Author Spotlight: Queen Sheba D. Cisse


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Our next author in the spotlight is Queen Sheba D. Cisse, a writer and humanitarian that I had the pleasure to meet nearly eight years ago through Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), the internationally based group for Muslim women writers that we both belong to.

Her work with the non-profit that she runs, Queen Sheba Village Inc. (QSV), was and remains inspiring as it focuses on the well being of women and children in rural Senegal, West Africa. The education, health and business-building entrepreneurship programs that they provide help impoverished families become financially independent, and they seek to create conditions where small villages are modernized, economically stable and better connected to Greater Senegal. It is her work with QSV and her travels abroad which  has inspired her to write Return To Glory.

FrontCoverReturn to Glory: A Travel Guide For African Americans Returning To Roots is more than just a travel guide, it’s an invitation to African Americans, the descendants of the displaced by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, and to all people of various cultures and ethnicities, to return to their place of birth – the cradle of humanity. Sister Sheba extends her hand, and shares her experience with the readers, leading us along the journey home with wisdom, humor, expertise and warmth. The book also features vibrant, colorful pictures and original artwork.


Author Spotlight: Elizabeth Lymer


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Elizabeth Lymer was one of the first authors to publish with us at Mindworks but she has since branched out to publish more titles on her own. She writes almost every day, and frequently enjoys reading, singing, and storytelling with her young children.

Her writing centers around young Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and global citizen readership who are interested in fun ways to engage with Abrahamic faiths.

The books that she has published with Mindworks Publishing are:

And her additional titles include:


All of her books are available on, and you can visit her website and subscribe for updates from her at:

Author Spotlight: Umm Muhemmed


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Author Umm Muhemmed is the writer of the A Quranic Odyssey Islamic chapter book series about brother and sister Ibrahim and Amna and their learning adventures with their mother Khadija.

aqoBook One, A Quranic Odyssey, Towards Juz ‘Amma, introduces us to the adorable duo, Ibrahim and Amna, as they embark upon their journey of Quranic memorization (hifdh) while book two, Ya Seen: a hifdh journey in America, continues a year later during the month of Ramadan as they work at memorizing Surah Ya Seen.

Umm Muhemmed is an American born development economist. Her entry into hifdh al Quran dates to 2010 under the tutelage of Hafidha Rayhaanah. It is an ongoing pursuit, together with her two children, and one which she seeks to share via the Quranic Odyssey Series with Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Her hope and prayer is that the story will be a vehicle of learning and peace for parents, children, and teachers as well.

More information may be found at and both books are available for purchase on Amazon.comyaseen


Author Spotlight: Robyn Abdusamad


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Robyn Abdusamad is one of the authors that has published with us at Mindworks and she has written a sweetly endearing story about diversity and tolerance. You Are Beautiful explores the cultural challenges that we as a society face when racism and prejudice trickle into the hearts of our children. This story also provides some ideas for eradicating such prejudices through embracing one another and our differences.

Sister Robyn has also written another book, Wahid and His Special Friend, journeying into the imaginative world of a little boy and providing a warm, inviting read for children of all ages.

Both books are available on


Sameerah’s Hijab and the First Day of School is now also available from Mindworks


My very first published children’s book, Sameerah’s Hijab and the First Day of School is now also available independently through Mindworks. 🙂

You can still obtain copies through Creative Education and Publishing, we have simply decided to offer copies as well so that they may be obtained as a bundle with our other books from the Faithful Hearts Series, Hannah Habibi Learns About Modesty and the Sameerah and Hannah Coloring Book


You can purchase copies of the Faithful Hearts Series on Amazon:

Sameerah’s Hijab and the First Day of School

Hannah Habibi Learns About Modesty

Sameerah and Hannah Coloring Pages

New Book and Free PDF Download


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The idea for this book came to me after making my prayers one day during a very difficult time. My son was going through a serious illness and the experience caused me to deeply reflect upon the meaning of my life. Anyone who knows me knows that my son has always been the center of my universe, of my existence, so when I was faced with the possibility of losing him I literally felt as if I could just lay down and give up the ghost – like I couldn’t possibly breath any longer. Fortunately, subhanaa’Allah, that moment of despair passed, and when it did, I re-discovered the shining gem of hope. I realized that although I considered myself to be faithful, and to be someone who has faith, I was lacking in hope, and how could I really have faith without hope?

