Children’s Column

Compiled by Afra Akhter

Poem
When I was ill

One day I was feeling ill
A sparrow flew onto my window sill

He didn’t see me tucked up in bed
As he pecked away at a piece of a bread

I thought of how he could fly
When I, in bed could only lie

I thought how Allah made him small
And then of dinosaurs, and giraffes so tall

I thought of many, many things
Some with four legs, or other wings

I thought how wonderful Allah is
Because everything around me is really His.


News Article
Turkey Judge Suspended after Criticising Length of Lawyer’s Skirt in Court

A Turkish judge who criticized a female lawyer over the length of her skirt during a hearing has been suspended amid widespread outrage over his remarks.

The judge, Mehmet Yoylu, also allegedly demanded to take a picture of lawyer, Tugce Cetin’s attire in his Istanbul courtroom, and wanted to refer her to the Bar Association for review, arguing that the skirt was higher than the regulated 15cms above her knees.

He was thwarted. Instead, the incident [which happened recently] prompted other lawyers in the courthouse, which deals with workplace and labour disputes, to stage a protest.

“Women are waiting for an apology from you,” they reportedly chanted.

“Not the skirt, the mind is short,” ran a headline in the mass-circulation daily Cumhuriyet.

“What kind of disgrace is this! Instead of looking at lawyers’ legs, look at the file in front of you!” lawyer Feyza Altun said in an Instagram post. “We won’t leave this country to religious zealots.”

Mr Yoylu’s suspension by the Board of Judges and Prosecutors is temporary, pending a formal review of his actions.

****

Perhaps,the Judge was trying to follow the following Hadith: “On the authority of Abu Sa`eed al-Khudree (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah (saws) say, ‘Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.’” [Muslim]


Story
“And I Hurried to You, My Lord!”

A Qur’aan teacher always advised her students to live by this Ayah: “And I hurried to You, my Lord, so that You’ll be pleased.” [Surah Taahaa 20: 84]

She told them, “This Ayah is what moves me. When I hear the Adhaan and I’m occupied and in the middle of something, I remind myself of this Ayah and so I get up to pray.”

“When my alarm goes off at 2 AM and I want to go back to sleep I remember: ‘And I hurried to You, my Lord, so you’ll be pleased’, and so I get up and stand before Allah (swt).”

Her husband had the following arrangement with her: On his way home from a long day at work, he’d call her so she’ll get the food hot and ready, so he can come home and eat and rest.

One day, he asked her to make Mahshi (stuffed grape leaves) – a very time-consuming dish. The process involves wrapping many of them and then putting them in a pot to cook. She had three more to wrap; but the Adhaan was called. So she left the three remaining grape-leaves (which would have taken her five more minutes) and went to pray.

Her husband came home and found that the food was not ready and she was in Sujood. He noticed there were only three grape-leaves left.

A bit upset, he uttered, “You could have just finished them and put the pot to cook and then pray!” But she wasn’t responding.

He went to her to discover that she had died in her Sujood!

Subhaan Allaah! Had she waited like any of us to “finish what’s in her hand” she would have died in the kitchen! Indeed, the way we live our life is how we will die.

*****

Perhaps, this is a good practical example of the following Ayat of the Qur’an:‘Oh You who Believe! Fear Allah as He Should be Feared and Die not Except in a State of Islam (Submission)…” (Surah AalImran)


Ten Fascinating Facts about Butterflies

1. Butterfly wings are transparent

How can that be? We know butterflies as perhaps the most colourful, vibrant insects around! A butterfly’s wings are covered by thousands of tiny scales, and these scales reflect light in different colours. But underneath all of those scales, a butterfly wing is actually formed by layers of chitin, the same protein that makes up an insect’s exoskeleton. These layers are so thin you can see right through them. As a butterfly ages, scales fall off the wings, leaving spots of transparency where the chitin layer is exposed.

2. Butterflies taste with their feet

Butterflies have taste receptors on their feet to help them find their host plants and locate food. A female butterfly lands on different plants, drumming the leaves with her feet until the plant releases its juices. Spines on the back of her legs have chemoreceptors that detect the right match of plant chemicals. When she identified the right plant, she lays her eggs. A butterfly will also step on its food, using organs that sense dissolved sugars to taste food sources like fermenting fruit.

3. Butterflies live on an all-liquid diet

Speaking of butterflies eating, adult butterflies can only feed on liquids, usually nectar. Their mouthparts are modified to enable them to drink, but they can’t chew solids. A proboscis, which functions as a drinking straw, stays curled up under the butterfly’s chin until it finds a source of nectar or other liquid nutrition. It then unfurls the long, tubular structure and sips up a meal. A few butterflies feed on sap, and some even resort to sipping from decaying carrion. No matter the meal, they suck it up a straw.

