Friday, October 23, 2009

New Children's Books Publications

As a parent, I am often in search of new and exciting books for children. My son started out as an avid reader, absorbing just about any book that I put in front of him, but as he grew older, his taste became more selective. As a resut, I have found myself searching through endless shelves of library books, browing countless online bookstores and perusing multiple suggested reading lists for anything that I can find that might pique his interest. Unfortunately, I have often come up empty handed, and it is especially more difficult to find Islamic reading materials for children that does not have to be shipped from overseas.

I am therefore pleased to share that Creative Education and Publishing has published several childrens books on various topics and reading levels. Some of the titles are: Community Service, Sarah and the Doll, How Do We Thank Allah and Kindness To Animals.

My own first attempt at children's book writing entitled Sameerah's Hijab and The First Day of School has also been published by Creative Education and Publishing and is available for purchase with the above mentioned titles on the Mindworks Publishing website.

Sister Fatimah Ibrahim has also written a book which will be part of a series of books similar to the Nancy Drew mysteries but with a science element included. The first installment, YaYa and The Mystery Squad includes science experiments that children can enjoy for themselves and will soon be available for purchase here.

Some books that have brought my son hours of enjoyable reading which I hope may do the same for your children are:

The Majic Treehouse Series

Nate the Great


and The Majic School Bus

Happy Reading and I hope you find these books beneficial!

The Mindworks Family

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Remembering Malcolm X

Surah 29:23 Those who reject the signs of Allah and the meeting with Him in the Hereafter,- it is they who shall despair of My Mercy: it is they who will suffer a most grievous Penalty.

The one thing that we all have in common on this earth is our own mortality. Some of us are aware of it and some of us try not to think about it. As a Muslim, Islam instructs us to be mindful of our mortality and that such mindfulness is a virtue that helps us to remain humble and to do good. The Holy Qur’an says in Surah 2 Ayat 28, “How can ye reject the faith in Allah?- seeing that ye were without life, and He gave you life; then will He cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye return.”

I have found in my own efforts to be mindful of my mortality that there are many things to be grateful for and to celebrate as I fulfill my journey. I’ve come to understand these opportunities for gratitude as signs from Allah, subhanu’wa ta’aala. The signs in nature, in expressions of love and compassion, in the triumph of justice and dignity.

One such sign that I am thankful for is the life of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz also known as Malcolm X. I first read The Autobiography of Malcolm X in high school and was extremely moved by the story of his life. I did not fully understand all of the political and religious under-currents at the time, but I could sense the importance and significance of his existence.

It wasn’t until I had accepted Orthodox Sunni Islam after college that I began to comprehend the reach of his legacy and his role in understanding the state of Africans and the African Diaspora in the modern world today.

Reading Growing Up X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Betty Shabazz: A Remarkable Story of Survival and Faith Before and After Malcolm X by Russell Rickford provided additional insight into El Hajj Malik El Shabazz the man and revealed details about his family and family life that have made him more real and less a cultural icon, an invaluable realization because his lifestyle and transformation can thus become an ideal that can be modeled and built upon rather than held at a distance and admired from afar.

Thankfully there are several grassroots organizations and groups continuing his legacy and in the struggle for human rights. In addition, many scholars have written books that keep his vision alive in modern conversations for implementing change. Books by the likes of Michael Eric Dyson, Jan Carew, William Strickland and George Breitman are a few that I know of and that I have personally read and benefited from. Below are a few links for more information about the life and legacy of our beloved brother El Hajj Malik El Shabazz.

The Official Site of Malcolm X
The Malcolm X Project
Malcolm X Research Site

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Black History Month:Yes We Can!

“Yes we can!”

It just resonates and so easy on the ears. I haven’t gotten tired of repeating it in all these many months since the beginning of Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign. And now it becomes almost prophetic and spiritual when I hear it spoken. Not only could he, but he did! Barack Obama is now officially the 44th President of the United States of America!

And if his inaugural speech is a gauge, it’s been worth the wait. Not only are we “a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers” but also, “As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” I don’t know about you, but I am encouraged! May it only get better!

In the wake of the exhilaration the 44th Presidential Inauguration and its Balls came the National Prayer Service. I enjoyed watching immensely despite the fact that Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s Hardball and the infamous Pat Buchanan went the way of Fox News and used the prospect of a Muslim woman participating in the service as an opportunity to cast a shadow upon Muslims and President Obama.

The most impressive speaker for me was the Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins of the Christian Church in the United States and Canada. From her inclusion of the Cherokee wisdom about the two struggling wolves inside each of us to how she seamlessly worked mentioning the consensus of Muslim scholars in the dominant/shared peace loving values in Islam when she said, “Well, according to Isaiah, summed up by Jesus, affirmed by a worldwide community of Muslim scholars and many others, it is by facing hard times with a generous spirit: by reaching out toward each other rather than turning our backs on each other.” There were so many inspirational moments to her sermon that I’ve included a link; you can click here to read it in its entirety.

