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Hong-Wu (also known by his given name Zhū Yuánzhāng) was the Emperor of China between 1368 – 1398 CE. He was the first Emperor of the Ming Dynasty, leading an Army that conquered the country and defeated away the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty.
Despite being a non-Muslim, Hong-Wu ordered the construction of several mosques in Nanjing, Yunnan, Guangdong and Fujian. He rebuilt the Jinjue Mosque in Nanjing and large numbers of Hui (Muslim Chinese) people moved to the city during his rule.
He had around 10 Muslim generals in his army, including Chang Yuchun, Lan Yu, Ding Dexing, Mu Ying, Feng Sheng and Hu Dahai. In addition, Hong-Wu’s spouse, Empress Ma, descended from a Muslim family while he was originally a member of a Muslim rebel group led by Guo Zhixin.
Emperor Hong-Wu wrote a 100 word eulogy praising Islam, Allah and the Prophet Muhammad which he had placed in the mosques which he ordered to be built.
The eulogy is in the form of a poem, each verse containing 4 words (characters) and 4 syllables. In the translation below I have strayed away from trying to keep the 4 word per verse translation in favour of a more literal translation which conveys the full meaning in flowing English.
The One-Hundred Word Eulogy:
Since the creation of the Universe,
God had decreed to appoint,
This great faith-preaching man,
From the West he was born,
He received the Holy Scripture,
A Book of thirty parts,
To guide all creation,
Master of all Rulers,
Leader of Holy Ones,
With Support from Above,
To Protect His Nation,
With five daily prayers,
Silently hoping for peace,
His heart towards Allah,
Empowering the poor,
Saving them from calamity,
Seeing through the darkness,
Pulling souls and spirits,
Away from all wrongdoings,
A Mercy to the Worlds,
Traversing the ancient majestic path,
Vanquishing away all evil,
His Religion Pure and True,
The Noble & Great one.
Courtesy: Br.Musa cerantonio.
New Book! I am working on -
Books on the Prophet’s of Allah, but written by your child.
Your child will read the brief story (or do their own research) and write it in their own words to complete their very own book!
I am still working on the books and insha’Allah will be available in 3-5 months
Umar (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) one night went in disguise with his companion Ibn Abbas (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) to check the condition of the people on the outskirts of Madinah. They strolled from one quarter to another. At last they came to a tribe where very poor people lived. While passing by a small hut, the Caliph overheard voices from inside. A mother was telling her daughter that the amount fetched by her that day on account of the sale of milk was very little. She told her that when she was young, and used to sell milk, she always mixed water with milk, and that led to considerable profit. She advised her daughter to do the same.
The girl said,
“You diluted milk, when you were not a Muslim. Now that we are Muslims, we cannot dilute milk.”
The mother said that Islaam did not stand in the way of her diluting the milk. The daughter said, “Have you forgotten the Caliph’s order? He wants that the milk should not be diluted.”
The mother said, “What else should we do but dilute milk in order to survive?”
The daughter said,”Such living would not be lawful, and as a Muslim I would not do anything which is against the orders of the Caliph, and whereby other Muslims are deceived.”
The mother said, “But there is neither the Caliph nor any of his officers here to see what we do. Daughter you are still a child. Go to bed now and tomorrow I will myself mix the milk with water for you.”
The girl refused to fall in with the plan of her mother. She said,
“The Caliph may or may not be here, but his order is order, and it must be obeyed. My conscience is my Caliph. You may escape the notice of the Caliph and his officers, but how can we escape the notice of Allah and our own conscience?”
Thereupon the mother remained quiet. The lamp was extinguished and the mother and the daughter went to sleep.
The next day, Umar (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) sent a man to purchase milk from the girl. The milk was undiluted. The girl had kept her resolve. Umar (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) turned to Ibn Abbas (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) and said, “The girl has kept her resolve in spite of the demands of her mother. She deserves a reward. What reward should I give her?” “She should be paid some money” said Ibn Abbas (radhiAllahu ‘anhu).
