Food, Online Magazine, Showdown

Love is in the Air (fryer)

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It’s time to trick your sambosas and fries.


Major confession time – we are HUGE fried food addicts. Put us in front of some hot fries, a plate of sambosas, fried chicken and you’ll make us weak at the knees.

So we got an air fryer, a unique kitchen gadget that enables you to indulge your taste buds without wrecking your diet. The Air-fryer combines fast circulating hot air with a grill that cooks the food with a little bit of oil.

Just a little oil and you are good to go.

  1. Good Ol’ Fries

Best tasting fries with just a teaspoon of oil? Oh boy, that’s a very lofty claim to make! So yes, I was very skeptical about the results… That is, until I actually made it.

They turned out to be delicious and crispy. Enjoy!

Tip: Store-bought frozen fries can be thrown straight into the Airfryer or you can make them from scratch.
DR tip: Add a little spice and gorgeous color to the fries! Toss ‘em in a delicious spicy mix: Paprika, garlic powder, cornstarch, salt and pepper.

  1. Spicy Chicken Drumsticks

These drumsticks were done in 30 minutes, from start to finish.

I was extremely impressed with how evenly the chicken was fried, and how effortless it was.

Tip: Marinate the chicken before hand.
DR tip: Dunk these in guacamole for more flavor.

  1. Sambosas and Spring Rolls

These are supposedly a must on every iftar table. But keeping the oil control in mind, we decided to go for the air-fried goodness.

They are quick and crispy without all the fat from oil. This low-fat snack is sure to satisfy your craving.

  1. Fish Fingers

Perk these up with some garlic, spices and just a little brushing of oil. The fingers turn out crispy and can be enjoyed with your favorite dip.

  1. Quick Mixed Vegetable Tempura

This no-fuss treat is great for nibbles and is a delicious twist (fake, ahem!) on traditional tempura.

Use whatever seasonal vegetables you have. I have tried it with zucchini, carrots, bean and cauliflower and it turned out to be a great tummy pleaser.

Tip: Just flip over once if needed.

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Activities

Mafi Malum No More!

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“Malesh, ana mafi ma3lum 3rabi,” (Sorry, I don’t know Arabic) is the most common phrase used by the non-Arabs/expats when someone tries to converse with them in Arabic. 


The difference in language is the most obvious barrier for communication between locals and expats living in Saudi and not speaking Arabic can result in hysterical and frustrating miscommunication stories. Not to forget that Arabic is the most praised and singled out languages of the world in Islam. Learning the language is also the starting point of a life long journey with the Qur’an so that you understand, implement and live by it without being dependent on the translation.

Allah says,

“We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an, in order that you may gain understanding.” (Quran, 12:2).

Umar (may God be pleased with him) said, “Learn Arabic for it is a part of your deen.” (Iqtidaa’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem, 2/207)

Here are the institutes/centers in Riyadh where you can take Arabic language classes from

1. King Saud University’s – Arabic Linguistics Institute (ALI)

This intensive language program is for both male and female non-Arab students. The program targets scholarship students and gives them a diploma upon successfully completing the intensive Arabic program. Their objective is to develop students’ writing and speaking abilities at the advanced level.

Fees: Free

FB: /ArabicLinguisticsInstitute

Twitter: @ALIKSU

2. Imam Saud University’s – The Institute of Teaching Arabic 

The Institute of Teaching Arabic in Riyadh at Al Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University welcomes learners from different nationalities to study Arabic language courses in two sessions for male and female students each during the day. The morning program is for women while the evening program is or men.

Fees

Male: SR 400, for each semester.

Females: SR 300, for each semester.

No Age Limit (Adults only)

Location: Gate 12, Building 322 @ Imam Saud University

FB: The Institute Of Teaching Arabic In Riyadh

Twitter: ImamArabic

3. Princess Noura University
PNU is one of the largest women-only universities of the world and has been providing education to both Arabs and non-Arabs.