There is a verse in the Quran which reads in Chapter 29 Al Ankaboot 29:2:

Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, “We believe,” and that they will not be tested?

When our belief is tested, our faith is tested. Faith, or Iman in Arabic, in its simplest form is defined as believing in something. I believe in God, that He is One without any partners, I believe in His books and His messengers, but yet I had still fallen into despair. How could I say that I believe that Allah (SWT) is the Greatest but when faced with calamity I crumbled with hopelessness? It took some time, but by the Grace of Allah (SWT) I could pick myself up and breathe – I could be hopeful for the mercy of Allah (SWT).  And that hope gave wings to my faith – with hope and faith I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That light being salvation and I was able to come out of the darkness of despair.

To Allah (SWT) we belong and to Allah (SWT) is our return. If we truly believe that Allah (SWT) has everything under His control and that He is the Most Merciful, we must trust that He will manifest the best outcome for our lives. We must have hope in His salvation plan for ourselves personally and for mankind as a whole.

We look around at the earth and witness the many levels of catastrophe and tragedy that exist within societies, and in our lives, and it is easy to understand why salvation is such an important aspect of the religious experience. There is a need for salvation. There is a need for help. And Allah (SWT) has promised us help; He has promised us salvation, and I now find myself chasing after it like a woman strangling from thirst. Seeking salvation, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, maintains my hope and helps me to face the difficulties that I encounter in my life.

The Abrahamic prophetic tradition, which encompasses the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, illustrates a beautiful salvation narrative that not only provides hope, but also reveals the might and mercy of Allah (SWT). The remembrance of Allah’s salvation is recounted throughout the Abrahamic scriptures, from the story about Prophet Noah (SAW) and the flood, to that of the Messiah Jesus (SAW), and to that of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Likewise, the Quran states on many occasions that the promises of Allah (SWT) are true, and I bear witness that when we have faith in those promises with hope, our burdens can be lightened and we can maintain peace through the storms of our lives.

Scripture, God’s Word and Guidance to us, is a true gift for nurturing the spiritual space necessary for the remembrance of Allah (SWT). In the New Testament book 2 Timothy, verse 3:16 it states, “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” Correction can pave the way for salvation and guidance; righteousness can produce peace and understanding.

strivingcoverI’ve written this book with the prayer that it will be of benefit to those in need of some encouragement and comfort – those needing the fruits of the spirit. People are finding God, converting to religions and awakening to the deeper meaning of life every day. Yes, there is no denying that there is strife and difficulty in this world, but there is also light, love, joy, wisdom . . . my journey, like many others, has been filled with such ups and downs, yet I must continue to strive for the good – we must continue to strive for the good and keep the faith.

I’ve made this entire book available here for free download and printing: striving

But you can also purchase a paperback copy of the book on here.

Striving Towards The Good


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Excerpt from current work in progress, Striving Towards The Good, formerly titled Chasing Salvation: 


And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” – Matthew 22:37-40

How many times a day do you say, “I love you”? Do you say it to someone every day? Can you remember the last time that you said it, or when it was last said to you? If I were to ask you to define love, what would you say?

Love has been at the core of many decisions that I’ve made during my life. Sometimes those decisions have led me a right, and other times I have gone astray, may Allah (SWT) forgive me. On the other hand, love has also gotten me through some of the most difficult challenges that I have had to face thus far in this dunya.

The most important lesson that I’ve learned so far is that the love of God and for God is the greatest love I’ve ever known – a love that sustains and motivates everything else. God, Allah (SWT), loves us so much that He continues to hear and respond to our prayers, to provide for us, to guide us and to pour out His mercy upon us when we fall short. Like a Father, Allahu Al Khaaliq, Allah the Creator, loves us beyond our levels of comprehension and there is nothing that I’ve encountered on this earth more powerful than His love.

Old Testament

Genesis 24:12 And he said, “O LORD, God of my master Abraham, grant me success today, I pray thee, and show steadfast love to my master Abraham.

Genesis 24:27 And said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his steadfast love and his faithfulness toward my master. As for me, the LORD has led me in the way to the house of my master’s kinsmen.”

Genesis 32:10 I am not worthy of the least of all the steadfast love and all the faithfulness which thou hast shown to thy servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan; and now I have become two companies.

Genesis 39:21 But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

Exodus 15:13 “Thou hast led in thy steadfast love the people whom thou hast redeemed, thou hast guided them by thy strength to thy holy abode.

