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Jesus Christ, peace and blessings of God be upon him, taught his disciples to recite the Lord’s Prayer every day with heart and presence of mind, as opposed to simply repeating its words with redundancy.

The Lord’s Prayer and the opening chapter of the Qur’an, al-Fatiha, share a multitude of similarities.

Like Christians, who are taught to recite this prayer every day, so too must Muslims recite al-Fatiha a minimum of 17 times each day during the 5 daily prayers, in which they prostrate with presence of heart and hallow the name of our Father, God the Exalted.

Take a look at the two photos below.  Do you see any similarities between James Tissot’s depcition of Jesus and his disciples with “The Lord’s Prayer” and the photo of prominent Muslim Scholars?  Dress, beards and head coverings are similar, as well as the hands raised while supplicating.

This is what the Christian Abyssinian King Negus must have meant when he responded to the Muslim immigrants, “We are two lights from the same Lamp.”

Our Father who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us,

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,

For ever and ever.


Matthew [ 9 – 13 ]

In The Name of God, the Entirely Merciful, The Especially Merciful

All praise and gratitude belongs to God,

Lord of all the Worlds,

The Entirely Merciful,

The Especially Merciful,

Master of the Day of Judgment.

You alone do we worship,

And You alone do we ask for help.

Guide us to the Straight Path:

The Path of those whom Your blessings are upon,

Not of those who have evoked Your anger,

Or of those who go astray.


Qur’an [ 1 ]

“Two lights from the same Lamp.”

25 Going On 16

At a glance, eyes meet, and

Within a few heart beats,

A plethora of emotion flood my veins,

Composing a mash-up of mixed feelings

That only snips of song can reveal glimpses:

“And sometimes you close your eyes

And see the place where you used to live

When you were young…”

The breeze changes direction

Because it left something behind turning

Back, brushing over my cheek,

Whistling a duet with the

Chirping crickets, enchanting me that

Another summer has come to an end.

The morning frigidness knocks at my bones,

Answered coyly by the sun’s rays,

Meandering into the melancholy of mid-morning

That blossoms into full blown afternoon heat

Wave.  It’s time to go.

And just as quickly as it bloomed, the day is over.

Heading home on a crowded bus full of

High School Chums, a few last laughs are packed up

For the evening shift, just before reaching my bus stop,

My stop,


The mp3 player skips ahead to the next song, stirring me from my reminiscence.

Every track reminds me of you:

“I’ve tried playin’ it cool,

But when I’m lookin’ at you

I can’t ever be brave,

‘Cause you make my heart race

Shot me out of the sky,

You’re my Kryptonite,

You keep making me weak,

Yeah, frozen and can’t breathe,

So, get out, get out, get out of my mind

And come on, come into my life…”

The night looms over me driving home from work after another evening shift.

High school feels like just yesterday.

In many ways, I’ve never left.

Physically grown, and matured, but my heart

Still daydreams, wanders,

Believes in fairytales, happily-ever-afters,

And places without






“Maybe I’m in the black, maybe I’m on my knees,

Maybe I’m in the gap between the two trapezes,

But my heart is beating and my pulses start

Cathedrals in my heart.

As we soar walls,

Every siren is a symphony

And every tear’s a waterfall,

Every teardrop is a waterfall…”

And when our eyes meet,

I momentarily forget the pain;

It’s as if I’m 16 all over again –

Juvenile hope and sincerity

Sprout from stolen glances, and

Enigmatic timidity.

I often ponder whether or not

It has been worthwhile to have completely

Abstained from all things romantic,

All for the sake of Modesty in Faith.

My hand has never known the grasp of another,

My heart a stranger to the revelry of companionship,

Lips never felt the tenderness of a kiss,

Soul never donned the cloak of commitment

And security of confidence in a

Significant other.

In comparison, these are not problems at all –

Not worth mentioning,


What else am I to imagine

When my own community makes

A Mirage out of

The pursuit of marriage?