4. A butterfly must assemble its proboscis as soon as it emerges from the chrysalis

A butterfly that can’t drink nectar is doomed. One of its first jobs as an adult butterfly is to assemble its mouthparts. When a new adult emerges from the pupal case or chrysalis, its mouth is in two pieces. Using palp located adjacent to the proboscis, the butterfly begins working the two parts together to form a single, tubular proboscis. You may see a newly emerged butterfly curling and uncurling the proboscis over and over, testing it out.

5. Butterflies drink from mud puddles

A butterfly cannot live on sugar alone; it needs minerals, too. To supplement its diet of nectar, a butterfly will occasionally sip from mud puddles, which are rich in minerals and salts. This behaviour, called puddling, occurs more often in male butterflies, which incorporate the minerals into their sperm. These nutrients are then transferred to the female during mating, and help improve the viability of her eggs.

6. Butterflies can’t fly if they’re cold

Butterflies need an ideal body temperature of about 85ºF to fly. Since they’re cold-blooded animals, they can’t regulate their own body temperatures. The surrounding air temperature has a big impact on their ability to function. If the air temperature falls below 55ºF, butterflies are rendered immobile, unable to flee from predators or feed. When air temperatures range between 82º-100ºF, butterflies can fly with ease. Cooler days require a butterfly to warm up its flight muscles, either by shivering or basking in the sun. Even sun-loving butterflies can get overheated when temperatures soar above 100° F and may seek shade to cool down.

7. A newly emerged butterfly can’t fly

Inside the chrysalis, a developing butterfly waits to emerge with its wings collapsed around its body. When it finally breaks free of the pupal case, it greets the world with tiny, shrivelled wings. The butterfly must immediately pump body fluid through its wing veins to expand them. Once its wings reach full-size, the butterfly must rest for a few hours to allow its body to dry and harden before it can take its first flight.

8. Butterflies live just a few weeks, usually

Once it emerges from its chrysalis as an adult, a butterfly has only 2-4 short weeks to live, in most cases. During that time, it focuses all its energy on two tasks – eating and mating. Some of the smallest butterflies, the blues, may only survive a few days. Butterflies that overwinter as adults, like monarchs and mourning cloaks, can live as long as 9 months.

9. Butterflies are nearsighted, but they can see and discriminate a lot of colours

Within about 10-12 feet, butterfly eyesight is quite good. Anything beyond that distance gets a little blurry to a butterfly, though. Butterflies rely on their eyesight for vital tasks, like finding mates of the same species and finding flowers on which to feed. In addition to seeing some of the colours we can see, butterflies can see a range of ultraviolet colours invisible to the human eye. The butterflies themselves may have ultraviolet markings on their wings to help them identify one another and locate potential mates. Flowers, too, display ultraviolet markings that act as traffic signals to incoming pollinators like butterflies – “pollinate me!”

10. Butterflies employ all kinds of tricks to keep from being eaten

Butterflies rank pretty low on the food chain, with lots of hungry predators happy to make a meal of them. Some butterflies fold their wings to blend into the background, using camouflage to render themselves all but invisible to predators. Others try the opposite strategy, wearing vibrant colours and patterns that boldly announce their presence. Bright coloured insects often pack a toxic punch if eaten, so predators learn to avoid them. Some butterflies aren’t toxic at all, but pattern themselves after other species known for their toxicity. By mimicking their foul-tasting cousins, they repel predators.


Word Search
Chapters of Qur’an

Find out how the following chapter-names of the Qur’an are located in the word-maze or grid shown below them:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Incredible Marine Life Facts

The ocean bears many secrets; here are some incredible marine-life facts:

  1. The oceans provide 99% of the living space on the planet containing 50-80% of all life.
  2. Many fish are sequential hermaphrodites which are born as females and become male later on. Clownfish are all males.
  3. A group of dolphins is called a pod, eel or oysters a bed, fish a school or shoal, jellyfish a fluther or smack, salmon a bind, draught or run, sea urchins a herd, trout a hover and turtles a bale, dole or nest..
  4. Parrot fish produce 85% of the sand that builds up reef islands like in the Maldives.
  5. Moray eels are not aggressive when they open and close their mouth, they are actually just breathing.
  6. Mimic octopus can imitate flounder, jelly fish, sting ray, sea snake, lionfish or just a rock/coral.
  7. Whales make the loudest sounds underwater with 188 dBs, the whistle can travel up to 500 miles.
  8. Seahorses are the only animal where the male gives birth.
  9. *Sponges are older than dinosaurs.
  10. Ribbon eels start their life as male black eels, change to male blue when adult and at a last stage they become yellow females.
  11. Some types of nudibranch (sea slugs) are solar-powered and use sunlight to produce energy.
  12. Octopods (plural of octopus) have three hearts.
  13. Frogfish do not have teeth and therefore have to swallow their prey whole.
  14. The thresher shark uses its scythe-like tail to hunt by slapping small fish like sardines and stunning them.
  15. The peacock mantis shrimp can vaporize water.
  16. Pygmy seahorses stay on the same sea fan their whole life and might only move around in a plate sizes area.
  17. Parrotfish produce their own sleeping bag made out of mucus at night to be safe from predators.
  18. Boxfish are made out of bone box with holes only for eyes mouth and fins.
  19. Some types of parasitic isopods (tongue-eating louse) can enter fish through the gills and attach themselves to the tongue. The parasite causes the tongue of the fish to fall off and then serves as tongue-replacement.