Exodus 20:6 But showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Exodus 34:6  The LORD passed before him, and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,

Exodus 34:7 Keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

Leviticus 19:18     You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

Leviticus 19:34     The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

Numbers 14:19 Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray thee, according to the greatness of thy steadfast love, and according as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”

Deuteronomy 6:5 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

Deuteronomy 7:7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love upon you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples;

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,

Deuteronomy 7:12 “And because you hearken to these ordinances, and keep and do them, the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love which he swore to your fathers to keep;

Deuteronomy 7:13 He will love you, bless you, and multiply you; he will also bless the fruit of your body and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the young of your flock, in the land which he swore to your fathers to give you.

Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

Deuteronomy 10:15 Yet the LORD set his heart in love upon your fathers and chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as at this day.

Deuteronomy 10:19 Love the sojourner therefore; for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 11:1 “You shall therefore love the LORD your God, and keep his charge, his statutes, his ordinances, and his commandments always.

Deuteronomy 11:13 “And if you will obey my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,

Deuteronomy 13:3 You shall not listen to the words of that prophet or to that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deuteronomy 30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.

Joshua 22:5 Take good care to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave to him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Joshua 23:11 Take good heed to yourselves, therefore, to love the LORD your God.

2 Samuel 2:6 Now may the LORD show steadfast love and faithfulness to you! And I will do good to you because you have done this thing.

2 Samuel 22:51    Great triumphs he gives to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David, and his descendants forever.”

1 Kings 3:6 And Solomon said, “Thou hast shown great and steadfast love to thy servant David my father, because he walked before thee in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward thee; and thou hast kept for him this great and steadfast love, and hast given him a son to sit on his throne this day.

1 Kings 8:23 And said, “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to thy servants who walk before thee with all their heart;

1 Chronicles 16:34 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

1 Chronicles 17:13 I will be his father, and he shall be my son; I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you,

2 Chronicles 7:3 When all the children of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the LORD upon the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the earth on the pavement, and worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

2 Chronicles 7:6 The priests stood at their posts; the Levites also, with the instruments for music to the LORD which King David had made for giving thanks to the LORD–for his steadfast love endures forever–whenever David offered praises by their ministry; opposite them the priests sounded trumpets; and all Israel stood.

2 Chronicles 20:21 And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise him in holy array, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

Ezra 9:9 For we are bondmen; yet our God has not forsaken us in our bondage, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to grant us some reviving to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us protection in Judea and Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 1:5 And I said, “O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments;

Nehemiah 9:32 “Now therefore, our God, the great and mighty and terrible God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to thee that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day.

Job 10:12 Thou hast granted me life and steadfast love; and thy care has preserved my spirit.

Psalm 5:7 But I through the abundance of thy steadfast love will enter thy house, I will worship toward thy holy temple in the fear of thee.

Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in thee rejoice, let them ever sing for joy; and do thou defend them, that those who love thy name may exult in thee.

Psalm 6:4 Turn, O LORD, save my life; deliver me for the sake of thy steadfast love.

Psalm 13:5 But I have trusted in thy steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.

Psalm 17:7 Wondrously show thy steadfast love, O savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at thy right hand.

Psalm 18:1 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD, who addressed the words of this song to the LORD on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said: I love thee, O LORD, my strength.

Psalm 18:50 Great triumphs he gives to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.

Psalm 21:7 For the king trusts in the LORD; and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.

Psalm 25:6 Be mindful of thy mercy, O LORD, and of thy steadfast love, for they have been from of old.

Psalm 25:7 Remember not the sins of my youth, or my transgressions; according to thy steadfast love remember me, for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD!

Psalm 25:10 All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Psalm 26:3 For thy steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in faithfulness to thee.

Psalm 26:8 O LORD, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwells.

Psalm 31:7 I will rejoice and be glad for thy steadfast love, because thou hast seen my affliction, thou hast taken heed of my adversities,

Psalm 31:16 Let thy face shine on thy servant; save me in thy steadfast love!

Psalm 31:23 Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, but abundantly requites him who acts haughtily.

Psalm 32:10 Many are the pangs of the wicked; but steadfast love surrounds him who trusts in the LORD.

Psalm 33:5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.

Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,

Psalm 36:5 Thy steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, thy faithfulness to the clouds.

