New Halaqah: Conversations in Paradise, Conversations in Hell

June 3, 2008 at 3:48 pm (All, Islam Education) (, , , )

Bismillah.Coversations in Paradise, Conversations in Hell

Alhamdulillah, my experience with the Perished Nations halaqah was totally brilliant. Alhamdulillah, so much benefit came out of it, that in sha Allah, i’m planning to do another Halaqah series. This time, however, it’s only going to be two parts.

 I’m in the process of preparing this Halaqah, so I would love to read your ideas and comments about what you would like to see in this Halaqah.

Here is why I chose this topic: In reading the Quran, the verses where Allah describes conversation amongst people of paradise/hellfire always intrigued me.  I believe that you need to learn success directly from those who were successful, so how cool is it to hear the success principles from people who entered Jannah.

And while others are decieved, how cool is it to hear the truth from those who entered hellfire, what truly led them to where they are now.

Here’s what I would like from you:

1. Quran Challenge: Quote all the verses in the Quran that are conversations in Paradise or Hell. Example:

14:22 And Satan will say when the matter is decided: “It was Allah Who gave you a promise of Truth: I too promised, but I failed in my promise to you. I had no authority over you except to call you but ye listened to me: then reproach not me, but reproach your own souls. I cannot listen to your cries, nor can ye listen to mine. I reject your former act in associating me with Allah. For wrong-doers there must be a grievous penalty.”

2. Let me know what your expectations are for this Halaqah

3. Any brilliant ideas on how to make this Halaqah that absolutely most fantastic Halaqah on the net! 🙂

Bismillah .. hit reply…


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Perished Nations 4: Qawmi Fir’own (Prophet Musa – alayhis salam)

March 13, 2008 at 11:58 pm (All, Islam Education)


Here is the fourth and final installment.

The story of Musa and Fir’own is FULLLLLLL of lessons, subhan Allah. I’d love to see your “what i learned was…” comments.

Here are the videos:




Notes? I’m in the UK at the moment. In sha Allah, when i return home i’ll post it up. Come back now y’hear!

What have you learned? What amazing reflections do you have?

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Marathons: Training, Running, Finishing

March 11, 2008 at 7:07 pm (DiscoverULife, Lifecoaching) ()

By Heba Alshareef 

Four days, thirty hours, and fifty thousand words.  That was the challenge that I signed up for this past weekend.  Held in my local library, the novel marathon is a chance for writers to take their one page outlines and produce a publishable work in a limited amount of time.

Putting the R in SMART

If you are a DiscoverULife member, you already know the value of the SMART way of goal setting.  If you are not, well, what are you waiting for?

SMART is an acronym used when setting goals.

The S stands for Specific, so instead of:  I want to get fit, say I’m going to work out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 7 am. 
The M stands for measurable, meaning that the goal must have a solid criteria for measuring when you’ve attained it.  Ex.  I will know that I am fit when I can run up 5 flights of stairs without feeling winded, or taking a break in between. 
The A stands for attainable, meaning that unless I have the means to get to that gym at 7 am on the specified days, I will not achieve my goal. 
And the T stands for Time-bound, meaning that you need to set a day for the goal to be realized.  So, you tell yourself, I will test that 5 flights of stairs five weeks from now. 

What about the R? 

Well, that stands for realistic, but DiscoverULife coaches strongly dislike that one.  We much prefer, slightly unrealistic.  When a goal is realistic, it’s really not too much fun, it doesn’t challenge us enough.  When it is slightly unrealistic, it provides enough excitement to egg us on.  And when we actually accomplish that slightly unrealistic goal, it gives us a boost in confidence that will have us soaring to our destination all the more quicker. 

Consequently, when all the achievers in the world get things done in a certain amount of time, DiscoverU members get things done in 1/6 of the time.  Instead of memorizing 6 juzu in 6 years, they have the capacity to do it in 1 year.  Instead of making 10k in 6 months, they have the goal setting capabilities to do it in 1 month.  The list goes on and on.

What slightly unrealistic goal can you come up with right now?
Consider Abdullah. 
He didn’t share it with anyone, but he’d long dreamt of running a 10K marathon.  One day, during one of his DiscoverU slightly unrealistic moments, he said to himself, ‘it is time’. 

He found out that a local charity was sponsoring one, but it was only 6 weeks away.  Now, most marathon training schedules recommend at least 10 weeks of training, and Abdullah, although not a complete slob, was getting too comfortable in his walking shoes.  He took a second, thought it was too late, rationalized to himself that he could register in advance for next year’s marathon.  But then it hit him,

he’d been telling himself the same thing for the past 6 years and he had done nothing about it. 

It wasn’t too late to actually register, so he seized the opportunity and made his slightly unrealistic decision. 

He bought a new pair of running shoes, and for the next six weeks, he trained fast and furious.  He finished that marathon, and he’s done so much more since then.  His goals are always challenging, and his results are way more satisfying!

Exciting, isn’t it?

And so there I was, proving the theory to myself.   Holed up in the silent study room on the library’s first floor, surviving on coffee and more coffee, I completed that 50, 000 words.  I cried when Zeynep (my lead female character) said goodbye to her brother Tarek who was about to run from his Kurdish homeland over the mountains into Turkey.  I laughed when Ahmed, her little son, spills the milk over his baby brother’s head.  And best of all, 4 days later, my publishable piece is at a place I wouldn’t have dreamed possible.  Well, maybe in my slightly unrealistic dreams.