“Such a girl would become a great mother. Her integrity is not to be weighed with a few coins; it is to be measured in the scale of national values. I shall offer her the highest award in my gift, and which shall also be in the highest interest of the nation.”
The Caliph summoned the daughter and the mother to his court. The mother trembled as she stood before the mighty ruler. But the girl faced Umar (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) with a calm repose, and there was an impressive dignity about her.
Then before the gathering, Umar (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) related how he had overheard the mother and the daughter, and how in spite of the pleads of the mother the daughter had kept he resolve.
Someone suggested that the mother should be taken to task. The Caliph said that ordinarily he would have punished the mother, but he had forgiven her for the sake of her daughter. Turning to the girl Umar (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) said,
“Islaam needs daughters like you, and as a Caliph of Islaam I wish to reward you by taking you as a daughter”.
The Caliph called his sons, and addressing them said:
“Here is a gem of a girl who would make a great mother. I desire that one of you should take this girl as wife. I know of no better bride than this girl of sterling character. In matters of wedlock, it should be the character, and not the stature in life that should count.”
Abdullah and Abdur Rahman (radhiAllahu ‘anhumaa) the elder sons of Umar (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) were already married. Asim (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) the third son was unmarried, so he offered to marry the girl.
Thereupon with the consent of the milkmaid and her mother Asim (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) was married to the girl, and the milkmaid became the daughter-in-law of the Caliph.
From this marriage was born a daughter, who became in due course the mother of Umar bin Abdul Aziz – who later became a Caliph. Umar bin Abdul Aziz upheld standards of austerity and simplicity following in the footsteps of Umar the second Caliph of Islam. It is said that if ever there was a noble Caliph after the ‘Rightly Guided Caliphs’, such a man was Umar bin Abdul Aziz. He inherited the noble qualities of the milkmaid who married the Caliph’s son, and those of Umar Farooq (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) who had the eye to discern the noble and honest qualities in the girl.
There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.
The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper!
The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say “I’m sorry”, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.
Communication is indispensable in any relationship, and good listening skills is an indispensable part of communicating. The good news is that you do not have to be a “born listener.” You can develop these skills no matter how old you are. Active listening is a particularly important skill that will help parents and children feel connected. Parents who actively listen will be fully present (i.e. giving undivided attention to the speaker) and will not be dispensing advice as soon as the child takes a pause.
Benefits of Good Listening Skills
Good listening skills are basically the ability to listen carefully. This allows you to:
- better understand your child
- show your support, care and concern about your child’s condition
- help resolve your child’s problems
- answer your child’s questions and
- uncover the causes and meanings of what your child is saying
Some Things to Avoid
When it comes to demonstrating good communication skills, knowing what not to do is as important as what to do. Here is a list of behaviours that are on the must not do list in many cognitive psychologists’ books.
- Do not have a hidden agenda or internal dialog that will burst forth during a pause or break in your child’s communication (then you are not really listening)
- Do not make judgmental statements (e.g. summation statements such as “You are a bad kid”).
- Do not become defensive and personalize what your child is saying (consider instead what they might be feeling to say such a thing; don’t be afraid to ask them either)
- Do not use all or nothing statements (e.g. “You always do this”)
- Do not focus on the negatives (try to recognize your child’s strengths and verbalize this too)
- Do not resort to blaming or shaming (these only serve to wound and will distance your child from you)
Good Listening Tips
Here are some tips to exercise good listening skills and demonstrate that you are paying attention:
- Face your child, maintain an eye contact, and lean toward the child
- Avoid folding your arms, because this gives the impression that you are already closed off (studies show that you will actually be more close minded too)
- Turn off the TV or radio, put down the book you’re reading; listen to what your child or has to say; do not listen “between the lines”; give your full attention
- Be patient when listening (do not rush your child) because listening is all about understanding;
- Take interest in what your child has to say; active listening creates a caring environment and encourages your child to speak freely (this will be coupled to the belief that you will try to understand your child’s situation)
- Never criticize your child for his or her feelings or emotions. Such criticism will remove the child’s motivation to speak openly to you
- Do not say anything until your child has finished the story, you might miss something; equally allow a short pause before carefully responding
- You should also be attentive to what your child does not say. Be mindful of his or her facial expression so that you can ascertain what your child is trying to convey;
- Reassure your child (if there is any need), be a trustworthy parent and maintain the confidentiality between you and your child as the case may be
- Above all, let your children know that they are unconditionally loved even if you do not approve of or agree with their actions. In these circumstances, they will learn to view your remarks as constructive feedback rather than criticisms that tear them down.