Psalm 36:7 How precious is thy steadfast love, O God! The children of men take refuge in the shadow of thy wings.

Psalm 36:10 O continue thy steadfast love to those who know thee, and thy salvation to the upright of heart!

Psalm 40:10 I have not hid thy saving help within my heart, I have spoken of thy faithfulness and thy salvation; I have not concealed thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness from the great congregation.

Psalm 40:16 But may all who seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee; may those who love thy salvation say continually, “Great is the LORD!”

Psalm 42:8 By day the LORD commands his steadfast love; and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

Psalm 48:9 We have thought on thy steadfast love, O God, in the midst of thy temple.

Psalm 59:10 My God in his steadfast love will meet me; my God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.

Psalm 59:17 O my Strength, I will sing praises to thee, for thou, O God, art my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.

Psalm 63:3 Because thy steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise thee.

Psalm 66:20 Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!

Psalm 69:13 But as for me, my prayer is to thee, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of thy steadfast love answer me. With thy faithful help

Psalm 69:16 Answer me, O LORD, for thy steadfast love is good; according to thy abundant mercy, turn to me.

Psalm 85:10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.

Psalm 86:5 For thou, O Lord, art good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on thee.

Psalm 86:15 But thou, O Lord, art a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

Psalm 89:2 For thy steadfast love was established forever, thy faithfulness is firm as the heavens.

Psalm 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of thy throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before thee.

Psalm 90:14 Satisfy us in the morning with thy steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Psalm 91:14 Because he cleaves to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.

Psalm 94:18 When I thought, “My foot slips,” thy steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.

Psalm 98:3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

Psalm 100:5 For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 103:11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

Psalm 103:17 But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,

Psalm 106:1 Praise the LORD! O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Psalm 107:15 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to the sons of men!

Psalm 107:43 Whoever is wise, let him give heed to these things; let men consider the steadfast love of the LORD.

Psalm 109:21 But thou, O GOD my Lord, deal on my behalf for thy name’s sake; because thy steadfast love is good, deliver me!

Psalm 115:1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to thy name give glory, for the sake of thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness!

Psalm 118:4 Let those who fear the LORD say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”

Psalm 119:41 Let thy steadfast love come to me, O LORD, thy salvation according to thy promise;

Psalm 119:48 I revere thy commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on thy statutes.

Psalm 119:64 The earth, O LORD, is full of thy steadfast love; teach me thy statutes!

Psalm 119:97 Oh, how I love thy law! It is my meditation all the day.

Psalm 119:127    Therefore I love thy commandments above gold, above fine gold.

Psalm 119:149    Hear my voice in thy steadfast love; O LORD, in thy justice preserve my life.

Psalm 119:159    Consider how I love thy precepts! Preserve my life according to thy steadfast love.

Psalm 119:163    I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love thy law.

Psalm 119:165    Great peace have those who love thy law; nothing can make them stumble.

Psalm 119:167    My soul keeps thy testimonies; I love them exceedingly.

Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they prosper who love you!

Psalm 130:7 O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plenteous redemption.

Psalm 136:4 To him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever;

Psalm 136:5 To him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever;

Psalm 136:6 To him who spread out the earth upon the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever;

Psalm 136:7 To him who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever;

Psalm 136:8 The sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever;

Psalm 136:9 The moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever;

Psalm 138:2 I bow down toward thy holy temple and give thanks to thy name for thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness; for thou hast exalted above everything thy name and thy word.

Psalm 143:8 Let me hear in the morning of thy steadfast love, for in thee I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go, for to thee I lift up my soul.

Psalm 145:20 The LORD preserves all who love him; but all the wicked he will destroy.

Proverbs 1:22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?

Proverbs 4:6 Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.

Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

Proverbs 8:21 Endowing with wealth those who love me, and filling their treasuries.

Proverbs 8:36 But he who misses me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”

Proverbs 9:8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

Proverbs 15:17     Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it.

Proverbs 17:9 He who forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter alienates a friend.

Ecclesiastes 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 9:1 But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God; whether it is love or hate man does not know. Everything before them is vanity,

Song of Solomon 2:7 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the hinds of the field, that you stir not up nor awaken love until it please.

Song of Solomon 8:6 Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame.

Song of Solomon 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned.

Isaiah 16:5 Then a throne will be established in steadfast love and on it will sit in faithfulness in the tent of David one who judges and seeks justice and is swift to do righteousness.”

