world, you must understand that Islam do not teach this at all. Islam is religion of mercy. The people who do so have NO knowledge of Islam. Such Black Sheep are present in every religion and society. 

    I came across a website suggesting the ways to STOP Domestic Violence.

    You can take these steps to help girl child grow and fight the challenges.



    I hope you will share this post to stand with many women in the world who are facing such violence against them.