Archive for February, 2005

The Arab and the Camel

February 14, 2005
asalamu aleikum

There is a modern lesson in this story. Can you decipher it?

Once there was an Arab, and his inseparable companion, the Camel, because we are talking of the Arab of old, not the modern-day urbanised Arab, who travels in his air-conditioned Mercedes (or more likely these days, the Toyota Corolla).

As we know they lived in the desert, or at least travelled in it.

We also know that Arabs live in tents.

So this day the Arab was in the desert in his tent, when the desert breeze started getting stronger. Soon it became a strong wind.

The Camel which had been tied to the tent on the outside, put his head in and said to the Arab: “Master, this wind is too strong for me, and the sand is getting in my eyes, will you please allow me to shield my head against the sand by keeping it inside the tent.”

Now this was a good-natured Arab, and also true to the Arab tradition of hospitality, so he allowed his camel to keep his head inside the tent.

After some time, the wind got even stronger and a sandstorm started brewing.

The Camel withstood it for a while, then said to the Arab: “Master, my neck is hurting like anything. This sand is getting into my neck, please allow me to bring the neck in as well. There is enough space in the tent for that.”

The Arab saw the discomfort of his Camel, and agreed to the Camel’s request.

After some more time, the wind really started blowing, and the Camel found it necessary to ask for more favor.

“Master”, he said, “I would like to bring in my front two feet as well, since the sand is beginning to bite on those.”

The Arab gave up his relaxing position, so the Camel could shelter his front feet.

After a while, the Camel asked to bring in the front half of his torso inside, and did so without waiting for an affirmative answer.

After some more time, the Camel said to the Arab: “My body is feeling the difference between the front half being sheltered in the tent, and the hind half being outside in the storm. I am, therefore, going to bring in the back half as well, but don’t worry, I will keep my hind legs outside so there is room for you.”

Saying that, the Camel brought in the back half inside the tent, and the Arab had no choice but to squeeze himself in a corner.

As the sandstorm increased in ferocity, the Camel could stand it no more, and told the Arab: “Arab, make way for my hind legs. I cannot keep them outside forever.”

Saying that the Camel brought his hind legs in, so that now the Arab and his Camel were both inside the tent, but the Arab was quite squeezed. in.

After some more time, the Camel said to the Arab: “Arab, I have been tolerating you for a long time now, but there simply isn’t space in the tent for both of us”. Saying that he kicked the Arab out of the tent, and spread his legs.


Zakah on Retirement Accounts

February 13, 2005
As-Salamu `alaykum! I have a question about Zakah on retirement-saving accounts such as 401K or IRA accounts. As you know these are retirement plans that many companies offer to their employees. Sometimes, the employee has to contribute to it to be eligible for any withdrawals or sometimes companies deposit money for their employees. Either case employees are not supposed to take money out of these accounts until he/she retires. My question is: Should I pay Zakah on that money, or it is better to wait until I retire, and get access to it? Jazakum Allah Khayran.

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger. Dear brother Manzour, thanks for forwarding this question to us. We implore Almighty Allah to help us make our humble efforts come up to your expectations. As regards your question, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, states: “The basic rule of Zakah is that it is due on the wealth that one owns and has the freedom to use. I think this 401K Account is similar to what is called ‘Provident Fund’ in India and Pakistan. A committee of scholars under the leadership of Maulana Mujahidul-Islam Qasmi discussed this issue in great detail.

In the light of the discussion of the scholars the following points can be presented: The employee’s contribution to this fund is Zakatable if it is done by his/her own choice. There is no Zakah due on these funds if the employers due to the company or government’s policies collect them by force. Zakah will be due on these funds when they can be withdrawn. If these funds are withdrawn and they reach the value of nisab (3 ounces of gold or its cash value) and a year passes on them, then the Zakah (at the ration of 2.5 per cent) will be due. The Zakah must be paid for the money that one receives and then voluntarily contributes to a retirement fund (such as IRA etc.), if it reaches the nisab and after a period of one year.”