Isaiah 54:8 In overflowing wrath for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the LORD, your Redeemer.

Isaiah 54:10 For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 55:3 Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.

Isaiah 56:6 “And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath, and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant–

Isaiah 61:8 For I the LORD love justice, I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

Isaiah 63:7 I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel which he has granted them according to his mercy, according to the abundance of his steadfast love.

Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

Isaiah 66:10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her;

Jerimiah 2:2 “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD, I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.

Jerimiah 9:24 But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practice steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, says the LORD.”

Jerimiah 33:11 The voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD: ‘Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, for the LORD is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!’ For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the LORD.

Lamentations 3:22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end;

Lamentations 3:32 But, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love;

Daniel 9:4 I prayed to the LORD my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and terrible God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,

Hosea 2:19 And I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy.

Hosea 6:6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings.

Hosea 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain salvation upon you.

Hosea 12:6 “So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God.”

Joel 2:13 And rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil.

Amos 5:15 Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

Jonah 4:2 And he prayed to the LORD and said, “I pray thee, LORD, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that thou art a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil.

Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 7:18 Who is a God like thee, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever because he delights in steadfast love.

Micah 7:20 Thou wilt show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as thou hast sworn to our fathers from the days of old.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing

Zechariah 8:17 Do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, says the LORD.”

Zechariah 8:19     “Thus says the LORD of hosts: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah seasons of joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love truth and peace.

New Testament

Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Matthew 19:19     Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Matthew 22:37-40 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

Mark 12:30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’

Mark 12:31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Luke 6:27 “But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish.

Luke 10:27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

Luke 11:42 “But woe to you Pharisees! for you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.

John 8:42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

John 14:21 He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

John 14:23 Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

John 14:24 He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

John 15:9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.

John 15:10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.

John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

John 15:13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:17 This I command you, to love one another.

John 15:19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

John 17:24 Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world.

John 17:26 I made known to them thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

Romans 8:28 We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Romans 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 12:9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;

Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor.

Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Romans 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;

1 Corinthians 13:13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all that you do be done in love.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Ephesians 5:28     Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Colossians 3:14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.

1 Peter 3:10 For “He that would love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile;

1 Peter 4:8 Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.

1 John 3:11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,

1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God.

Revelations 3:19 Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent.


Al-Baqara 2:165 Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides Allah, as equal (with Allah): They love them as they should love Allah. But those of Faith are overflowing in their love for Allah.

Al-Baqara 2:177 It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing.

Al-Baqara 2:195 And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allah loves those who do good.

Al-Baqara 2:222 For Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.

Al Imraan 3:31 Say: “If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

Al Imraan 3:76 Nay.- Those that keep their plighted faith and act aright,-verily Allah loves those who act aright.

Al Imraan 3:92 By no means shall ye attain righteousness unless ye give (freely) of that which ye love; and whatever ye give, of a truth Allah knows it well.

Al Imraan 3:103 And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favor on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make His Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided.

Al Imraan 3:134 Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men;- for Allah loves those who do good;-

Al Imraan 3:146 How many of the prophets fought (in Allah’s way), and with them (fought) Large bands of godly men? but they never lost heart if they met with disaster in Allah’s way, nor did they weaken (in will) nor give in. And Allah loves those who are firm and steadfast.

Al Imraan 3:148 And Allah gave them a reward in this world, and the excellent reward of the Hereafter. For Allah loves those who do good.

Al Imraan 3:159 It is part of the Mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee: so pass over (Their faults), and ask for (Allah’s) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when thou hast Taken a decision put thy trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).

An Nisaa 4:107 Contend not on behalf of such as betray their own souls; for Allah loves not one given to perfidy and crime:

An Nisaa 4:148 Allah loves not that evil should be noised abroad in public speech, except where injustice hath been done; for Allah is He who hearts and knows all things.

Al Maaida 5:13 But because of their breach of their covenant, We cursed them, and made their hearts grow hard; they change the words from their (right) places and forget a good part of the message that was sent them, nor wilt thou cease to find them- barring a few – ever bent on (new) deceits: but forgive them, and overlook (their misdeeds): for Allah loves those who are kind.

Al Maaida 5:42 (They are fond of) listening to falsehood, of devouring anything forbidden. If they do come to thee, either judge between them, or decline to interfere. If thou decline, they cannot hurt thee in the least. If thou judge, judge in equity between them. For Allah loves those who judge in equity.