Request a complimentary lifecoaching session with Heba:

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Perished Nations, Episode 3: Qawmi Lut, the People of Sadoom

March 7, 2008 at 9:20 pm (All, Islam Education)

Ok, it’s finally here. Enjoy…

part 1 of 3 


part 2 of 3 


part 3 of 3


And here are my notes for the complete benefit (Jazakum Allahu khayr for asking) …

Sadoom Perished Nations 3, Lut’s People abc compilation

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We are still awaiting the upload … Here’s what I’m going to do

March 7, 2008 at 4:02 pm (1)


Ok, so I wasn’t going to diss the brothers for delaying the upload, but now the time has passed.  It is not people that fail, it is systems that fail.

My system for uploading the videos has failed. And so I take it personally. Deadline was passed TWICE.

 In sha Allah, I’m going to document the system strategy so that everyone can take this as a learning moment.

Here’s what I plan to do:

1. Detail the step by step of how a video is recorded and uploaded with the brother who is currently doing it.

2. Study that step by step and creatively replace everyone who is the process … with SISTERS.

3. Apply the new system this coming Tuesday and see how it goes. If great, great. If not, we refresh our system.

The key is to have SUPER high standards, and have the rapport with people that even though they are volunteering — you’ll still fire them! 🙂

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Perished Nations part 3 uploaded tonight, in sha Allah.

March 6, 2008 at 10:59 pm (Islam Education)

I know some of you are logging in to see the new episode.

The brothers are uploading it tonight, in sha Allah.

 Stay tuned. I’m truly sorry for the delay, I take it personally, and i’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again. In sha Allah.

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Need to copy/paste Arabic Quran

March 4, 2008 at 10:15 pm (All, Islam Education)


 Alhamdulillah, I’m thinking there are others out there who have found themselves in need of copy/pasting the Arabic of the Quranic verses.

I found a solution, alhamdulillah:

enjoy. And make dua for me.

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Perished Nations, episode 2 ~ Thamood

February 28, 2008 at 5:15 pm (All, Islam Education)


Jazakum Allahu khayr for everyone who has shown their interest and support for this 4 part series. We are half done. 

 Here are the videos:

Here are my notes:

Perished Nations 2: Thamood, teachers notes raw

Ma sha Allah, we had like 3000 students visit the site last week. There was a lot of noise for the notes, so in sha Allah, i’ll keep giving my notes whenever available.

This week, let up the quality of the comments by answering this question:

“What have you learned so far in this lecture series?” Post your comments …

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Harmful Labels and Chocolate Chip Cookies

February 27, 2008 at 4:00 pm (All, DiscoverULife, Lifecoaching)

Harmful Labels and Chocolate Chip Cookies
By Heba Alshareef

“Dummy!”  It’s the favorite new word of my two year old.  She says it all the time, with no regard to decorum or awareness of place.  It’s “dummy” to her brother who says he is too busy to play with her, “dummy” to the senior gentleman who smiles at her in the grocery check-out line, “dummy” to the stroller harness that prevents her from running around like a mad child, “dummy” to me when I refuse to give her yet another cookie.

It’s not a nice word, I know, and please don’t ask me where she learned it.

Not nice words have the remarkable ability to become labels, and labels can become harmful.  How many times have you heard these ones?“She’s the clown.”  “He’s the trouble-maker.”  “I’m lazy.”   “You’re heartless!”   

Try to think of people that you know or care about and inevitably, the labels you’ve placed in relation to them will come up as well.  Who is the “good?” The “bad?” The “ugly?”   

Who are you?  What are you?
Labels can be extremely harmful in that they confine people to boxes that must contain any other tendencies not in accordance to the markers that describe their natures.  So, for example, can the girl who is seen by everyone to be the ‘class clown’ ever cry and take a dramatic turn?  She will struggle to push down any feelings of disappointment because ‘it isn’t who she is.’  Just imagine how stifling the box she is in can become.

The label that got you here won’t get you to where you want to goWhat progress will we ever make if we keep calling ourselves “lazy”?  We’ll get to know our couches very well, but is that the life you really want for yourself or for anyone else you care about whom you’ve affixed the same label to?

Allah SWT says in Surah Al Hujuraat:  “O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter are better than the (former): Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong.”

Labels should be left for food items and clothing brands.  Still, it is human nature to generalize and labels can shape who we are, they live with us and have the power to live on after us.  Consider the Prophet Muhammad SAW, known in his life time and until this day as “Al Amin”, the trustworthy.   

Activity: What will your label legacy look like?
1. Turn to a new page in your journal.
2. Write down the old labels you’ve given yourself.
3. Rip it out and burn it and do it with a vengeance!
4. Repeat step 1.
5. Write down your new labels. 

Wear the label.    Live the label.    Be the label.   Own the label. 
As for me, I don’t want to be a “dummy”, so I’m off to give my two year old that chocolate chip cookie.  I know she’s going to say, “Mama nice,” when I do.  And bribing my way to a new label, well…hey, as long as it’s a good one, I’ll take it.

Request a complimentary lifecoaching session with Heba:

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Quran Phonetic Search

February 25, 2008 at 7:44 pm (All, Islam Education)

Here is another awesome service.

Did the Imam mention an ayah and you want to find out where it is in the Quran? Just check out:

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