Shedding more light on this issue, Dr. `Abdul-Azeez Al-Qassar, professor of Comparative Jurisprudence, Faculty of Shari`ah, Kuwait University, says: “It is not obligatory to pay Zakah on what is known as retirement money (i.e. the pension paid to the employee upon his retirement) unless the money is really possessed. Muslim Jurists state that the person who is going to pay Zakah should possess the money he is going to pay. So far, as it appears in your question, that such pension is not actually possessed by the person for the time being, hence it is not obligatory to pay Zakah on it till it falls into his possession in one way or the other. According to the consensus of jurists, it is not permitted to pay Zakah two years in advance.”

You can also read:

Zakah on 401K Account
Zakah on Retirement Accounts
Zakah and Charity: Signs of Gratitude

Allah Almighty knows best.

Any Need for Hadith?

February 2, 2005


Any Need for Hadith?* By Dr. Khalid Alvi March 30, 2005

From time to time questions are raised about the significance of Hadith, as a pretext to reject the Sunnah. Why should we Muslims attach such importance to Hadith when we already have the Qur’an, the very word of Allah? Why should we seek guidance in anything other than it? Dr. Khalid Alvi here explains the authority and position of Hadith in Islam.

To deal with this topic it is necessary to know the position of the Prophet in Islam, because the indispensability of Hadith depends upon the position of the Prophet.

Analyzing the problem we can visualize three possibilities:

1. The duty of the Prophet was only to convey the message, and nothing more was required from him.

2. He had not only to convey the message, but also to act upon it and to explain it. But all that was for the specified period, and after his death the Qur’an is sufficient to guide humanity.

3. No doubt he had to convey the divine message, but it was also his duty to act upon it and to explain it to the people. His actions and explanations are a source of guidance forever. His sayings, actions, practices, and explanations are a source of light for every Muslim in every age.

Muslim scholars are of the unanimous view that only the third point is the correct assessment of the Prophet’s position in Islam. The Qur’an contains dozens of reminders of the important position of the Prophet. For instance, the Qur’an says:

[And verily in the Messenger of Allah ye have a good example for him who looketh unto Allah and the last day and remembereth Allah much.] (Al-Ahzab 33:21)

According to this verse, every Muslim is bound to have the good example of the Prophet as an ideal in life. In another verse, he has been made a hakam (judge) for the Muslims by Allah Almighty. No one remains Muslim if he does not accept the Prophet’s decisions and judgments:

[But no, by thy Lord, they can have no real faith until they make thee judge in all disputes between them and find in their souls no resistance against thy decisions but accept them with the fullest conviction.] (An-Nisaa’ 4:65)

While explaining the qualities of Muslims, the Qur’an says:

[The answer of the believers, when summoned to Allah and His Messenger, in order that He may judge between them, is no other than this: They say: we hear and we obey.] (An-Nur 24: 51)

In many places, the Qur’an has given its verdict on this issue. The Qur’an says, [Obey Allah and obey the Messenger] (An-Nisaa’ 4:59) and, [Whatever the Messenger giveth you, take it, and whatever he forbiddeth, abstain from it] (Al-Hashr 59:7).

The Qur’an is very clear in expressing its view on the position of the Prophet. According to the Qur’an, the Prophet has four capacities, and he must be obeyed in every capacity. He is mu`alim wa murabbi (teacher and educator); he explains the Book; he is a judge; and he is a ruler. In all these capacities, he is an ideal example for the Muslims. I am quoting a few verses of the Qur’an just to give a hint of this topic.

[Allah did confer a great favor on the believers when He sent among them a messenger from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the signs of Allah, purifying them, and teaching them the Book and the wisdom while, before that, they had been in manifest error.] (Aal `Imran 3:164)

[And We have sent down unto thee the Remembrance that thou mayest explain clearly to mankind what is sent for them.] (An-Nahl 16:44)

[He commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good and pure and prohibits them from what is bad and impure. He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them.] (Al-A`raf 7:157)

[O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything amongst yourselves refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day.] (An-Nisaa’ 4:59)

[It is not fitting for a believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision. If any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong path.] (Al-Ahzab 33:36)