Differences in race, culture, language, nationality,

Age, career, education, sub-philosophy –

Ephemeral, superficial, artificial, officially

Ignorant, and in complete opposition to Divine Law

That came down to make the Good easy

And the evils clear.

Instead, we trade Truth for falsehoods and prefer

Giving into our whims,

Lending Satan our ears, and

Living in Sin.

“Hello, hello, is anybody there?

Hello, hello, you hear me talk to you,

Hello, hello, does anybody care?

Hello, hello, just tell me if you do…”

And my Beloved Prophet Muhammad said, “I have been sent to beautify and perfect good character.”

Does good character merit any value to anyone anymore?

“He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus

But he talks like a gentleman,

Like you imagined

When you were young.

I said he doesn’t look a thing like Jesus,

He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus,

But more than you’ll ever know…”

Cool canary sky inhaled,

Raging orange fire out,

Crimson rain pouring from the heart

Through veins parched and impaled –

Like the emotions binding my chest,

Fall colours emerge in frenzy.

Rioting, they all seem to clash and protest.

But look again:

The colours are all

Subtle shades and hues of

The same thing –

Humanity –

That only those with true vision can


Beyond race, culture, nationality,

Beyond ego, pride, and diseased hearts,

There is only Love,


I lose myself by the view above:

Autumn night draws its veil,

A star-studded sky crowns me,

Jewels glimmering vibrantly

Crystal clear –

Contrary to the thoughts that

Cloud my heart and mind,

Raining, pouring, lighting and

Thunder inside…

“Take away the sensation inside

Bitter sweet migraine in my head

It’s like a throbbing tooth ache of the mind

I can’t take this feeling anymore.

Drain the pressure from the swelling,

This sensation’s overwhelming,

Give me a long kiss goodnight

And everything will be alright,

Tell me that I won’t feel the pain,

So give me Novacaine”

Hurt chains my heart from taking a step forward;

A slave to its past, indentured,

Shipwrecked, battered and bruised between

Complete confusion and the

Solace of your serene smile,

Anchored in the deep sea of your eyes,

Framed by dark tresses all carried by

A musing gait of folded arms at your back.

“When I see your face

There’s not a thing that I would change,

Cause you’re amazing

Just the way you are.

And when you smile,

The whole world stops and stares for a while,

Cause girl you’re amazing

Just the way you are…”

In all modesty, I’ll remain in your admiration.

I dedicate this mash-up to you.

You really don’t know that you’re Beautiful.

“Don’t need make-up, to cover up,

Being the way that you are is enough,

Everyone else in the room can see it,

Everyone else but you –

You don’t know you’re beautiful –

And that’s what makes you Beautiful.”

“And He gave you hearing, sight, intelligence, and affections that you may be grateful.” [16:78]

What Does Freedom Mean?

What does ‘freedom’ mean?

Does the eagle want to swim in the sea, restricted by the sky?

Does the fish want to dance on the wind; not enough river to explore?


Yet the sky is freedom for the bird but death for the fish.

The sea is wide for the fish but will engulf the bird.


We ask for freedom but freedom to do what?

We can only express our nature as it was created.


The prayer mat of the earth is freedom,

Freedom from slavery to other than the One,

Who offers a shoreless ocean of love to swim in

And a horizon that extends to the next life…


Yet we choose the prison

And call it ‘freedom’.




Lovers are veiled from the beauty of a full moon

Until they have their Beloved’s face and form to

Compare it to.

It comes to be that there is nothing more magical,

Nothing more majestic than the voice of

The Beloved calling their name.

And when they sleep they see him,

And by day they pray he will visit them by night

To bless them with his presence, with

Beautiful dreams of his radiant face and his regal countenance.

And so their lives become devoted to that which pleases him,

So that they may know his companionship in a later life

Because in this life they came too late to be enchanted by his physical light.

Cycles of the moon separate them, and yet they yearn for him.