Story
The Other Doors

Our four-year-old son has some fairly serious health problems, so we are “frequent fliers” at the local children’s hospital. Two weeks ago, our son was there for several days having surgery.

As stressful as that was for us, my visits to that hospital almost always leave me feeling grateful. Why? Because of “the other doors.”

As I walk the corridors of that hospital, I pass doors leading to many different departments.

I pass the department where surgeons reconstruct children’s faces.

I pass the department where specialists treat children who have been tragically burned.

I pass the department where children with cancer spend their childhoods battling a disease that terrifies most adults.

Every day, people walk through those doors. I keep walking.

Occasionally, I walk through a ward, past the room of a dying child. I look in at the child, unconscious amid a mass of tubes and machines. I see the family, staring blankly into space, grieving for what is to come. I keep walking.

On the fourth floor, I pass the “catacombs” where parents with children in ICU watch their days and nights stretch into weeks and months, hoping against hope for good news. I keep walking.

It’s late one evening, and I walk to the waiting room. Only one family remains, and their doctor arrives from surgery. He begins to tell them about the patient’s injuries…a shotgun blast, self-inflicted…massive facial damage… a dozen more operations to come…a lifetime of disfigurement… a lifetime of asking “why?” I sit, half-listening, considering the doors, this family will face in the years ahead.

I stood up. I walk back to the pre-school ward, to the one door I seek. Behind this door, our son is slowly recovering from surgery. And in a strange way, I am grateful for the “situation” that we live with.

Because there are a hundred other doors in this place that are far worse. And we could just as easily be in one of those rooms.

As you pray for strength to open the doors you face, be sure to thank Allah Ta’ala for the doors he has spared you.


Riddles

Riddle #1:

Leave me and you will never find the treasure, Use me and you will attain Allah’s pleasure. What am I?

Riddle #2:

If you have got me, you have got power; BUT the devil will try to increase the ‘pride’ within you using ‘me’ every second, minute, hour… I will take you to heaven if you act upon me well… BUT if you misuse me, I’m also dangerous enough to take you to hell. What am I?

Riddle #3:

When you use me wrongly, you can’t undo your mistake. So, please control me, for Allah’s sake. So, use me well, or at least try. Now, tell me, who am I?

Riddle #4:

I am a security against the fire of hell for those who act upon me with sincerity and abstain from anything which nullifies me. Who am I?

Riddle #5:

What is Haraam, but, when swallowed, loved by Allah?

Riddle #6:

This is a tricky one. Who was the messenger who was neither of the human nor of the jinn and who warned his people and is mentioned in the Quran?

Riddle #7:

I am a piece of flesh. If I am pure, I can make you full of goodness. If I am impure, bad deeds will flow out of you, and I will make you distressed. What am I?

Riddle #8:

I never knew what a father is or what a mother, as I never had any of them. Who am I?

Riddle #9:

I never had a mother; yet, I am the mother of everyone. Who am I?

Riddle #10:

I was miraculously born from a mother, without a father. Who am I?

Answers: (Pls provide the same in upside down fashion at the bottom of the same page)

  1. Qur’an
  2. Knowledge
  3. Tongue
  4. Fasting
  5. Pride
  6. Ant (Surah Naml)
  7. The Heart
  8. Adam (asws)
  9. Hawa
  10. Isa (asws)

Arabic Proverbs 

  1. “Unity is power.”
  2. “The best answer will come from the person who is not angry.”
  3. “The smarter you are, the less you speak.”
  4. “Actions speak louder than words.”
  5. “An envious person is the unhappiest.”

Sources:

Arabic proverbs: https://blog.udemy.com/arabic-proverbs/
Riddles: https://www.islamcan.com/islamic-riddles.shtml
Story: https://www.islamcan.com/islamic-stories/the-other-doors.shtml
Facts: https://morefundiving.com/20-incredible-marine-life-facts/