In all these verses, the Qur’an has explained various aspects of the Prophet’s personality. One can judge the importance of the Prophet from these verses. I am reminded of another important verse of the Qur’an, which is actually a verdict against those who do not believe in Hadith as an authentic source of law:

[And whoso opposeth the Messenger after the guidance (of Allah) hath been manifested unto him, and followeth other than the believer’s way, We shall leave him in the path he has chosen, and shall cause him to endure hell—a hapless journey’s end!] (An-Nisaa’ 4:115)

The Qur’an, while pressing the Muslims to obey the Prophet, goes a step further when it announces that the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is above all the limitations of time and space. He is the Last Prophet and is a Messenger of Allah for the whole of humanity for all time to come. Hadith is nothing but a reflection of the personality of the Prophet, who is to be obeyed at every cost.

Any student of the Qur’an will see that the Qur’an generally deals with the broad principles or essentials of religion, going into details in very rare cases. The details were generously supplied by the Prophet himself, either by showing in his practice how an injunction is to be carried out, or by giving an explanation in words. The Sunnah or Hadith of the Prophet was not, as is generally supposed, a thing of which the need may have been felt only after his death, for it was very much needed in his lifetime. The two most important religious institutions of Islam are Prayer and zakah; yet when the injunction relating to Prayer and zakah were delivered—and they were repeatedly revealed in both Makkah and Madinah—no details were supplied. “Keep up Prayers” is the Qur’anic injunction, and it was the Prophet himself who, by his own actions, gave details of the Prayer and said, “Pray as you see me praying.”

Payment of zakah is, again, an injunction frequently repeated in the Qur’an, yet it was the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who gave the rules and regulations for its payment and collection. These are but two examples, but since Islam covers the entire sphere of human activities, hundreds of points had to be explained by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) by his example in action and in words.

The scholars have discussed the question of Hadith in detail as a wahyun khafiy (hidden revelation) and prophetic wisdom. I do not want to go into details, but one thing must be stated clearly, that there were cases when the Prophet, not having received a revelation, made a personal effort to formulate opinion through his own wisdom, which was either to be approved or corrected through revelation. After all, the importance of the Sunnah, even as a second source of Islam, was a settled issue for the Companions of the Prophet. I quote only one of the many examples: that of Mu`az ibn Jabal who said to the Prophet that he would decide according to the Sunnah if he did not find the solution of a problem in the Book. To quote Dr. Hamidullah:

The importance of Hadith is increased for the Muslim by the fact that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) not only taught, but took the opportunity of putting his teachings into practice in all the important affairs of life. He lived for twenty three years after his appointment as the Messenger of Allah. He endowed his community with a religion, which he scrupulously practiced himself. He founded a state, which he administered as the supreme head, maintaining internal peace and order, heading armies for external defense, judging and deciding the litigations of his subjects, punishing the criminals, and legislating in all walks of life. He married and left a model of family life. Another important fact is that he did not declare himself to be above the ordinary law which he imposed on others. His practice was not mere private conduct, but a detailed interpretation and application of his teachings. (Introduction to Islam, p. 23)


*Excerpted with some modifications from:

