Children’s Column

The Biggest Fool in the World

There was once a king who ordered his ministers to find the most foolish person in his kingdom. The ministers were perplexed, but kings are kings and it was an order, so they had to obey it. Messengers were sent to make the announcement all over the land.

Soon after the announcement, hundreds of foolish men from all parts of the country started to arrive at the king’s palace. After testing all of them, the king selected one as the winner… The king called him near to himself and he removed a precious necklace from his own neck and put it on the foolish man’s neck. With this gift, the foolish man went home happily.

After some time, the foolish man heard the news that the king was very sick. So he decided to visit the king.

At the palace, he found that the king was lying in his bed.

“Your majesty, why are you lying in your bed?” asked the fool.

The king replied, “Now I cannot get up. I am going on a journey from which I will not return and to go on that journey lying down is compulsory.”

The foolish man asked, “Oh! You mean you will never return? You are going to remain there forever?”

The king replied with a sigh, “That is true; I will remain there forever and will not return.”

“Then,” said the foolish man, “You must have arranged for a great palace, with as much or more luxury than this one as well as gardens, servants and queens to keep you company?”

As soon as the foolish man had said these words, the king started wailing loudly.

The foolish man looked at the king in bewildered fashion. He didn’t understand why the king was crying.

“No, I haven’t! I haven’t even arranged for a tent,” lamented the king.

“How could that be?” The foolish man asked, “You are supposed to be the most intelligent and clever of men. When you knew that you are going to a place where you will stay forever you surely should have made preparations accordingly.”

“Woe to me! Woe to me!” Wailed the king, “I have made no arrangements for this journey nor for that place.”

At that, the foolish man got up, took off the precious necklace the king had given him, and carefully placed it on the neck of the king and said, “Your majesty! You are surely more deserving of this necklace than me.”


‘Oh people! Verily, the Promise of Allah is true. So, let not the life of this world deceive you, nor let the chief deceiver deceive you.’ (Qur’an, Surah al-Fatir: 5)

Did You Know That…?

  • Acupuncture was first used as a medical treatment in 2700 BC by Chinese emperor, Shen-Nung.
  • Armored knights raised their visors to identify themselves when they rode past their king. This custom has become the modern military salute.
  • At the height of its power, in 400 BC, the Greek city of Sparta had 25,000 citizens and 500,000 slaves.
  • Bock’s Car was the name of the B-29 Bomber that dropped the Atom Bomb on Nagasaki.
  • Canada declared national beauty contests cancelled as of 1992, claiming they were degrading to women.
  • Christmas became a national holiday in the US in 1890.
  • During the US Civil War, 200,000 blacks served in the Union Army; 38,000 gave their lives; 22 won the Medal of Honor.

Friendly Dolphins

In the 1900s, many ships crashed on the rocks along New Zealand’s shore. Sailors had to be very careful. But they had a friend. When sailors were near the dangerous Cook Strait, they would slow down their ships and wait. Looking through spyglasses, they watched for Pelorus Jack. He was a friendly dolphin.

Pelorus Jack knew these waters better than people did. He swam next to ships and guided them safely through narrow, rocky channels. Some people say that the ships Pelorus Jack guided never wrecked. Pelorus Jack grew famous. Postcards with his picture were popular.

Many other dolphins have also swum alongside ships. Dolphins probably do this to save their energy. A ship makes a wave in the water as it moves. Dolphins use this wave to help them swim faster or more easily. But for hundreds of years, sailors have considered these dolphins to be good luck. Pelorus Jack was only one of many well-known dolphins.

Everyone in New Zealand seemed to know Moko. He was a bottlenose dolphin. For years, he charmed locals and tourists. Moko seemed to enjoy playing with people at Mahia Beach. He tossed beach balls with waders. He pushed kayaks with his nose. He jumped out of the water and did flips. Local people and tourists loved Moko. But Moko was more than a playmate. He was also a lifesaver.

In 2008, a mother sperm whale and her calf got trapped near the beach. They swam into a narrow space near the shore. Then they couldn’t find their way out. People tried to help the whales. But they couldn’t guide them through the narrow escape route. It looked like the whales might die.

Then Moko showed up. Somehow, he seemed to understand the problem. Moko made strange little grunts and whistles. The whales seemed to understand. They followed Moko to open water. The whales swam away, safe and sound.