PNU has the vision to become an international leader in teaching Arabic to non-Arabic speakers. The 6-week course offers academic, training, and research programs to non-Arabic speakers. The institute offers a higher diploma in Arabic language and its graduates will be qualified to join any other course at PNU except faculties of health.

Fees

Test Fee: SR 100

Course Fee: SR 1500

Age limit: Some of the programs have age limit and some don’t

Location: From station A10 – Building #260

Website: pnu.edu.sa

Twitter: @arabicteaching

4. Yanabee’a al Jinan Institution 

Yanabee’a Al Jinan is a growing community center set up to infuse the beautiful teachings of Islam into the lives of people individually and in society as a whole. Among the various Islamic courses offered, Arabic is also one of them.

A special program to learn Arabic grammar has been recently introduced this year. Classes every Thursday.

Fees: SR 100 for Arabic course only. One day per week.

No Age Limit (Adults only)

Location: Ibn Abi Al Afiyah st., Rawdah

FB: /yanabeealjinan

IG: @ yanabee_aljinan_riversofjannah 

5. Dar Adh Dhikr

This women-only institute teaches classical Arabic along with memorization and understanding of the Qur’an. Some basic Islamic studies classes are also taught to learn the pillars of Islam properly according to Quran and Sunnah.

It’s a 4-month course, which usually starts from the mid of Shawwal, and then mostly from February to June. Dar also has short Summer classes during June/July.

Fees:

SR 200 per term

No age limit (Adults only)

Location:  Qays Ibn Al Mulawwah, Sulimaniyah

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Ramadan, Spirituality

Mega Reward Offer: Fasting for the Entire Year!

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Before you freak out and close this page, let me tell you:

The Prophet (PBUH) said:

“A person who performs fasting in Ramadan and then adds six more days in Shawwal is regarded as if he has performed fasting in the whole year (in terms of reward).” [Muslim 204 (1164)]


Now most of us would say, I’m happy just to have got Ramadan in the bank! That is fine as fasting six days of Shawwal after the obligatory fast of Ramadan is Sunnah, not wajib. However, it is recommended for the Muslim to fast six days of Shawwal, and in this, there is a great virtue and an immense reward. So why miss the opportunity?

The reward for fasting the six days:

“Allah has made for each good deed ten like it, so a month is like fasting ten months, and fasting six days completes the year.” (Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah).

Let’s solve the equation:

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Another important benefit of fasting six days of Shawwal is that it makes up for any shortcoming in a person’s obligatory Ramadan fasts because no one is free of shortcomings or sins that have a negative effect on his fasting.

Isn’t that fair enough now to take benefit of this?

There is difference of opinion on whether you should complete any missed fasts of Ramadan before fasting the six of Shawwal. Some scholars say that you have to make up the missed fasts of Ramadan first as that’s what the deal is all about. On the other hand, other scholars have said that if there are too many and it will push you over, then fast 6 days of Shawwal first. And Allah knows best. This is more applicable to women than men (as men typically have no fasts to make up).

Tip: Pick up a bonus of fasting the 13th, 14th and 15th of Shawwal which are the “three white days” of the month. Combine those intentions and maximize that reward!

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Online Magazine, Ramadan, Spirituality

Ramadan Checkpoints

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Because food is just one part of Ramadan.


1. Fast with sincerity.

If we do not know why we are doing certain things, we can easily miss the point behind the action itself.

“There may be people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger, and there may be those who pray qiyaam and get nothing from their qiyaam but a sleepless night.” (Ibn Maajah)

2. Stand up for your success.

There are five opportunities for redemption every day, if you’re blessed to be alive. Muster up your lazy self and start praying. We have all heard hadiths about the importance of prayer, haven’t we? It’s never too late to star

3. Sabr it!

Fasting is not just day without food and drink. Use Ramadan as a training ground against greed, impatience and harsh words. If controlling our words were easy, we’d never be promised Paradise for doing it. Think about it!

“Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it and ignorant conduct, Allah has no need of his giving up his food and drink.” (Bukhari)

4. Share your blessings.

Buy less food this Ramadan and give the extra food and money to the poor and needy.

5. Be grateful.

Witnessing Ramadan is a blessing that deserves major gratitude. Remember it’s a month-long gift from the Almighty. Don’t waste it.

“By Allah, if it were said to the inhabitants of the graves, ‘Wish’, they would indeed wish for a day from Ramadan.” – Ibn al-Jawzi

6. Mend fences.

Reach out, repair bridges and share a meal together. Stop waiting for an apology and be the first to make things right.

7. Give.

Find it in your heart to give wholeheartedly. Remember no one has ever become poor by giving. Give a smile, a helping hand, a good word to lift someone’s spirits, food for the needy, money or anything else within your means.

8. Don’t mock others.

For many, Ramadan is the beginning of a major turning point. Don’t mock them for starting their journey towards Allah, it’s never too late to start.

9. Ignore the detours.

Don’t let your sins bog you down. Allah doesn’t care about the quantity of your sins, He cares about the quality of your repentance.

One supplication to really focus on this Ramadan:

“O Allah, help me remember You, to be grateful to You, and to worship You in an excellent manner.” (Abu Dawud)

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Food, Online Magazine, Showdown

Doughnut Worry, Be Happy!

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Here’s a round round-up for all you Homer Simpsons of Riyadh.


Whether glazed, sprinkled, or stuffed doughnuts — we have stuffed our faces happy. We know, it’s such a sacrifice. D’oh.

1. Dip’in

If you’re looking for an experience, this is the place for you. They have the most diverse selection and the quality to rival it. This local gem deserves our stamp of approval.

2. House of Donuts

House of Donuts reminds us of our childhood days when they used to be the leading doughnut café. I guess we prefer their mini doughnuts more.

3. Tim Hortons Café and Bakeshop

Their doughnuts are delicious. The glazed is similar to Krispy Kreme but seems very doughy when you bite in to it. We highly recommend the Nutella doughnuts – it’s the best one at Tim Hortons.

  • Glazed
    Tastes nice but very doughy and heavy.
  • Deep Chocolate
    How can one go wrong with chocolate?! Loved it.
  • Nutella-Filled
    A pretty looking flower shaped doughnut – especially for anyone craving a perfect Nutella fix. It’s frosted with chocolate and sprinkled with chopped hazelnuts with a blob of pure Nutella in the center.

4. Dunkin’ Donuts

We have a feeling their quality dropped, no? We were disappointed by the strange dry texture. However, we liked the Vanilla Sprinkles more than any.

  • Choco Frosted
    Meh! It wasn’t as fluffy and melty as we remembered it to be.
  • Vanilla Marble
    It was just OK. We didn’t quite like the frosting though.
  • Boston Kreme
    This one was good. Creamy filling and covered in a nice layer of chocolate glaze.
  • Vanilla Sprinkles
    Pretty to look at, and probably a real hit with the kids. Best one to go for if you like vanilla glazed donuts. What a relief to know Dunkin’ Donuts isn’t all bad.

5. Caribou

  • All we can say is, Caribou has much better coffee than doughnuts. Chocolate Doughnuts
    Not satisfying.

6. Dr. Cafe

Just ok.

  • Chocolate Glazed
    The Chocolate Glazed were better than House of Donuts and Dunkin’ donuts offers.

7. Krispy Kreme

They are literally the BEST in town. Absolutely smitten by their chocolate glazed and stuffed Boston Cream doughnuts.

