Written Versus Not Written Stuff: Sexual Violence in Warfare Part II

The Human Lens

Part II Written by  Papatia Feauxzar 

And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.” (Quran 4:24)

This Quranic verse has been misinterpreted for centuries. It doesn’t mean that men wishing to satisfy their sexual urges can get a hall pass to commit fornication. It simply means that when you get your war booty and that like what you see for behind closed doors, put a ring on it!

Now, let me expound n why I said that this verse has been misinterpreted for ages in the ummah by people with their own agendas. Ibn Abbas was dubbed The Scholar of the Nation masha’Allah (Stars in the Prophet’s Orbit, p.165). It is related that one day after one of Ibn Abbas’s classes, everybody left except a young man who stayed behind. Ibn Abbas asked him what he needed and he replied that he wanted…

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Written Versus Not Written Stuff: Sexual Violence in Warfare

The Human Lens

Part I, Written by Saadia Haq 

Throughout history, we have observed the recurring pattern of sexual violence in warfare particularly mass rape, slavery and abuse of girls and women. Having said that, today’s collaboration theme be warned is bringing some uneasy realities that have to said out loud.

While the world boasts of having put into place, military code for wars, almost every where we see gross human rights abuses and gender based aggression.

Moreover, rape and sexual abuse are not just a by-product of war but are used as a deliberate military strategy, just think about Colombia, Iraq, Sudan, Chechnya, Bosnia, Syria and Afghanistan.

The opportunistic rape and pillage of previous centuries has been replaced in modern conflict by rape used as an orchestrated combat tool, and sadly deployed with high impunity leaving a sense of injustice and long term trauma on women in conflict zones.

And when I…

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The Daevabad Trilogy — An Interview with the Author

Book Club

Read it here.

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Muharram 1441 / September 2019’s Book Club Pick — We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Assalamu aleikum!

Book Club we hunt the flame

Read it at Fofky’s Blog here.


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Muharram Mubarak! Happy New Year! Happy 1441 AH!!!

Assalamu aleikum beloved ummah!

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1441 AH is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/1441-AH-August-2019-2020/dp/1947148230 or  here.

1441 ah book launch 8 31 19


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Dhul-Hijjah 1440 / August 2019’s Book Club Picks

Assalamu aleikum!

This month book club picks are The City of Brass and the Candle and the Flame. Read them here and here. Also check out a review of The Lover by Laury Silvers here.



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The lover

Thanks for reading,



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Eid Breakfast at Abuela’s — A Review

A Ducktrinor Mom

Eid Abuelas Launch PosterSummary: Join Sofia, her mom and dad who spend Eid – the Islamic holiday celebrating the end of Ramadan – with her Mexican grandmother, who is not Muslim but chooses to throw them a festive breakfast which includes traditional Mexican food, decorations, and activities. The book includes many Spanish words and a glossary as well to introduce the reader to simple words in Spanish and even Arabic.

Author: Mariam Saad was raised in Southern California by Egyptian parents. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton. She worked at the family business for many years, with schools locally, and taught 8th Grade English abroad. With the birth of her son, her time and energy were focused at home while she surrounded him with reading materials and developmental toys. Before getting a taste for his board books, her son had taken interest in listening to…

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Ahlan wa Sahlan Dhul-Hijjah!

Assalamu aleikum, Dhul-Hijjah Mubarak!


1441 AH is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/1441-AH-August-2019-2020/dp/1947148230 or  here.

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Free Bookmarks at the Dallas Public Library! — A Ducktrinor Mom

Assalamu aleikum! Check out these cool bookmarks! Save, print or pick them up locally! Back Front Back Wassalam, ~A Ducktrinor Mom~

via Free Bookmarks at the Dallas Public Library! — A Ducktrinor Mom

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1441 AH — The Book Launch

Assalamu aleikum!

 1441 AH launches next month on Muharram 1st, 1440 (August 31st, 2019).

Join us on social media insha’Allah!

