The Transition from Classroom to Office

By Mehreen Mushtak Nazarali

Walking in and seeing new faces being all nervous and excited! At that point in time, we did not even know what mixed nerves were. Yes! It was the first day of grade school. As we walk in and embrace the surroundings, try to familiarize the new faces and the look forward to the day that lies ahead. We soon get used to it and make tons of friends, and the seven-year journey comes to an end. Then comes a new school, maybe with the same people or perhaps new ones. This cycle goes on and on in life.

Fast forward to 15 years later, when you set foot into your new office all ready to start off your dream career. You’ve definitely thought this day through a million times in your mind; having a wonderful induction and introduction, then being introduced to a team with whom you will work and learn from and probably being given some first day perks. Let me burst your bubble. It won’t go that way. Well, maybe some of it may be there, but not everything you imagined. Don’t worry about it. Every transition takes a while and getting used to and adapting to the new people and lifestyle can be a tedious and daunting process. The key to this however, is, try talking to the people around you, it really helps. Also prayer is crucial, as it helps boost your confidence. After all, you’ve just talked to your Creator – what better way is there to calm the nerves down.

You may also feel alien to something you’ve been passionate about and feel that you knew so much; you will never feel ready for the corporate life until you don’t step in to it. The transition from the classroom to the office will definitely take a while and each time you try, you may fall. You need to get up, and try harder again. It’s not enough to come into work and say “use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to motivate staff”, but if you suggest that, then also put how you are going to use it and when will you apply it, and how many people would fall under each category, and not forgetting the ‘budget’. Remember, once you graduate, learning does not stop there, it just ends one chapter to start another one, and as the Holy Prophet has emphasized on the concept of learning from cradle to grave, so don’t be afraid each time you try something new, as all of it is a learning phase.

Welcome to the real world! As scary as this may sound, it is the most interesting. You will grow the most and learn much more skills here than you were able to learn throughout the years you spent in classrooms and lecture halls. This transition however, is way smoother than it would have ever been because of the ever changing education system that makes an active effort in preparing individuals for the real world. From instilling the art of critical thinking to learning from case studies and actual business scenarios. These are all the small steps that we take from early years, which help, in the big leap. Furthermore, it becomes so much easier with self-discipline, which we definitely, definitely build through Islamic values and principles.

I hope this calms the nerves for anyone looking to start or soon starting a new job. Embrace all the challenges on the way and treat them as growing points. It may be easy for some and hard for others, likewise, growth is a life-long journey and only happens when we are ready to take in new things. Take every new leap in life with an open mind.

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Hijab – Liberation or Oppression?

By Mohamedhusein Kara (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

Islam has constantly emphasized on the concept of modesty in religion. In chapter 24, verse 31, Allah commands the Prophet; “Say to the believing women that: they should cast down their glances and guard their private parts (by being chaste)…”

Islam introduced and made hijab compulsory on women as part of decency in the interaction between members of the opposite sex. Men, whether they confess or not, are slaves of lust. Thus, among the functions of hijab is to shield women from abuse and harm – which unfortunately is widespread in today’s society. Hijab sends a signal to such men that the wearer is a modest and chaste woman. It shows she is sanctified to one man and is off-limits to others. Not only that, hijab eliminates the chances of extramarital affairs, boosting the preservation of marriage.

Hijab isn’t just a piece of cloth on a woman’s head. It’s a way of life. It is an attitude in itself. It is how a woman presents herself, how she chooses to be recognized. Just because some women have their hair covered, they assume the requirement of Hijab fulfilled. Hijab actually requires more than just covering your head.

Some Muslim women believe that although the principles of modesty are clearly outlined in the Quran, they perceive the wearing of the headscarf as a cultural interpretation of these scriptures and therefore opt not to wear Hijab. Women may opt not to wear Hijab due to conflicting reasons, some may be uncomfortable, and for some it may be a personal choice. Islam does not permit Muslims to judge women who don’t wear Hijab as that is a grave misdeed on its own. The Quran clearly states; “Let there be no compulsion in religion.” (2:256).

Some feminists and the West have labeled hijab as ‘oppressive.’ You will find most of these activists are Christian and therefore say Mary is the mother of Jesus. In all of Mary’s pictures, she is seen with a veil over head, covering her hair. Looking at one owns religious history and then passing a comment about another is a miscalculation and very sad. Hijab is NOT a symbol of oppression. In fact, the display of semi naked women on commercials and in the entertainment industry in the West is a true sign of oppression. Neither does the hijab prevent a woman from acquiring knowledge nor does it prevent them from contributing to the betterment of human society. Historically, there are numerous women who wore Hijab and greatly contributed to Islam. Among them is Bibi Khadijah, who spent all her wealth to promote Islam. Lady Zahra, the beacon of light. She faithfully stood by her husband and also advocated for him during his struggle for his right to the caliphate – and I could go o n and on.