Dolphins help each other, too. Dolphins breathe air. But sometimes when they are hurt or sick, they can’t get up to the water’s surface. Some dolphins have lifted others to the surface to help them get air. The playful, helpful behavior of dolphins has made them popular with people. Dolphins have been in many movies and TV shows. They’re natural stars. They even look like they’re smiling! Dolphins aren’t just pretty faces, though. They are some of the smartest animals. They communicate with clicks, whistles, and grunts. They learn fast. They can be trained to understand human words and commands. They even help people do their work.

In a town in Brazil, dolphins herd fish toward people waiting near shore. Then the dolphins do quick little dives in the water. This tells the fishers where to throw in their nets. The fishers respect these dolphins. They’re grateful for their help. The fishers get a big catch. And the dolphins eat fish that try to swim away from the nets. Working together, the dolphins and people all get more fish than they would alone. What a team!

Did the dolphins learn this behavior by themselves? Did they achieve this intelligence by their own efforts? No. It was programmed in them by the creator of the heavens and earth; Allah. What a wonderful creation of Allah dolphins are.



Dolphin Facts

Here are ten fascinating dolphin facts that will make you love them even more.

  1. Nearly 40 species of dolphins swim the waters of the world. Most live in shallow areas of tropical and temperate oceans, and five species live in rivers.
  1. Dolphins are carnivores. Fish, squid and crustaceans are included in their list of prey. A 260-pound dolphin eats about 33 pounds of fish a day.
  1. Known for their playful behavior, dolphins are highly intelligent. They are as smart as apes, and their larger brains are surprisingly similar to humans.
  1. Dolphins are part of the family of whales that includes orcas and pilot whales. Killer whales are actually dolphins.
  1. Dolphins are very social, living in groups that hunt and even play together. Large pods of dolphins can have 1,000 members or more.
  1. Depending on the species, gestation takes nine to 17 months. After birth, dolphins are surprisingly maternal. They have been observed nestling and cuddling their young.
  1. A dolphin calf nurses for up to two years. Calves stay with the mothers anywhere from three to eight years.
  1. Dolphins have acute eyesight both in and out of the water. They hear frequencies ten times the upper limit of adult humans. Their sense of touch is well-developed, but they have no sense of smell.
  1. Dolphins have few natural enemies. Humans are their main threat. Pollution, fishing and hunting mean some dolphin species have an uncertain future. In 2006, the Yangtze River dolphin was named functionally extinct.
  1. Because dolphins are mammals, they need to come to the surface of the water to breathe. Unlike land mammals that breathe and eat through their mouths, dolphins have separate holes for each task. Dolphins eat through their mouths and breathe through their blowholes. This prevents the dolphin from sucking up water into the lungs when hunting, reducing the risk of drowning.

Seerah Quiz

Choose the correct answer for each question from the options given. The right answers will be provided in the next issue of this magazine, inshaAllah.

(1) When was the city of Makkah gained and conquered by Prophet Muhammad (saws)?

  • 20th Ramadan, 8th Year Hijrah
  • 12th Rabi al-Awal, 10th Year Hijrah
  • 16th Dhul Hijjah, 3rd Year Hijrah
  • 9th Muharram, 6th Year Hijrah

(2) What was the name of the pledge made by the Prophet (saws) in his youth; ensuring that the rights of the weak were increased, and that injustices and violence suppressed?

  • Al- Fudoul
  • Al-Aqabah
  • Al-Amana
  • Al-Arqam

(3) What was the name of the wet nurse that suckled Muhammad (saws) for only a few days before Haleemah as-Sadiyah took the position?

  • Fatimah
  • Umm Ayman
  • Thuwaybah
  • Sumayyah

(4) What was Abdul-Muttalib’s real name?

  • Shaybah
  • Imran
  • Ubaiy’
  • None of the above

(5) The incident wherein Prophet Muhammad (saws) turned away from the blind man is recorded in which surah?

  • Surah Fajr
  • Surah Abasa
  • Surah ali’ Imran
  • Surah Hadid

(6) What was the name of the Christian King from Abyssinia who gave shelter and protection to the Muslims who came to him from Makkah?

  • King Abrahah
  • King Bahira
  • King Yemani
  • King Najjashi

(7) Who travelled with Muhammad (saws) to the hill-top city of Ta’if, South-West of Makkah when they were looking for a place of safety for the Muslims?