Start the new Muslim year right! 1441 AH is already available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/1441-AH-August-2019-2020/dp/1947148230 or  here.

book launch 1441 ah

Thank you for reading,



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Dhul-Qadah 1440 / July 2019’s Book Club Pick — Love from A to Z by S.K.Ali

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Hello Dhul-Qadah!

Dhul-Qadah Mubarak!


1441 AH is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/1441-AH-August-2019-2020/dp/1947148230 or  here.

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Papatia Feauxzar Quits Corporate America to Become a Writer and Publisher

working muslimahs 6 18 19

Papatia Feauxzar is an American author, barista, and publisher of West African descent living in Dallas, Texas with her son and husband. She holds a master’s degree in Accounting with a concentration in Personal Finance. After working as an accountant for a corporate firm for almost five years, Feauxzar decided to pursue Accounting from home while homeschooling her son.

When I first came across her publishing site a few years ago, the first part of the name, ‘Djarabi,’ stood out to me because I knew what it meant. It means ‘love’ in my language (Mandenka/Mandinga/Dioula/Bamana). I was quite surprised because I didn’t often come across people from my ethnic background active in the online Muslim entrepreneur world for whatever reason.

My curiosity of her led me to follow her and find out more about her. I’m glad I did and today, it is my pleasure to interview sister Papatia Feauxzar.

 Assalaam ‘alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh Sister. Welcome to Working Muslimahs and thank you very much for being here. 

Wa aleikum salam waramatulahi wabarakatuhu my dear sister from the motherland! Masha’Allah. Allah is the best of planners. Alhamdullilah!

I am very excited to interview you today! To begin, tell us a little about yourself. 

Aww, thank you! I’m happy to be here, alhamdullilah. A little about me…I’m getting close to being 40 years old, and I’m enjoying starting having grey hair as the sunnah says it’s a sign of wisdom alhamdullilah. I’m a constant work-in-progress who likes to try her hands at anything. I find it more fulfilling when my two hands accomplish things. It makes me proud and glow inside out. Masha’Allah alhamdullilah.

You have an interesting name, which I’m sure is a pen name. What made you choose a pen name and where did you find inspiration for it? 

Oh, my pen name is interesting. I chose it because I’m an introvert; privacy and safety reasons. Anyway, there are simply too many layers to the name, and I will try to explain without confusing you, haha. I have always liked daisies. When I married into a Turkish family, they started calling me Papatya. I asked why? They said that my smile was as bright as a daisy flower. I was like, “Wow! Thank you. I actually like daisies.” So, when I decided to write, I tweaked the name a bit to Papatia.

I do respond to both spellings of the name. I also respond to Fofky; a derivative of my real last name which stuck when I was in high school. My former classmates called me this way to this day. Today, it’s the  name I use for my second business alhamdullilah. Now, the pen last name is just a combination of my maiden name and my married name. And since I speak French because of political history of my birth country, I decided to give my pen name a French punch. “Fo” Fofkys became “Feaux.” And “Zar” is just a syllable in my married name. I hope this explains it. Smiles

Now that’s what you call being creative!  You are an accountant, writer, publisher, wife, mother, blogger, and a homeschooler. Phew! What a mouth full! How do you balance all these roles and remain sane?

It’s hard! But alhamdullilah ala kulli haal. I have a planner and each minute of my day is carefully allocated to a task alhamdullilah. However, they will be days where I’m utterly burn out, and I will do nothing but relax and pray.

You are a former accountant in the corporate world, what made you decide to work from home instead and what steps did you take to make it a reality?

The birth of my son, my in-laws’ cultural lifestyle (women don’t work in this culture), my growing tiredness while multitasking all these roles you mention I do (lol), and the Islamophobic climate (I was the only Black Muslimah in the whole buiding) all played some roles in me quitting corporate America. Before I quit, I had made sure that I saved enough money and that I had a backup plan to remain an independent Muslim woman. That backup plan was my publishing house I started in 2013. I had built the platform until I was ready to quit in 2016.