Islamic Oases From Daily Stress

February 1, 2005
Islamic Oases From Daily Stress
By Sahar Talaat, MD* 03/12/2004
In our highly regimented, fast moving, competitive environments, we frequently complain of unresolved feelings of alienation, inadequacy, and personal powerlessness. Many face a constant feeling of insecurity, and worry about their own basic survival and ability to measure up. This stressful lifestyle produces many types of mental and physical illnesses in modern societies(1).
As it is not possible to change the style or pace of our modern life, we need to discover suitable mechanisms to cope with daily stress(2). The Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told us that we could find this internal peace and relaxation during praying.
It was reported by Imam Ahmad in (Al Musnad) that the Prophet (May peace and blessings be
upon him) has told Bilal “call for the prayers, it will comfort us.”
This raises very important questions: Why do different forms of worship lose their capacity to help us cope with stress; and how can they be performed in a better way to improve their capacity to help us cope with stress?
Before considering the different types of worship and their mechanisms in combating stress, let’s define the different types of stress, their mechanisms of action and their adverse effects on human beings.
Psychological Stress: Types and Effects
The body tends to show signs of chronic stress very gradually, so the onset of stress may actually go unnoticed in its early stages. Symptoms of stress may appear so gradually that some people are unaware of the severity of their stress condition until they suffer a general nervous breakdown(3).
It was found that when one is experiencing stress, one’s brain produces high levels of two specific hormones: adrenaline and cortisol. This response is called the “Fight or Flight response”. The body prepares itself for a fight or for an escape from a fight by releasing these two hormones, which gives the body a temporary increase of strength and energy(2).
This hormonal response mechanism is considered to be “the general stress response syndrome”. This chemical stress response is entirely appropriate for the short-term. It is these hormones that make one able to respond more efficiently, both physically and mentally, to the hazards in one’s environment (4).
These hormones are not normally dangerous in the short-term. The problem only begins to surface when these messages of danger or emergency continue to be broadcast from the psyche over long periods of time. The situation gets worse when there seems to be no option to confronting the stressful situation directly, or to escaping from it in any way. Feeling trapped by the circumstances, the mind responds to the permanent warnings of impending emergency by manufacturing more and more of these hormones. Ultimately, these hormones have no physical or mental outlet and the energy just implodes, collapses in on itself, and produces a chaos of energy(3).
The response to stress can be divided into three stages:
1. The alarm stage: in which there is an increase in the level of previously mentioned hormones.
2. The resistance stage: during which the body utilizes the produced energy.
3. The exhaustion stage: which results from persistency of the stresses over a long period of time (
Stresses can be classified according to their period of exposure into temporary intermittent stresses and chronic persistent stresses. Considering sources of stresses, they can also be classified into internal stresses (which are related to personal characteristics) and external stresses. In addition, they can be classified according to their effects on individual health into a good type of stress (eustress) or a destructive type of stress. Good stress is defined as the ability to respond to the challenges of life in a way that promotes stimulation and encourages personal growth; stress management tools can facilitate this reaction. Examples of destructive, unhealthy reactions to stress are feeling overwhelmed or anxious (
This stressful life can produce many types of mental and physical illnesses and imposes its effects on body, psyche and mind. Some of the possible symptoms of prolonged exposure to stress are headache, brain tissue damage, high blood pressure, heart disease, weakening of the bones, general immune deficiency, muscle tension, menstrual disorders, miscarriage, depression, anger, fear and nervousness. If the body’s immune system is allowed to deteriorate because of stress, it may lead to other serious medical conditions such as a variety of malignancies (3).
Coping With Stress: Islamic Viewpoint
Those who are extremely stressed can find peace and relaxation by utilizing different Islamic ‘oases’. Medicine has been proven to be inefficient in dealing with the original causes of stress, nor can it adequately eliminate all of its symptoms. Medicine may be necessary for a person in the most critical stages of chronic stress, but medicine alone may not be enough to achieve a cure for all its symptoms. Scientists are trying to find new strategies to cope with stress and minimize its effects. These include relaxation techniques, meditation, imagination (2, 5) and Yoga (6). These techniques are extensively studied to determine their effects and mechanisms of action. Different studies have confirmed the efficacy of these techniques in coping with stress and eliminating its effects. These techniques are now entering the medical mainstream and are included in many treatment programs (2).