Demonstrating good listening will help maintain harmonious family relationships. It nurtures trust and confidence between you and your child, which is essential to the growth and development of your child and cordial family relationships.
Article source: www.wahm.com
Create a time and place for writing. Children will want to write if you make it a fun activity to do together. “Let’s write a story!”
Accept your child’s ideas. Your child may create a character/story you don’t like. Be open, and your child will want to keep writing.
Allow your child to dictate to you. Be a scribe, not an editor. Use your child’s words.
Allow mistakes if your child is writing. The goal is to increase creative fluency and make writing fun. Save the grammar and spelling lessons for later.
Ask questions if your child gets stuck. What is the story or poem about? If it’s a story, who is your main character and what does your main character want?
Talk it through one sentence at a time. If your child has trouble organizing or keeping track of thoughts, ask him/her to tell the story aloud one sentence at a time. Write down one sentence at a time. Model enthusiasm by writing your own creative stories and poems.
Encourage all kinds of writing. Stories, poems, jokes, riddles, comic books, cartoons, plays, songs.
Encourage your child to use his/her own voice. Rather than trying to “be poetic,” it’s important for a child to learn to capture his/her own voice.
Create venues for sharing writing. Have a “literary reading” when Grandma comes over, send poems and stories as gifts, help your child submit work to local venues.
Encourage your child to keep a diary. Don’t put pressure to write everyday.
Try a “collaborative” diary or writing journal with your child or your entire family. Leave a notebook out, each taking turns adding to it.
Try a “dialogue journal” just between you and your child. Get a special book, write in it from time to time, invite your child to write in it, and pass it back and forth with your child.
Give the gift of the written word. Model meaningful writing. Write real, meaningful messages in your own voice to your child for special events. No hallmark cards. Say what is really in your heart. This will make a big impression.
Once a month, have EVERYBODY WRITES night: gather around a table, light a candle, and write a poem or a story or even just a thought.
For encouraging story writing, use my WOW story technique to get started.
What is a WOW story?
WOW is an acronym that I created to help kids remember a simple story structure.
- The story has a main character who Wants something. This is the beginning of the story.
- There is an Obstacle that gets in the way of the main character. This is the middle of the story.
- The main character either Wins or loses. This is the end of the story.
How to make up WOW stories
- Choose a main character. This can be a person, an animal, or even an object: for example, a boy, a grandmother, a soccer star, a sock, or a paintbrush!
- Decide what the main character wants. What might a paintbrush want? Some paint to play with? To belong to a famous artist? Try unexpected ideas. A grandmother might want to ride a motorcycle!
- Decide what will get in the way of the main character’s desire. Brainstorm lots of obstacles and decide which one is the most fun or engaging. Obstacles can be simple. A rabbit wants to eat grass on a hillside, but a tiger lives on that hillside. The tiger is the obstacle. A boy wants a new bike, but his father says no. His father is the obstacle. Obstacles can also be emotions. What if a girl wants to ice skate, but she is afraid that she’ll fall down? Fear is her obstacle.
- Decide how/if the main character will “win or lose.” Does your main character get what he or she wants in the end? How?
Write or perform WOW stories
Write or dictate your story: Write your stories on paper. Or make a book by folding pages and stapling them together. If your child hasn’t learned how to write yet, ask him or her to tell you the story and write it down word for word.
Act your story out: For reluctant writers, try acting out the story first. After you have brainstormed the basics for a specific WOW story using the steps above, act out the story. Choose a narrator who will tell the story and provide cues for the actors. This can be the job of the parent or a child. The narrator should be very clear and say “The End” so that everyone knows when the story is over. After acting out stories, the child may be more interested in writing them down.