There’s so much about you to talk about. So let me just ask, what inspired you to become a writer and a publisher?

Writing and authoring books have always been something I had a penchant for since my teenage years. I wrote back then. Most of my works are destroyed but Allah put the right people along the way and I seized the opportunity to make my dreams come true. On a side note, my African family comes from a cast of scholars and learners. So, I’m just following in their footsteps. My paternal grandfather owned a merdrassa and my late father was a Doctor in Psychology and Sociology alhamdullilah. He did his graduate studies in Paris and returned to teach University students in Ivory Coast.

With all your entrepreneurial roles kept in mind, what is the biggest vision/goal you hope to accomplish?

My goal is to help make Muslim works more seen. It pains me every time I read or think of the story of Bayt al Hikma. Knowledge is life. May Allah facilitate, aameen.

Ameen. What challenges did you face when you started your entrepreneur journey?

Too many subhanallah. You can always count on shaytan to throw you curveballs. While Allah tests us along the way, you learn from all of these calamities. The main challenge though was to make sure I’m never at the mercy of people I hire to work for me. I try to do everything myself or know how to do these things so I can be independent.

How do you stay focused despite all the distractions and what motivates you?

I simply make dua that Allah gets shaytan away from me. If you don’t, he will help you waste your time.

How do you maintain a balance between work and personal life? 

I set boundaries. My play time is my play time. My work time is strictly my work time.

As a Muslim woman, how does Islam impact your entrepreneurship?

Quite a lot actually. Allah is ar-Razzaq. My success is only by Him. He is an-Nasir. He is the one who sets my rizq, sends help, supporters, followers, buyers, you name it. I don’t discount His tremendous help. I am immensely grateful for all of his help and tests. You can’t become complacent or lose focus of the ultimate test with all your worldly accomplishments; this life test.

When are you most productive and how do you manage your time?

Early in the morning after tahajjud and/or fajr. I go to sleep early so I can wake up early to pray when the apartment is quiet. After that, I start studying or working online. I give myself thirty minutes or so for fajr and dhikr. Then, I start the day officially with more work, studying, homeschooling, etc.

How do you deal with ‘bad days’ and ‘negative thoughts’?

Again dua. I strive not to let negative thoughts, bad moments in a day or malice flourish in my heart or mind. Astagfirullah. What’s the purpose of doing such things? Sinning. A thing I try to stay away for my own sake in the next life.

As a Muslim woman in today’s society, do you find it challenging to achieve personal and work goals?

Not at all. If I write them down and make dua about them, I’m confident that al-Fattah will help me achieve these goals if they are beneficial for me.

What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned so far as an entrepreneur?

Be frugal. Don’t waste anything. Don’t make impulse purchases, look for better prices before buying anything. Reward people Allah sent to help you well. Don’t be a pushover. Let people see and know your strength. If you don’t do these, they will deliberately pick fights with you out of spite and jealousy.

What advice would you give to other Muslimah entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs?

Know that the evil eye is real and always be prepared spiritually (know the 99 names of Allah) to fight off shaytan off your affairs. Because sooner or later, it will happen. Also make dua that you don’t fall prey to jealousy. Because we’re humans, make dua that Allah removes such a thing from your heart the moment you recognize it. Do it quickly for your own sake. Aameen.

Where do you find inspiration?

Everywhere and anywhere. Inspiration is all around us alhamdullilah. That said, I usually find it when I unplug and rest.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

It’s an honor to be on your platform. Thank you so much for the invite. Allahumma barik! May Allah make your platform a great success for the benefit of this life and the next, aameen. May He put barakat and increase your rizq in it, too. Allahumma aameen.

Ameen! And same to you my dear sister. Where can you be reached?