Most of these techniques are rooted in Islamic spirituality and different Islamic forms of worship, ‘ibadatat, which can be – if performed in the correct manner – considered as good tools for coping with life’s stresses.
Those who are extremely stressed can find peace and relaxation for their minds, body and soul utilizing the following different Islamic ‘oases’; in terms of a safe place where one can seek refuge from the ‘desert’ of life:
Different Islamic forms of worship, if performed in the correct manner – are considered as good tools for coping with life’s stresses.
1. The Faith (iman) Oasis: Some people are more able to cope with stress than others. The determining factor of the level of stress experienced is the perception of something as a threat, which triggers the stress response, and not the threat itself.
It seems that the stress response is not created by any particular type of event or situation but rather by the way that event is perceived. It turns out then that stress response is a matter of perception, or awareness. The stress reaction is activated by neural perceptions or by what amounts to one’s worldview. A worldview can be described as the prism of ideas and beliefs through which the world is perceived and judged. This means that your worldview becomes central to the way any stressful circumstance is handled (2, 3). Islamic spiritual practices can dramatically alter your worldview and thereby restore your feelings of self worth and personal meaning, giving you a feeling of deeply rooted power and control.
Control has been found to be a key factor in the psychology of chronic stress. It has been observed in clinical studies that the extent to which you feel that you are in control of your environment, is the extent to which you will, or will not, experience the hormonal stress response. Those who feel most powerless or unable to control their circumstances tend to experience the highest levels of stress. On the other hand, those who feel they have great personal control and power over themselves and their environment will be much less likely to experience the hormonal stress response, and this is regardless of the potential seriousness of the threat (2). In Islam, Muslims feel Allah, Who controls the whole world and all the creatures in it, supports them.
It was reported by Omar may Allah be pleased with him that the Prophet has said: “if you people depended on Allah as you should, He would provide for you as he provides for the birds leaving their nests hungry and coming back satisfied.”
2. The Meditation and Relaxation Oasis: Meditation is being riveted on any one idea or object to the exclusion of all other ideas or objects. Meditation is really a natural quality of the mind. With meditation, the mind is trained to pay attention and to follow commands. In this way one learns to quiet the thought traffic in one’s mind, thereby freeing up mental and physical energy. The basis of meditation is to adopt a posture of body and mind that allows one to remain comfortable for long periods of time without expending significant amounts of energy (7).
Dr. Herbert Benson, a Harvard University physician, researched the physiologic effects of meditation in the early 1970s. He coined the term “relaxation response” to refer to the stress-reducing effects of meditation, which we now know can be elicited through a variety of relaxation practices including meditation (
In the mid-1980s, Dr. Dean Ornish, clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, incorporated an extensive meditation program into a comprehensive lifestyle program for patients with heart disease. Data published from his five-year trial revealed reductions in total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, decreased anginal symptoms, and regression of coronary artery disease (
Meditation works by eliciting the relaxation response. The relaxation response is characterized by decreased heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen consumption, and muscle tension. Meditation seems to produce these changes to a greater extent and more efficiently than sleep. For example, reports from Dr. Benson’s work show that oxygen (O2) consumption diminishes by 8 percent during restful sleep over the course of four to five hours, while the relaxation response results in a 10 to 17 percent reduction of O2 consumption in a matter of minutes (
Other studies demonstrate significant reduction in total peripheral resistance (TPR) and systolic blood pressure in those practicing meditation regularly. TPR is the maximum degree of resistance to blood flow caused by constriction of the systemic blood vessels. Reduction of TPR will reduce the overall blood pressure (
10). Studies also showed diminished lipid peroxide levels resulting in reduced oxidative damage(11). Also, meditation was used intensively and effectively in control of cases with chronic pain (12) and anxiety disorders (13). Meditation by concentrating on Allah’s creatures (plants, animals, space, human body, etc.) is considered one of the most efficient and powerful forms of Islamic worship.
In this form of meditation, one concentrates on an object or group of objects from the same category (categorical meditation).
Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: Our Lord! Thou hast not created this in vain! Glory be to Thee; save us then from the chastisement of the fire: (3: 192)