  • Original Glazed
    The mother of all Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Soft and oh-so-sweet.
  • Chocolate Iced Glazed
    The star of the show! Cloud-like texture that melts in the mouth.
  • Krispy Kreme Nutella
    It’s chock-full of sweet chocolate-hazelnutty vibes.
  • Chocolate Iced Custard Filled
    Sure to satisfy all the Boston Cream Pie lovers out there.
  • Chocolate Dream Cake
    As dreamy as its name, if your dreams are filled with chocolate.
  • Glazed Sour Cream
    With a pastry denser than the regular doughnut (much like a cake), this rich and moist doughnut is topped with Original Glaze. While most of us loved this one, the question in the air: Is it a cake or a doughnut?

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Food, Online Magazine, Showdown

Dip, Dig, and Dive with your favorite finger food!

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Dip away with your favorite finger foods.


1. DR Special Sauce

(labnah, yogurt, olives, lemon, salt, lentil soup powder mix)

The product of fridge leftovers. Every now and then, we take a break from adulting and basically just grab anything we can mix together and dip our chips into. A few dozen Netflix marathons later, we discovered this love potion.

2. Saudi Dakkous

This is basically the most popular sauce eaten with lamb and kabsa rice in Saudi and other middle eastern countries.

3. Green Chutney – Indo-Pak

Green chutney, a classic chutney made with aromatic fresh cilantro, mint, green chillies and a dash of garlic. It’s a refreshing condiment that goes with nearly everything from sambosas to kebabs to sandwiches.

4. Greek Feta Cheese Salad

Looking for a crisp, refreshingsaladto pass around the table? You might try this one, with juicy tomatoes, olives and crumbly feta.

5. Fool

This is a staple dish for most people in Egypt and is a very simple, hearty dip of fava beans. Tastes great with flat bread.

6. Guacamole

If it’s wrong to eat a dip right out of the bowl with a spoon, then we don’t want to be right!
Hands down, this is seriously our favorite guac up with cherry tomatoes and a little extra lime juice.

7. ‘Cacık- Turkish Yogurt and Cucumber Sauce

There is something oddly addicting about the combination of tangy-thick yogurt, crunchy grated cucumber, garlic, fresh mint and extra virgin olive oil.

8. Moroccan Sauce

Moroccan Harissa Sauce is a spicy and hot red pepper paste which is traditionally made. Do not miss it any chance as it would really perk up your meals and snacks.

9. Thai Peanuts Sauce

Peanut sauce is really easy to make and has one of our favorite ingredients: peanut butter mixed with other ingredients. The best thing about this is that it doesn’t have to be cooked. All you need is to mix the ingredients in a saucepan, heat it up, and voila.

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Explore KSA, Explore Your City, Online Magazine

Water in the Desert

Salaam Park

A rough guide to Riyadh’s lakes and dams.


Salboukh Water Reserve

Around 70 km from Riyadh, Salbukh Dam is a brilliant place to sit down, relax, have a barbeque and enjoy the beautiful breeze. You can buy and fly kites and also ride quad bikes. And guess what? Women can also ride the bikes here.

Best time of the year: rainy season when the dam is full of fresh rain water.

GPS coordinates: 25.074341,46.337040

Namar Lake

Wadi Namar is one of the tributaries of Wadi Hanifah and is another must visit place near Riyadh.

The lake is always full of water all year round and is a perfect place for walks and barbeques, or take the kids for some buggy rides and bouncy castles. This place has it all.

DR Tip: The lake has lots of ducks as well and they are very friendly, especially if they think you have some food.

GPS coordinates: 24.5719° N, 46.6779° E

Namar Running Stream

If you wish to venture a little further from the Namar Lake picnic area there is an open land which has a hidden stream to explore. This stream has gushing water flowing out of the rocks. We are not sure if this is a natural or an artificial stream but it’s worth the visit.

Salaam Park

The oldest park in the city, Salaam is surrounded by mounded lawns that subtly divides it into smaller spaces. Fishing and pedal boating are just a small selection of the activities offered here. Children can skim the water surface while tumbling around like hamsters in gigantic water-walking balls. One of the lakesides is reserved for local and migrating birds to promote natural life.