@djarabikpub on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

@fofkys on Facebook and Instagram. @fofky_s on Twitter.

Thank you very much for your time. Assalaam ‘alaikum.

Thank you to you as well!  Wa aleikum salam waramatulahi wabarakatuhu.

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Understand Your Child’s Development — A Review

A Ducktrinor Mom

uycd festiveAuthors:Jameela Ho at Muslim Parenting & Ilma Ed
Irna Fathurrubayah at Atfalna Education 
Weronika Ozpolat at Multicultural Motherhood
Nabila Ikram at Everlearning, Everlasting
Afshan Mohammed
Hannah Morris at ActiveMindCare.

Summary: By understanding your child’s development you can help to nurture your child’s growth in the six areas of development: thinking and intellect, speech and language, motor skills, physical growth, emotional, and moral development.This is a practical book for the Muslim parent, full of activities to nurture each area of growth. Know what to do, when and how.

Review: I always knew by instinct not to rush my child into achieving milestones because the sunnah says that until the child is seven years old, it’s all about playing with the child. Not only do people around me (Pediatrician included) made me feel at times like an unfit mother, they didn’t hide it. What did I do? I prayed on it…

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The Candle and The Flame — An Interview with the Author

Nafiza the candle and the flame

Nafiza Azad is an avid reader and reviewer of YA books. Today she is at our bookstore to discuss her debut YA high fantasy novel The Candle and the Flame. To give you a little background on this book, please read the summary below.

Azad’s debut YA fantasy is set in a city along the Silk Road that is a refuge for those of all faiths, where a young woman is threatened by the war between two clans of powerful djinn.

Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population — except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is protected from the Shayateen by the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, and by their commander, Zulfikar.

But when one of the most potent of the Ifrit dies, Fatima is changed in ways she cannot fathom, ways that scare even those who love her. Oud in hand, Fatima is drawn into the intrigues of the maharajah and his sister, the affairs of Zulfikar and the djinn, and the dangers of a magical battlefield.

Nafiza Azad weaves an immersive tale of magic and the importance of names; fiercely independent women; and, perhaps most importantly, the work for harmony within a city of a thousand cultures and cadences.

Papatia Feauxzar: Assalamu aleikum Nafiza, welcome to Fofky’s. Can you please tell us something we don’t know about you?

Nafiza Azad: Wa aleikum salam. Something you don’t know about me, huh. Hmm. When I was 12 years old, I spent an hour throwing stones and sticks at a ripe mango growing high up in a tree. I was determined to get it and though it took me a while, get it I did. It remains, to date, the sweetest mango I have ever eaten. In the same vein, I was once chased by a cow who perhaps didn’t like the way I looked at the moment. Growing up on a sugarcane in Fiji, I have a lot of anecdotes that may seem exotic and distant to a lot of people but are probably familiar and relatable to just as many others.

PF: That’s funny! I can relate to the mango incident. Growing up in Ivory Coast, we had mango trees in our backyard. And we often threw sticks and rocks to catch the perfectly ripe and sweetest mangoes. If the catcher dropped the flawless mango we had spotted and chose to harass with rocks, there would be drama! Haha, I love your tales, masha’Allah. Thank you for sharing.

PF: So, next question. The Candle and the Flame was something different. I have read many books, and this plot was definitely unique to me. Additionally, it echoed many of my views and feelings about our society when it came to forgiving ourselves, rightful healing from manipulators, women’s rights, patriarchy, powerful matriarchs, love, tolerance, embracing diversity among other important topics brought up in the book. I also enjoyed the fact that your characters have no room for fake platitudes. They say it how it is and save the reader the boredom of drawn out drama and unnecessary intrigues. How did your real-life circumstances and events played into penning these characters so realistically? I mean the inspiration comes from somewhere.