It goes without saying that Black History Month is very special for African Americans this year, almost as though all of the collective struggles of the past are beginning to bear fruit in the present. Black History Month has come to be a re-affirming of the full humanity that has at times been denied to me, and this year has a special place in my heart because of the sign that perhaps all that my people have gone through has not been in vain; that the legacy of our country need not be so tainted.

We are our brother’s and sister’s keepers. We do and should matter to one another and must do all that we can to guide, help and care for one another. To borrow once again from the Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, “You yourself, Mr. President, have already added to this call, "If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child... . It's that fundamental belief - I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper - that makes this country work."”

Happy Black History Month all with many, many blessings!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Access Union Business Opportunity

In today’s current financial atmosphere it’s easy to see that times are hard. The US labor market is still losing jobs which only adds to the nervousness everyone feels thanks to the problems facing the banking industry and big businesses. The anxiety is so palpable that I think everyone who can wants to do his or her part to help get us out of this hole and back on track.

With that in mind, I’d like to share with you information I’ve acquired about a new business/work opportunity with The Access Union.

The Access Union is an international union of Independent Contractors whose principles are grounded on the economic right to independence in the work force. They organize, educate, and empower individuals in order to assist in their securing themselves financially.

You can spend $10 USD once to become a Standard Access Agent and gain access to multiple income streams where you can earn a minimum annual salary of $34,000 USD.

They have two groups available for interested individuals to sign up and receive email updates and notifications about new products and services; one at Yahoo Groups and another at Workspace. They also have a blog for you to follow for business tips and industry insights available at The Access Union Blog.

You can listen to a recording about the program anytime at:
Pin Number: 100401 followed by the pound sign then message code 4000
also followed by a pound sign

Or hear their live weekly conference every Tuesday night 9pm Eastern/8pm Central Standard Time, it's absolutely free and incredibly informative! The phone number is:
(605)475-6900, Pin Number: 100401 followed by the pound sign

To find out more and/or to register visit the website at:

Monday, January 5, 2009

Barack Obama – A New Hope

I almost didn’t want to write this post before the actual inauguration ceremony out of fear that somehow I might jinx the process or not get to see Barack Obama becoming the next president of the United States actualized – that’s how almost unbelievable it is that we now have an African American President Elect in the United States of America.

I almost expected to wake up from a beautiful dream, so I rationalized how important it is to be extra careful in my musings and excitement so as not to jolt myself back into reality. So sad, but so true.

But in following my heart I began to re-think my reasoning and said to myself, Hey, where’s your hope, lady? I too must have the audacity to hope and to believe that the best is yet to come, don’t I? And so here it is: my celebratory post congratulating Barack Obama on his success and thanking God for the potential mercy extended in his victory.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that this was the first presidential campaign that I really paid attention to, but on the other hand so glad that this was the election that my political consciousness has awakened to. I’ve been able to witness a political figure that can inspire people and make them smile; that can use words like hope and change in ways that resonate with truth and sincerity. It’s hard to see him in action and not believe that he can make a positive difference in how things work in America and then by extension in the world, no matter how naïve this may sound.

And in spite of the obstacles and major challenges that our new president will face (the economy is still struggling to survive, Israel has recently begun it’s horrible offensive, India and Pakistan are at odds, etc., etc., etc.) the great potential for peace-making instead of warmongering, for generosity of spirit instead of avarice, for honest and open-minded diplomacy and debate instead of tyranny and pseudo fascism should not be underestimated. And as goes the new anthem of my generation, Yes We Can!

My son is 11 years old now, soon to be 12 and I am so glad that he will come of age in a world where one of the most powerful countries on the planet has elected an African American as President. It is encouraging in ways that are difficult to articulate because of the emotions involved but I will try and explain.

For example, as he begins to learn about slavery and the Civil Rights movement in school with a better understanding of what actually occurred, now that he is older, he need not feel trapped or boxed into a legacy of discrimination and brutality. He can discover his own potential, dreams and purpose as he enters adolescence with a living example demonstrating that the sky’s the limit. He can create meaningful friendships and relationships with his peers without as much of the nagging suspicion that he may not be fully accepted for all that he is as an African American man in the country and I am so filled with joy and gladness about this I can hardly contain myself. When I see Barack Obama on the television a find myself smiling and giddy! I only pray that he can live up to the very high expectations that so many of us have concerning him and that God’s grace abounds in these days ahead.

Obama is our New Hope, much like Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars legacy. May he have the strength and wisdom to conquer the dark side and to assist in making this world a better place to live.

May you have a very blessed 2009!

The Mindworks Family

Life Reminders

Psalm 145:8-9 The Lord is Gracious and Merciful
The Lord is Gracious and Merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and His Compassion is over all that He has made.

Matthew 11:28 Gentleness and Humility
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Surah 33:21 Beautiful Pattern of Conduct
Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern of conduct for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.

Sahih Muslim, Book Unknown: Changing an Evil Action
“Whosoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest of faith.”

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