Fee: The entrance fee is SR 5 and is open from 1 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Special Message: Please cart out your garbage when you leave and keep these places clean.

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I guess we have finally succeeded in our Muslim invasion agenda that we have been secretly planning for the last hundred years. That some people have been quite worried about. * wink wink * 


Read on with a pinch of humor.

1. Nike Hijab 

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Ok, first of all, it’s good that they are finally open to the idea of hijab. Thanks but no thanks, we ain’t in need of anyone’s validation. These mainstream brands have a perfect marketing strategy to get profits though.

2. Islamic prayer ritual can “reduce” lower back pain & increase joint elasticity

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Also helps reducing anxiety. (source)

What did we tell you…

3. Everyone is talking about Ramadan

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The Sun knows Ramadan is coming! (source)

4. ‘Muslim’ Prayer Room

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Florida’s Orlando International Airport has a “reflection room” for spiritual meditation in one of the airport’s terminal.

It has been designed keeping in mind the practices of Muslim travelers, who adhere to a prescribed ritual prayer that involves standing, bowing, prostrating and sitting on the floor. The room will include benches but also a carpeted area where travelers can sit.

“So they aren’t having to, if it is the case, kneel on bathroom floors or in corners, so they have the reflective time,” said Carolyn Fennell, the airport’s director of public affairs. “There are amenities there for those who practice Middle East rituals.” (source)

Thank you! We really appreciate this Orlando International Airport, we really do 🙂

5. Arabic on Billboards

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American Civil Liberties Union in New York’s Times Square and Washington, D.C wrote the first amendment in Arabic on billboards as a rebuke to Trump. (source)

6. Yoni raw toothbrush…sounds familiar doesn’t it?

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Dude, we knew this all along! Cultural appropriation much?!

7. Mankles – Pants above ankles

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Modern hipsters? Ha! More like #creepingshariah mate.

Wait till thobes become fashionable!

8. Quick emergency hijab tutorial by Jackie Chan

9. Fasting for three days can regenerate entire immune system

Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems.

This “new” health research is not new to us…

It’s a recommended Sunnah to fast three days each month, and it is best to fast the ayaam al-beed (The White Days), which are the 13th, 14th and 15th of the lunar month. There’s always wisdom behind what we are taught by the Prophet (s).

The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alaihy wasallam) said:

“It is sufficient for you to fast three days every month, because for every good deed you will have (the reward of) ten like it, so that will be like fasting for a lifetime.” Narrated by al-Bukhari (1874)

The Sunnah is trending, you all Mozlims can be less conscious now.

*Expects to hear the Adhan being sounded off of Big Ben soon*


 

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Food, Food News, Foodie Corner

Your Local Guide to the Best Food Hubs in Town

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Good food is one of life’s greatest joys and Riyadh truly knows how to celebrate this right. Here’s a list of Plazas/Food courts you can dine to your hearts content from a vast choice of eateries.


Bon Appétit y’all!

1. Fiorenza La Piazza

This basically looks like an entire food land from Italy. Classy and cool with all things covered.

  • Paul
  • Leila Restaurant
  • Amorino
  • Magnolia Bakery
  • Chunk
  • Poplars Chocolate
  • I Tre Mercanti
  • Jeff de Breges
  • Confeitaria Nacional
  • Forrey & Galland
  • Bialah
  • Mizo
  • Kunefis
  • La Luna
  • Bolo Bakery and Café
  • Aseil
  • Muunni’s

Location

2. Rubeen Plaza

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Rubeen Plaza is nice hangout with a lively ambience.

  • White Garden ‘The Lounge’
  • Nandos
  • Zafran
  • IHOP
  • Shake Shack
  • Coffee Bene
  • Texas de brazil
  • Godiva
  • Starbucks
  • Raising Cane’s
  • Hummingbird Bakery
  • Azkadenya

Location 

3. The Boulevard

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The Boulevard is a must visit classy and hip food hub which caters to every palette and mood.