Hijab actually is a symbol of freedom. This is because women no longer have to comply with the expected standards of the society as they are glamorously showcased in the world today. Hijab gives women the freedom to set their own standards to live up to, without worrying about what the society has to say – which is clearly extremely liberating.

In Islam, women are considered gems. What do you do with a gem? Safeguard it. Similarly, women must be safeguarded too.




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5 Fengshui tips that could change your life

By Khudeija Habib (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) 

“The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back.” Wendy Wunder

Have you ever felt like the home you come back to at nightfall doesn’t permit you to get the much-deserved time-off that you need or have you ever wanted to rearrange your home in order to achieve inner peace and harmony?

Fengshui is a Chinese system of harmonizing everything with the surrounding environment. The purpose of fengshui is to get your surroundings in alignment with who you are. The Chinese term fengshui means wind and water. CHI is another element which the Chinese believe in which is the animating life force that is everywhere.

Fengshui was first used in China in the arrangement of graves. It was vital to place graves of forefathers in places untouched by water and wind. Fengshui is now a very common practice and people all over the world use it in order to promote well-being and create success around them. If you want to create good fengshui in your present home here are 5 fengshui tips that can make your life better.

  1. Get a Plant

The essence of a plant in a home environment invites harmony and stability. Not only that but plants make great natural air purifiers.

  1. Put away electronics

In this fast-paced world, all that everyone is surrounded with are a huge variety of gadgets. Fengshui is an ancient practice which has no regard for technology so it is best to remove all sorts of electronic devices from your bedroom as they radiate an energy that isn’t very positive.

  1. Bed positioning

The bed is by far the most important piece of furniture in your room and so it is vital to have good placement for it. In Fengshui, the commanding position is used to locate important furniture such as your bed. Therefore, face your bed diagonally across the room door. If that is not possible place a mirror where you can see the door while lying in bed.

  1. If it’s broken, Fix it

Broken hinges or squeaking sounds affect your mood and bring about a sense of dread and brokenness. Fix those nooks and corners in order to bring more positive energy around you.

  1. Get rid of clutter.

Clutter is completely intolerable in Fengshui. If your home is messy and untidy you are allowing negative CHI to collect and just like Gail Blanke says, “when we throw out the physical clutter, we clear our minds. When we throw out the mental clutter, we clear our souls.”

Having a home that is warm and welcoming makes it an enjoyable and inviting place. Having the right atmosphere at home is what distinguishes it from a fine home to a magnificent home.

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An Islamic Home

Contributed by KSIJ Dar Media (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

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When Religion becomes Traumatic

By Faseeha Sheriff (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

How is it possible for something as sacred as religion to be a cause of trauma? The main purpose of a religion is to guide mankind towards the process of self-actualization. However, there are a number of accounts which point at religion and blame its culture for the adverse effects observed in certain groups of people.

Is it religion in general? All kinds of religions pose a threat to humanistic development?

Well, not precisely. There are cases reported from people coming from the following religious backgrounds:

  • Evangelical Christianity
  • The Assemblies of God
  • The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

Fundamentalists who have experienced life from within the above-mentioned cults undergo Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome as well as Religious Trauma Syndrome after they leave.

Matter of fact is, a person may be in a cult, least realizing that it is harming them. So, how would you identify whether your religion is working towards your self-actualization or is causing you to regress from humanistic values?

There are a number of indicators of a cult being cause of trauma, which have been outlined as here-under:

  • Patriarchal authority in family structure
  • Harsh parenting methods
  • Sexual and physical abuse in religious context
  • Highly controlling, preventing people from thinking for themselves or trusting their own feelings
  • Demanding obedience and conformity
  • Producing fear instead of love and growth
  • A lot of self judgement and judgement of others, becoming alienated from self, others and the world
  • Anxiety, threats, panic attacks, flash backs and nightmares
  • Self-harm and suicide
  • Mental and emotional torture as a result of violence and murder.

The question also arises whether the above-mentioned indicators are attributed to fundamentalist cults only, to which I would disagree.

Take the example of Buddhism, whose wisdom guides many to inner bliss. Why then do the Buddhists engage in mass killings and brutalities towards the Rohingya Muslims? Does their religion guide them to do so?

Answer is no. There is need to separate the cult from its followers in such a scenario.

This leads us to the realization that individual mentality and that of a society can largely influence their understanding of a given religion which would then govern their behavior.

Factors like misinterpretation of religious principles, the treatment a person may  have received right from childhood or at any phase of life as well as their response to various life situations greatly determine their perception and thus implementation of religious principles and their world view.

At any point when there is no balance between emotion and intellect, know that you are detouring or heading the wrong way.


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