The moon burns and blazes brightly like the Beloved’s legacy,

His path rightly-guided like the brilliance of the moon,

Like the brilliance of his blessed face—

A shining light gently guiding towards freedom;

Only upon true tawheed is there a chance.

The contingency of this tawheed is that of belief in Beloved

First stemming from a respectful reverence into

Full-blown, deeply-seeded love affair

With the shape of his generously granted smile is memorized and

Mesmerized is all there is.

He is all this world could ever dream to be,

And so he came to be – and was, and made way for us,

Made it clear that the path the tawheed is only through he, Beloved

Men who consumes waking thoughts in the dream world, too,

Like the moon, he testified to Truth, found and gifted an annihilation in complete submission, like the way he lived,

When “King” was a title within his reach,

Instead he reached for hearts, with his touch so real and deep,

He reached into centuries and destinies and is a Hearts to keep.

His legacy – his legacy burns in hearts,

Passionately blazes and lights the way

For those desiring the path.

He shines brighter than the moon,

The moon which rises and falls

In memory of lighting his face

He had wheat-coloured skin because he was wholesome.

Solid and secure, he was fashioned to become

The elegance that blessed man with etiquette.

Broad and beautifully built – a body that shined like silver,

A toothy, pearly white smile that his noble face was rarely seen without,

Fully fleshed fingers and feet, eyes and hair black like night.

Jabir said, I once saw Rasul Allah on the night of a full moon.  At times I looked at Rasul Allah, and at times at the moon, and I came to find that Rasul Allah was more handsome, more beautiful, more radiant than the moon.

He split the moon in two and was more beautiful than two moons could every be.

And so, you see, Lovers are veiled from the beauty of a full, glorious moon

Until they have Muhammad’s face and form to compare it to.

May we be from his lovers, ameen.

(C) Mona Haydar


Family isn’t always blood.  They’re the people in your life who appreciate having you in theirs – the ones who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways, and who not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be.  These people – your real family – are the ones who truly matter.

Here are twenty tips to help you find and foster these special relationships.

  1. Free yourself from negative people. – Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.  Relationships should help you, not hurt you.  Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be.  Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.  Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  When you free yourself from negative people, you free yourself to be YOU – and being YOU is the only way to truly live.  Read Stumbling on Happiness