Al Maaida 5:82 Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, “We are Christians”: because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant.

Al Maaida 5:87 O ye who believe! make not unlawful the good things which Allah hath made lawful for you, but commit no excess: for Allah loveth not those given to excess.

Al Anaam 6:141 It is He Who produces gardens, with trellises and without, and dates, and tilth with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in variety): eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. But waste not by excess: for Allah loves not the wasters.

Al Araaf 7:31 O Children of Adam! wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters.

Al Araaf 7:55 Call on your Lord with humility and in private: for Allah loveth not those who trespass beyond bounds.

Al Araaf 7:189 It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her (in love). When they are united, she bears a light burden and carries it about (unnoticed). When she grows heavy, they both pray to Allah their Lord, (saying): “If Thou gives us a goodly child, we vow we shall (ever) be grateful.”

At Tawba 9:4 So fulfil your engagements with them to the end of their term: for Allah loves the righteous.

At Tawba 9:7 As long as these stand true to you, stand ye true to them: for Allah doth love the righteous.

At Tawba 9:108 There is a mosque whose foundation was laid from the first day on piety; it is more worthy of the standing forth (for prayer) therein. In it are men who love to be purified; and Allah loves those who make themselves pure.

Ibrahim 14:3 Those who love the life of this world more than the Hereafter, who hinder (men) from the Path of Allah and seek therein something crooked: they are astray by a long distance.

Maryam 19:96 On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow love.

TaHa 20:39 “‘Throw (the child) into the chest, and throw (the chest) into the river: the river will cast him up on the bank, and he will be taken up by one who is an enemy to Me and an enemy to him’: But I cast (the garment of) love over thee from Me: and (this) in order that thou may be reared under Mine eye.

Al Anbiyaa 21:90 So We listened to him: and We granted him Yahya: We cured his wife’s (Barrenness) for him. These (three) were ever quick in emulation in good works; they used to call on Us with love and reverence, and humble themselves before Us.

Ar Rum 30:21 And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.

Ash Shura 42:23 That is (the Bounty) whereof Allah gives Glad Tidings to His Servants who believe and do righteous deeds. Say: “No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin.” And if any one earns any good, We shall give him an increase of good in respect thereof: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (service).

Al Hujuraat 49:9 If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; but if it complies, then make peace between them with justice, and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just).

Al Hadid 57:19 And those who believe in Allah and His messengers- they are the Sincere (lovers of Truth), and the witnesses (who testify), in the eyes of their Lord: They shall have their Reward and their Light. But those who reject Allah and deny Our Signs,- they are the Companions of Hell-Fire.

Al Mumtahana 60:7 It may be that Allah will grant love (and friendship) between you and those whom ye (now) hold as enemies. For Allah has power (over all things); And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Al Mumtahana 60:8 Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loves those who are just.

As Saff 61:4 Truly Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure.

As Saff 61:13 And another (favor will He bestow,) which ye do love,- help from Allah and a speedy victory. So give the Glad Tidings to the Believers.

Al Insaan 76:8 And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive,-

Give the gift of reading!


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Inspire your loved ones with books this holiday season and give the gift of reading! 🙂

All of the Mindworks Publishing titles are available on

6 African Muslims Who Brought Islam To America You Should Know — Between Sisters, SVP!

Assalamu aleikum, please read an article I wrote for MVSLIM here or below. #Alhamdullilah *** (My graphic skills can be dodgy ;)… ) As a Muslim of West African origin living in the United States, my Muslim-ness is always contested by Europeans, Americans, and even clueless Africans. They ask me questions like: “Are you Muslim?” […]

via 6 African Muslims Who Brought Islam To America You Should Know — Between Sisters, SVP!

Excerpt from Islamic Chapter Book – A Quranic Odyssey


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Chapter 1: The Opening

Setting: Early October 2010, new school, Houston, early morning
Characters: Ms. Suzy, Ibrahim, Khadija, Amna

“What’s your name?” I hear the teacher ask.

It’s a new day, in a new place, and a very new teacher for all of us. The question, however, is a familiar one.