3. The Remembrance (zikr) Oasis: As we mentioned in the previous paragraph, meditation can be done by concentrating our thoughts on an object or group of objects of the same category. Meditation can also be performed by concentrating on one word or a few words that give the person a sense of internal peace and calm; for example by repeating the words subhan Allah (glory be to Allah) or al-hamdu lillah (all praise be to Allah). Deep and silent repetition of such words produces the same physiological effects of meditation (7). It also adds an additional factor that helps in stress elimination and that is giving the individual the feeling that he or she is in extreme proximity with Allah, the Controller of the whole world.
Those who believe and whose hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah; now surely by Allah’s remembrance are the hearts set at rest. ( 13:28)
4. The Imagination Oasis: this is considered one of the most powerful methods of stress reduction. During this practice, the person imagines that he or she is in a place, which gives him internal peace, calmness and rest. Muslims can find their safe place through imagining what will be present in the Paradise.
Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported:Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, said: I have prepared for My pious servants’ bounties which no eye (has ever) seen, no ear has (ever) heard and no human heart has ever perceived.”
5. The Praying Oasis: This includes all of the previously mentioned oases including meditation, remembrance and imagination. While praying, each one of us feels that we are in extreme connection with the controlling power of this world (Allah) and that from Him we receive maximum support.
O you who believe! seek assistance through patience and prayer; surely Allah is with the patient.(2: 153)
It was reported by Gaber may Allah be pleased with him that the Prophet has said: “your prayers are like a flowing river at your doorstep you wash yourself in it five times a day”
Recent scientific investigations show that praying reduces post-operative complications following open-heart surgery. Praying also markedly reduces the percentage of patients exposed to depression following hospitalization (
Nowadays, doctors suggest that praying can be used as an alternative therapy as successfully as meditation, exercise, or herbal treatments. According to Koenig of Duke University, “when prayer uplifts or calms, it inhibits cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine – hormones that flow out of the adrenal glands in response to stress. These fight-or-flight chemicals, released over time, can compromise the immune system, upping the odds of developing any number of illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, peptic ulcers, and inflammatory bowel disorder (IBS).”
Many experts feel that the immune system is strengthened and nourished by a sense of peace elicited during praying. Many doctors believe that praying with their patients before and after surgery or before administering a course of powerful drugs might actually assist in the patient’s recovery (15).
Five prayers have been prescribed to us daily. This is a good chance to make use of that time not only for spiritual enhancement but also for physical and psychological healing. Although Ramadan has passed, its spirit should still be fresh in our hearts and minds. Investing this spirit into our daily prayers and meditations could well be the way to a stronger and more relaxing mental health.
1. Relaxation techniques-stress management techniques from mind tools.
2. Sultanoff BA & Zalaquett CP. Relaxation therapies. In: Novey DW, ed. Clinician’s Complete Reference to Complementary and Alternative Medicine. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby; 2000:114-129.
3. Stress at Williams (and Elsewhere . . .)
4. deLeon D. The relaxation response in the treatment of chronic pain. In: Micozzi MS, Bacchus AN, eds. The Physician’s Guide to Alternative Medicine. Atlanta, Ga: American Health Consultants; 1999:335-337.
5. Alive and healthy – meditation.
6. Faheem MA,Yoga and Human Being’s Spiritual Energy (Arabic).
7. Learning meditation.
8. Meditation.
9. Ornish D, Scherwitz LW, Billings JH, et al. Intensive lifestyle changes for reversal of coronary heart disease. JAMA. 1998;280(23):2001-2007.
10. Barnes VA, Treiber FA, Turner JR, Davis H, Strong WB. Acute effects of transcendental meditation on hemodynamic functioning in middle-aged adults. Psychosom Med. 1999;61(4):525-531.
11. Schneider RH, Nidich SI, Salerno JW. Lower lipid peroxide levels in practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation program. Psychosom Med. 1998;60(1):38-41.
12. Kabat-Zinn J, Lipworth L, Burney R, Sellers W. Four-year follow-up of a meditation-based program for the self-regulation of chronic pain: treatment outcomes and compliance. Clin J Pain. 1987;2:159-173.
13.Kabat-Zinn J, Massion AO, Kristeller J. Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Am J Psychiatry. 1992;149(7):936-943.
14. Prayer and spiritual healing.
15. International network on personal meaning.
Read Also:
Dealing With Stress: In Light of the Tragedy
Stress & A Big Belly
India Undergoes Spiritual Healing Renaissance
* Sahar Talaat, MD is assistant professor of pathology at Cairo University’s Faculty of Medicine. She also regularly contributes cyberconsultations to’s Arabic ‘Problems and Solutions’ Page. You can contact her at: