A story of the Burglar and Maalik bin Dinaar

A burglar scaled the wall of Maalik bin Dinar’s house one night and easily managed to get inside. Once inside the house, the thief was disappointed to see that there was nothing inside actually worth stealing. The owner of the home was inside at the time, he was busy performing prayer. Realizing that he was not alone, Maalik quickly ended his prayer and turned around to face the thief. Without showing any sign of being shocked or afraid, Maalik calmly extended greetings of peace and then said, “My brother, may Allah forgive you. You entered my home and found nothing that is worth taking, yet I do not want you to leave my home without taking away some benefit.”

He stood up, went to another part of the room, and came back with a jug full of water. He looked into the eyes of the burglar and said, “Make ablution and perform two units of prayer, for if you do so, you will leave my home with a greater treasure than you had initially sought when you entered it.”

Much humbled by Maalik’s manners and words, the thief said, “Yes, that is a generous offer indeed.”


After making ablution and performing two units of prayer, the burglar said, “O Maalik, would you mind if I stayed for a while, for I want to stay to perform two more units of prayer?”

Maalik said, “Stay for whatever amount of prayer Allah decrees for you to perform now.”

The thief ended up spending the entire night at Maalik’s house. He continued to pray until the morning. Then Maalik said, “Leave now and be good.”

But instead of leaving, the thief said, “Would you mind if I stayed here with you today, for I have made an intention to fast the day?”

“Stay as long as you wish,” said Maalik.

The burglar ended up staying for a number of days, praying during the late hours of each night and fasting throughout the duration of each day. When he finally decided to leave, the burglar said, “O Maalik, I have made a firm resolve to repent for my sins and for my former way of life.”

Maalik said, “Indeed, that is in the Hand of Allah.”

The man did mend his ways and began to lead a life of righteousness and obedience to Allah. Later on, He came across another burglar he knew. [His friend] said to him, “Have you found your treasure yet?”

He said, “My brother, what I found is Maalik bin Dinaar. I went to steal from him, but it was he who ended up stealing my heart. I have indeed repented to Allah, and I will remain at the door [of His Mercy and Forgiveness] until I achieve what his obedient, loving slaves have achieved.”

[al-Mawaa’idh wal-Majaalis: 85]

Source: The above is taken from the book “Stories of Repentance” from dar-us-salam publications

Source: e-aalim.com

Where Smart Ark Products Are Made

We have a range of products made in various countries, and we try are very best to be as ethical as we possibly can. Our Fair trade products are made in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The fair trade companies have a completely different work model, where workers from all backgrounds and religions, can work in a safe environment with good working conditions and have access to health care and other benefits to their local communities.


Fairtrade crochet dolls being knitted in Bangladesh

Other countries that we  manufacture in are China, Turkey,  and very recently, right here in the UK. We have a good relationship with our partners and Alhamdulilah very fortunate that we can manufacture products that fit are ethical requirements.



Fairtrade dolls made in Sri Lanka




Award winning factory in China

With regards to manufacturing in China, some may see this as a not so ethical option. Perhaps 10 or 20 years ago maybe, but China has come along way and there are many good factories out there, if you look for them. If you want the cheapest prices and cheapest quality, and no questions asked about who has made the products, then of course you will find the cheapest prices and cheapest quality.


However at Smart Ark we only work with reputable manufactures who have good work ethics and have in fact won industry awards.
All of our products made in China are made from recycled materials, and some are completely wood free. And of course, you get what you pay for, that is why so many people always comment on the excellent quality of Smart Ark products.

The Chinese Emperor’s Poem about the Prophet Muhammad(PBUH):

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.

chinese emporer











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 books coming soon

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!
Includes stickers.
I am still working on the books and insha’Allah will be available in 3-5 months

new books

Good Listening Skills For Parents

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.

listen to your child

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