My son, who keeps reminding me that he will be five and a half in a matter of weeks, responds, “My name is . . . Ibrahim . . . well, actually, it’s longer, Muhemmed Ibrahim Shaban, but call me Ibrahim for short. I jumped off Signal Hill right before we left Cape Town. I wore a helmet and had sort of . . . umm . . . a net and a pair of wings. Do you want to see my picture? You can also see the World Cup Stadium if you look carefully, but, you know, Spain won, not South Africa.”

I can see that the teacher is taken aback, and imagine her asking herself the following questions: He jumped off a hill with wings? Near the World Cup Stadium?[i] She adjusts her glasses as if to focus her thoughts. I wonder whether she has ever met a boy named Ibrahim before. I also wonder how many mothers in hijab have passed through the school doors. There don’t seem to be any this morning that I can see.

I had chosen a small Montessori program because it was close to our home, just a half day of kindergarten, and they had an opening for us well after the start of the school year, but talking to the director over the phone and handing my son over to Ms. Suzy were two very different things.

“Well,” she finally says, “welcome Ib-ra-him.”

Slowly, the name comes out from her mouth and, although tentative, its pronunciation is followed by a smile. Ibrahim meanwhile is beaming at her, waiting, it would seem, as if to tell her more.

“Thank you Ms. Suzy,” I interject, then explain. “Ibrahim went tandem paragliding right before we moved, and just one month after the World Cup. It left quite an impact. And his name is Arabic for Abraham, like Abraham Lincoln. This is my daughter.”

I point down to Amna then continue, “Her name is Amna, Am-na, almost like ‘Amy’.”

Amna waves at Ms. Suzy as if on cue, and also beams. She’s wearing bright yellow overalls, a parting gift from my neighbor, which she chose to wear to accompany her brother to school. She wanted to make sure she wouldn’t get lost, or at least that is how she tried to explain it in our scramble to get dressed this morning. I’m hoping, that despite our eccentricities, we give a good first impression though I do feel a bit nervous myself, and adjust the edge of my hijab near the pin below my chin.

I pause for a second more before I proceed, “I am Khadija. My name is more of a mouthful, but once you’ve said it once or twice and maybe even seen it in writing, it will all seem more familiar.”

I start to take out a piece of paper from my brown, leather purse. Ibrahim, however, beats me to it, writing out his name on a small school notebook he is carrying. He hands it over to Ms. Suzy, together with his photograph, taken in flight.

“It all sounds and looks quite exciting. Yes, very exciting,” Ms. Suzy repeats. “I’m sure we’ll have fun getting to know each other, and I’m certainly looking forward to learning about all those soccer teams.[ii] Welcome, again. And yes, maybe you can write out your name? That would help.”

Once again, before I can respond, Ibrahim in his ever-forthright manner adds, “Do you know my father has three names? I call him ‘Papa’ and my mother calls him ‘Abdurrahman’ and my Nonna calls him ‘Nico’. I’m sure some of his coll-eag-ues at the office call him ‘Sir’, too. Isn’t that interesting?”

“Yes, very interesting,” Ms. Suzy nods. She seems to be less taken aback than at first, and maintains a smile. Perhaps she is getting used to us all, or perhaps we are actually not that different.

She reaches out for Ibrahim’s hand, and adds, “Why don’t I show you where you will be sitting and you can meet your classmates.”

I feel a lump forming in my throat as I wave good-bye.  Ibrahim follows Ms. Suzy into the classroom and I watch him disappear. I know in my heart that he will be alright, but every goodbye always hurts, and I suspect always will, even as the children age.

It’s been a busy first month in Houston, as we sort out endless logistics, but the hot spell is breaking, and this morning we finally started at a new school. So here we are, at least some of us, for now. Papa, also known as Abdurrahman, Nico and Sir, will be coming home from work in the evening and will probably want to go out to watch the sunset. And Nonna, my mother-in-law, has just come to stay, together with a pledge to start learning Spanish, which she claims is not so different from Italian, her mother tongue.


Meanwhile, if all goes according to plan, I start my hifdh lessons with Hafidha Rabia tomorrow morning after dropping off Ibrahim.[1] Then, Nani, my mother, will be with us again, next week insha’Allah. She’s been trying to teach me how to cook and start the children on Urdu. We also began reading the first surah of the Quran, Al Fatihah,[2] [3] which seems auspicious and fitting.

This afternoon, we’ll re-read it in Arabic and English, and, if the children are up to it, we may even try to draw it. An immense book opens in front of us, and beckons.

For more about Ibrahim and Amna’s adventures get your copy today!

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