  • Cioccolat Italiani
  • Guylian
  • Maddeleine (Opening soon)
  • Five Guys
  • Kyo Ku sen
  • Circle
  • Tammra lounge
  • Zaatar w zeit
  • Lokma Istanbul
  • Caffe Bene
  • Sultan’s Steakhouse
  • Karak Gholan
  • 12 Cups

Location 

4. IBDAA Plaza

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  • Broccoli Pizza and Pasta
  • Sugar Sprinkles
  • Gelatalia Coffee
  • Bread Talk
  • Snack Escape
  • Steak Escape
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Cinnabon
  • Bread Talk
  • Burger Fuel
  • Baskin Robbins
  • Dip n Dip
  • Starbucks
  • East Coast Wings
  • Karam Café
  • Steak House
  • Smash Burger
  • Fire Grill
  • Piatto

Location 

5. Qurtuba Plaza

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  • Steaky
  • Outback steakhouse
  • Sbarro
  • Shawarmer
  • Furn Di’ah
  • Edible arrangements
  • Patisserie Jarir Al Kalbani
  • Angolo Al Forno
  • Flourish

Location

6. Alia Plaza

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  • Chillis
  • Shake Shack
  • Cinnabon
  • IHOP
  • Starbucks
  • Booba
  • Mashawico
  • Pappa Roti
  • Godiva
  • Burgy
  • Aani & Dani
  • Shawarmer
  • Kudu
  • Ocean Basket Seafood Restaurant

Location

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Online Magazine, Spirituality

How to Be A Decent Human Being Online

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Wait, O Aishah, for Allah loves kindness in all things.


These were the words spoken by the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alaihy wasallam) to console his wife, Aishah (may Allah be please with her) when she got angry at a group of people who had said to him: “Assaamu alaikum” (death be upon you).

The mercy, kindness and gentleness of the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alaihy wasallam) was the reason why people entered Islam. If it wasn’t for these, he would have put off the people around him, and they would have never taken interest in his message.

Here are some things to remember when we’re online:

1. Always speak (or type) on the side of kindness

We have hundreds of friends online, the diversity means varying opinions and posts that we won’t always agree with. While social media encourages us to engage, always keep in mind that “how” we comment is half of the message. So choose your words wisely and always side with empathy.

The Prophet (salAllahu alaihy wasallam) said:

“and (saying) a good word is also a charity.”  [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

2. Counting people’s sins doesn’t make you a saint

Never rebuke others, list their mistakes publicly and go as far as calling people names like kaafir. Determining whether someone is a kaafir (disbeliever) or a faasiq (transgressor) is not up to you. It’s up to Allah and His Messenger (salAllahu alaihy wasallam).

Having a bitter tone and behavior only pushes people away from the message. Most importantly, we have no right to judge others.

3. Trolling trolls makes you a troll

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The issue sometimes is we don’t have a fundamental education in our own deen. We don’t always know that our deen makes us civil, makes us decent, makes us patient, makes us not reactionary, it gives us control over our emotion, it doesn’t let us run by our emotions, it doesn’t turn us into behind- the-scene critics concerned more with commenting than constructing.

The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alaihy wasallam) said,

A true believer is not involved in taunting, or frequently cursing (others) or in indecency or abusing.” [Tirmidhi]

As Muslims, never let disagreements taint your character. It is encouraged to serve the deen, be involved in dawah, help others people through Islamic values, but for that you need to learn the basics. The solution is relatively simple: Unplug every once in a while, get involved in your communities, help and serve your people in real life.

As Muslims, never let disagreements taint your character.

It is encouraged to serve the deen, be involved in dawah, help others people through Islamic values, but for that you need to learn the basics. The solution is relatively simple:

Unplug every once in a while, get involved in your communities, help and serve your people in real life.

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