NA: My purpose in writing The Candle and the Flame was to give a reflection to Muslim girls, to brown girls, everywhere. Superbly ambitious, I know, but I peppered the characters and the plot with the reality I live in. The Alif sisters echo my own cousins and the sisterhood I lived in. The City of Noor is a reflection of Lautoka City and Vancouver City. The existence of Noor itself is in response to the toxic rhetoric we find everywhere especially with regards to refugees and other minorities. Acceptance of our differences is still a lesson many of us are learning. Though I wrap all these issues up in a fantastic veneer, they are still pretty contemporary and important for us.

PF: Well done! Now, when did the idea to write this book come to you? How did the inspiration hit you? For instance, for me the inspiration usually comes in a dream or in a strange vision or trance.

NA: Because The Candle and the Flame is a sweeping sprawling tale, it didn’t come to me in one single stroke. First, I had the image of a girl running desperately through crowded city streets. This girl later became Fatima and the city became Noor. Then, I was tangled up and annoyed by Shakespeare and his question, “What’s in a name?” Quite a lot, it turns out. Then again, as I mentioned previously, the toxic rhetoric concerning refugees and minorities, especially Muslims, on the media post the 2016 USA elections. PF: How long did you take you to write the book? On a side note, you teased us until the end with Zulfiqar and Fatima! Please consider writing a short fan-fiction story for us steamy romance lovers, hehe.

NA: I wrote the first draft of the novel longhand and that took me 5 months and 5 notebooks and three pens. Then I rewrote it using my agent’s notes and suggestions which took me another three months. So I would say the entire thing took me almost a year to get into a form that was ready to be submitted to editors.

As far as Zulfikar and Fatima are concerned, if I wrote a short story, it wouldn’t be fanfiction, it would be fan service, *winks* Haha. I may write something for the paperback release if they let me. Fingers crossed.

PF: Yes, please service us! Haha. Fingers crossed indeed.

PF: Finally, I loved many statements in your book. I found them inspirational. For instance, “The classics are singular narratives focusing on those privileged enough to read and write” , “You do not need to make friends with the walls around you to know they are there” , “You pretend that their loyalty is a given. You smile brighter and you laugh harder and you observe who laughs with you and who laughs at you.” These words are powerful indeed, masha’Allah. You definitely write about girls taking over the world and I’m all about that! Have you considered sharing motivational quotes on your social media?

NA: I honestly think it is the characters who are motivational. I, myself, don’t feel like I’m very inspiring, haha. Zulfikar, especially, has a way of speaking in idioms that I found very pleasing and it was totally the way HE spoke and not the way I wanted to write him.

PF: Yes, you are inspirational masha’Allah. Don’t be shy *winks*. Thank you so much for being with us. Fofky’s wishes you much success with your debut novel, aameen.

NA: Shukran!

Fofky’s rates The Candle and the Flame a-five-star novel. Check it out on Amazon today. Read our review below.

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad is a Muslim YA high fantasy novel of 416 pages. In this captivating tale, women rule! We have Fatima, a foodie, who is a human girl whose life has been saved by a djinn woman consumed by an unfathomable grief. By the same token, the djinn woman bestows/transfers her powers (fire) to the main character who is unaware of this as she grows up in a city where ifrit djinns and humans cohabitate peacefully.

Fatima has a non-blood related sister who is a makeup and perfume chemist. She uses plants and flowers to make her cosmetics which catch the attention of rich folks including the rajkumari; the princess. Fatima’s sister also constantly abuses her verbally but she loves Fatima in her own ways. In time, Fatima stands up to her and their relationship finally takes on a mutual respect aspect.

When peace in Noor is threatened by double-agents, game of thrones advocates and greedy humans and djinns, the strong women in Azad’s novel find themselves making the necessary hits needed to keep the peace between the people of Noor and the whole country; a necessary evil that they try to forgive themselves for. Now while Azad shows that there are strong women in this world, she also shows that women can also be the enemies of other women by enabling patriarchs and perverts who have no respect for women’s bodies and leading abilities. The strong women in this tale deal ruthlessly with these traitors of the gender because it comes down to survival of the fittest.

On the bright side, Fatima’s besties are the Alif sisters. Their names start with the letter Alif if you’re wondering why the gang and cryptic name. Anyway, these girls are colorful and fun! One of them is boy crazy about the easy on the eyes Bilal—the muezzin. She enthusiastically declares that he can call her to salat anytime! However, the reality is that she drags her feet when it’s time for salat. She made me grin in the whole book.

Now, let’s discuss Zulfikar; the other main character and the emir of the city of Noor. He is an ifrit djinn who is Muslim. He is beautiful and makes heads turn. Even one of the Hindu royals of the city has her eyes set on him to gain her freedom from her overbearing family.

Zulfikar is friend with Fatima’s teacher; a thriving ifrit bookseller in appearance who doesn’t like selling his books. I related to him on this matter. Anyway, when he has to say good bye to Fatima unexpectedly, he grants her his abilities as a djinn unbeknownst to her knowledge. This new state sends her in a senseless state and to prevent her from hurting herself, Zulfikar intervenes out of necessity to help her keep her wits. He gives her some of his fire to calm her down, and he comforts her.

You see, like humans pick up on vibes, djinns in this tale pick up on the shape and the uniqueness of your fire. The only problem with what Zulfiqar did is that helping Fatima has consequences that he can’t reverse even though it was the right decision to make in the moment. He bonded himself to Fatima; a bond that is only permitted by marriage. A paranormal romance blooms between Fatima and Zulfiqar and they are not sure if they can trust it since it’s the result of an artificial intercession; a life and death matter.

Will they realize that what they feel for each other could be real or is real? Will Bilal reciprocate the Alif sister’s feelings? Or will he have the hots for another sister in the gang? Will blood be shed? Will they be cat fights between Fatima and the royal when they come face-to-face?

Read to find out!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐

Original Source : Fofky’s Blog

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Should You be an Intern or Work for Free? — Hayati Magazine

In this digital age, almost everyone wants to be seen and go viral, especially every business. To what end though? Is it related to narcissism to strike the ego or is it to actually to provide something that the audience will get some kind of value from? We must always assess our intentions with anything……

via Should You be an Intern or Work for Free? — Hayati Magazine

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Understand Your Child’s Development — A Resourceful Parenting Guide

A Ducktrinor Mom

Assalamu aleikum!

New Release! Book Launch and Blog Tour uycd 6 18 19 fb twitter banner

This amazing resource is by the following professionals :
Jameela Ho at Muslim Parenting & Ilma Ed
Irna Fathurrubayah at Atfalna Education 
Weronika Ozpolat at Multicultural Motherhood
Nabila Ikram at Everlearning, Everlasting
Afshan Mohammed
Hannah Morris at ActiveMindCare.

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We Have Books for Everyone in Your Family!

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Your Son Can Be Your Diaby (Henna) Buddy Too

A Ducktrinor Mom

Assalamu aleikum!

eid tatoo 3

In West Africa, Henna is often referred to as Diaby (Dee-ya-bee.) On the eve of eid, I looked forward to apply Diaby on my hands and feet even if I don’t have a daughter. It was more of a self-care intention. Anyway, my son wanted to take part in it, and I kept telling him that it’s only for girls, and that he had more hair and a beard, he could have partook in. Boy that I was wrong.

After his vehement requests and my husband saying once it was fine for him to play with Henna, I came to the conclusion that he could become my henna buddy. Yes, I’m not always right, haha!

I decided then that Diaby would take the role of a harmless kid’s tattoo. The lessons I learn from being are simply too many to list here. Alhamdullilah.

You learn more about…

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Shawwal Mubarak!

Assalamu aleikum!


1441 AH is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/1441-AH-August-2019-2020/dp/1947148230 or  here.

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