  2. Let go of those who are already gone. – The sad truth is that there are some people who will only be there for you as long as you have something they need.  When you no longer serve a purpose to them, they will leave.  The good news is, if you tough it out, you’ll eventually weed these people out of your life and be left with some great people you can count on.  We rarely lose friends and lovers, we just gradually figure out who our real ones are.  So when people walk away from you, let them go.   Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you.  It doesn’t mean they are bad people; it just means that their part in your story is over.
  3. Give people you don’t know a fair chance. – When you look at a person, any person, remember that everyone has a story.  Everyone has gone through something that has changed them, and forced them to grow.  Every passing face on the street represents a story every bit as compelling and complicated as yours.  We meet no ordinary people in our lives.  If you give them a chance, everyone has something amazing to offer.  So appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work.  Trust your judgment.  Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory.  Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.
  4. Show everyone kindness and respect. – Treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are.  There are no boundaries or classes that define a group of people that deserve to be respected.  Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give to your grandfather and the same level of patience you would have with your baby brother.  People will notice your kindness.
  5. Accept people just the way they are. – In most cases it’s impossible to change them anyway, and it’s rude to try.  So save yourself from needless stress.  Instead of trying to change others, give them your support and lead by example.
  6. Encourage others and cheer for them. – Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places.  So be happy for those who are making progress.  Cheer for their victories.  Be thankful for their blessings, openly.  What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.
  7. Be your imperfectly prefect self. – In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your awesome self.  And when they laugh at you for being different, laugh back at them for being the same.  Spend more time with those who make you smile and less time with those who you feel pressured to impress.  Be your imperfectly perfect self around them.  We are not perfect for everyone, we are only perfect for those select few people that really take the time to get to know us and love us for who we really are.  And to those select few, being our imperfectly perfect self is what they love about us.
  8. Forgive people and move forward. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the remedy.  It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened.  It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.  Remember, the less time you spend hating the people who hurt you, the more time you’ll have to love the people who love you.
  9. Do little things every day for others. – Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.  You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people.  Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty.
  10. Pay attention to who your real friends are. – As we grow up, we realize it becomes less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones.  Remember, life is kind of like a party.  You invite a lot of people, some leave early, some stay all night, some laugh with you, some laugh at you, and some show up really late.  But in the end, after the fun, there are a few who stay to help you clean up the mess.  And most of the time, they aren’t even the ones who made the mess.  These people are your real friends in life.  They are the ones who matter most.
  11. Always be loyal. – True love and real friendship aren’t about being inseparable. These relationships are about two people being true to each other even when they are separated.  When it comes to relationships, remaining faithful is never an option, but a priority.  Loyalty is everything.
  12. Stay in better touch with people who matter to you. – In human relationships distance is not measured in miles, but in affection.  Two people can be right next to each other, yet miles apart.  So don’t ignore someone you care about, because lack of concern hurts more than angry words.  Stay in touch with those who matter to you.  Not because it’s convenient, but because they’re worth the extra effort.  Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.  Paying attention to these people is a priority.
  13. Keep your promises and tell the truth. – If you say you’re going to do something, DO IT!  If you say you’re going to be somewhere, BE THERE!  If you say you feel something, MEAN IT!  If you can’t, won’t, and don’t, then DON’T LIE.  It’s always better to tell people the truth up front.  Don’t play games with people’s heads and hearts.  Don’t tell half-truths and expect people to trust you when the full truth comes out; half-truths are no better than lies.  Remember, love and friendship don’t hurt.  Lying, cheating and screwing with people’s feelings and emotions hurts.  Never mess with someone’s feelings just because you’re unsure of yours.  Always be open and honest.
  14. Give what you want to receive. – Don’t expect what you are not willing to give.  Start practicing the golden rule.  If you want love, give love.  If you want friends, be friendly.  If you want money, provide value.  It works.  It really is this simple.  Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. 
  15. Say what you mean and mean what you say. – Give the people in your life the information they need, rather than expecting them to know the unknowable.  Information is the grease that keeps the engine of communication functioning.  Start communicating clearly.  Don’t try to read other people’s minds, and don’t make other people try to read yours.  Most problems, big and small, within a family, friendship, or business relationship, start with bad communication.
  16. Allow others to make their own decisions. – Do not judge others by your own past.  They are living a different life than you are.  What might be good for one person may not be good for another.  What might be bad for one person might change another person’s life for the better.  Allow people to make their own mistakes and their own decisions.
  17. Talk a little less, and listen more. – Less advice is often the best advice.  People don’t need lots of advice, they need a listening ear and some positive reinforcement.  What they want to know is often already somewhere inside of them.  They just need time to think, be and breathe, and continue to explore the undirected journeys that will eventually help them find their direction.
  18. Leave petty arguments alone. – Someone else doesn’t have to be wrong for you to be right.  There are many roads to what’s right.  And most of the time it just doesn’t matter that much.  Read How To Win Friends and Influence People. 
  19. Ignore unconstructive, hurtful commentary. – No one has the right to judge you.  They might have heard your stories, but they didn’t feel what you were going through.  No matter what you do, there will always be someone who thinks differently.  So concentrate on doing what you know in your heart is right.  What most people think and say about you isn’t all that important.  What is important is how you feel about yourself.
  20. Pay attention to your relationship with yourself. – One of the most painful things in life is losing yourself in the process of loving others too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  When was the last time someone told you that they loved you just the way you are, and that what you think and how you feel matters?  When was the last time someone told you that you did a good job, or took you someplace, simply because they know you feel happy when you’re there?  When was the last time that ‘someone’ was YOU?