  • Zayd ibn Harith (ra)
  • Abu Bakr (ra)
  • Umar (ra)
  • Mus’ab ibn Umair (ra)

(8) What was the name of the tribe that Haleemah as-Sadiyah bint abu Dhuaib (the wet nurse of the Prophet (saws) came from?

  • Banu Quraizah
  • Banu Sa’ad
  • Banu Amin
  • Banu Yadir

(9) Which Sahabah did Muhammad (saws) send to Madinah soon after the Pledge of Aqabah to teach people there Islam and to give the call to others in the city?

  • Khalid ibn Sa’id (ra)
  • Utbah ibn Ghazwaan (ra)
  • Talhah ibn ‘UbaidAllah (ra)
  • Mus’aib ibn Umair (ra)

(10) Abu Bakr (ra) was appointed by Prophet Muhammad (saws) himself as the leader of the Hajj in which year of Hijrah?

  • 9th Year of Hijrah
  • 3rd Year of Hijrah
  • 12th Year of Hijrah
  • 7th Year of Hijrah

Amazing Creatures: Emperor Penguins

Emperor penguins are able to dive to depths of 500 meters (1,640 feet) for up to 20 minutes with no adverse effects to their respiration or blood pressure. They also possess the ability to adapt to these conditions in different ways. While diving, they are able to lower their heartbeats from 200 a minute to only 60, thus allowing them to store extra myoglobin.

How Can Penguins Hold Their Breath for So Long?

Myoglobin is a protein present at high levels in these birds’ muscles. These myoglobin proteins bind to themselves high numbers of oxygen molecules. In other words, the penguin conserves the oxygen it will need not in the air held in its lungs, but directly inside its muscles.  This lets penguins swim underwater for long periods and to dive as deep as they wish, without relying on the breathed-in air held in their lungs..

Why Do They Not Suffer from the Bends?

Penguins are able to continue swimming even when the oxygen in their blood drops to the lowest levels. Human beings suffer from the bends under such conditions. The level in question is 20 mm Hg for penguins and 25 mm Hg for humans. However, scientists have been unable to explain how penguins can to overcome this in the water without being affected by low levels of oxygen in the blood.

How Can They Go Without Food for 65 Days?

Male penguins have a secret that lets them survive without eating anything for 65 days, until the females arrive to take of the young in order to protect their eggs: they possess a structure capable of blocking their digestive systems!

Their Magnificent Diving Costumes

Adult penguins on the ice eat nothing for months until after they shedd their coats in the summer. All their old feathers are shed, and new ones emerge from underneath. The result is a windproof, insulated and waterproof diving suit that prevents cold — whether from icy wind or frigid water — reaching their skin. The most striking feature of their new plumage is that it appears just when the penguins need it most — when the time to migrate has arrived.

Brief Facts from the Pole

In the middle of winter, daylight at the North Pole last for only three hours. In order to protect themselves from the freezing cold during the other 21 hours, penguins huddle up against one another in the dark. By huddling up to one another, the male penguins are able to raise their body temperatures to up to 20° C (68 oF). Since solitary penguins are unable to benefit from other penguins’ body heat, they cannot survive in temperatures any lower than -10° C (14 oF).

Under Such Conditions, How Can Penguins Walk for Many Kilometers with Such Large Bodies and Short Legs?

In order to conserve energy when they walk, penguins waddle from side, to side, which tires their muscles less. In this way, at the end of every step, they store up enough momentum for the next. If they employed a normal gait, their short legs would force them to expend twice as much energy as any other animal their own size. However, penguins exert the most energy only when they start to walk and when they want to stop.

These features of penguins are some of the greatest proofs of Allah’s affection and compassion for living things. Walking in such a way as to conserve energy by using the conversion of kinetic and potential energy, and back again, is something no bird can learn on its own. No penguin can know about potential-kinetic energy conversion and develop such a gait as to take advantage of this, unless so inspired by Allah (swt).

For all this astonishing behavior, there is only one explanation: These marine mammals behave in accordance with the inspiration of Allah (swt), their Creator.

Traffic Penalty and the Secret of Success

A famous author of the sub-continent was once posted in Italy. He earned a traffic fine and, because of his busy schedule, was unable to pay it. As a result, he had to go to court.

The judge asked him the reason. He replied that he was a professor and was so busy that he didn’t have the time to do it. Upon hearing this, the judge announced loudly, ‘A teacher is in court.’ Then everybody stood up and asked for his forgiveness and cancelled his fine.

‘That day,’ he says, ‘I understood that nation’s secret of success.’

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