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Instilling Modesty in Children

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There is a not-so-subtle campaign aimed at having young girls dress in short, revealing clothing. In fact, a trip to a department store will quickly remind us that modesty is not the number one priority when designing children's clothes. However, modesty is an essential foundation when it comes to raising children into believing Muslims. For the girls, adjusting into the expectations of Hijab is a much smoother transition if they have dressed modestly since childhood. We have witnessed the struggles many girls have when they go from wearing t-shirts and shorts to long sleeves and pants, and this can be easily avoided by encouraging modest clothing from a very young age.

Pain at the Pump

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The hike in price seems to have no limit!Tire pressure should be checked regularly, as it can fluctuate with the outside temperature. It is important to make sure your tires are filled to their optimum pressure not only for the longevity of the tire but also for your gas mileage.

Dining Out: Convenient or Costly?

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When we do decide to occasionally dine out, there are ways we can minimize the hit to our health. This idea may be blasphemy to some, but going to a halal place does not necessarily mean you have to eat mountains of meat. Eating vegetarian once in a while is great for your health, as we don't get many vegetables nowadays as it is.

To Rent Or To Buy?

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Which is the better option?From a person who has lived with his parents for many years and has saved a good amount of money to the student fresh out of college with massive student loans, from the married man with three kids and a wife to the single mom looking to get an advanced degree, it is hard to get a cookie cutter formula to see if buying or renting is the best for you.

Time to Switch Banks?

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Credit unions are a good advantage to big banks.

Big banks have played a big part in the recent economic downturn. Giving out loans to people who have no qualifications, charging astronomical interest rates on credit cards, and receiving large taxpayer-funded bailouts are just a few of the practices that have contributed to the recent recession and have really put at the forefront the amount of greed and recklessness that the heads of these companies possess. In addition, seeing the top executives of these companies make like bandits by raking in billions year after year at the expense of the American citizens has created some anger in the public that has been building up in the recent years. The Occupy Wall Street movement started based on opposition to these very characteristics of greed and hypocrisy among top executives on Wall Street, especially among executives of big banks.

How Much Do You Really Make?

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Many of us overlook hidden costs of living.Let us say you have a friend who makes 20 dollars per hour. He tells you he seem to be struggling to make ends meet but he is not sure why. You ask him how much he makes per week. He simply multiplies 20 dollars an hour by 40 hours per week to get 800 dollars per week.

The Real Power Couples

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Step aside Brangelina!Now that we have defined society's view of a "power couple", let's go into what Islam's view is. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) sums it up nicely when he says, "Join your children in marriage (boys or girls), because thereby Allah renders their tempers good, adds to their sustenance, and increases their sense of honor." He also said, "The person who marries gains half of his Faith; then he must be conscious of God for the remaining half."

Introducing Islam to Our Children

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How do we inculcate love for God in our children's hearts?There are numerous traditions from the Imams that talk about teaching children the practices of religion, and about training children to perform these actions at a certain age and in a certain way. We are right in taking these traditions seriously; children need to become comfortable with praying and fasting before they reach the age of maturation. However it is important to keep in mind that such traditions are recommending that parents carry out certain actions, such as encouraging young children to pray or fast. They are not commanding that all children carry out these actions at such an age. Parents need to look at the physical, emotional and spiritual capabilities of their children, and accordingly encourage them to pray and fast.

Don't Get Bitten by the Banks!

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There are ways to get around banks' ridiculous policies.Many people stay with their big bank because that's where they first opened up their account or it's where their parents do their banking. This is no reason to stay with a bank, especially if they treat their customers badly by inconveniencing them or slapping ridiculous fees.

Five Skills of Emotional Fitness

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How do we ensure emotional health?

There are five commonly regarded skills to emotional fitness: self awareness, self regulation, self motivation, empathy, and relationship skills. Since knowledge of the components of these skills can be a first step in evaluating and improving your emotional fitness, three key aspects of each are outlined below. But first, it helps to recognize what emotions are. Emotions are immediate feelings in response to something, while moods are more long-term; both of these can be at least partially managed by the person experiencing them, whereas temperaments are natural dispositions that people are born with and have limited capacity to change. There are eight emotions, and all other "feelings" are combinations of these: anger, fear, joy, anticipation, disgust, sadness, surprise, and acceptance.

Travelling Islamically

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Some etiquettes and guidelinesFor any and all trips, we usually iron out the details and make reservations beforehand. Just as we plan ahead by finding out about flights and hotels to make sure that there won't be any obstacles preventing our trip from going smoothly, we must also plan ahead to make sure that there won't be any obstacles keeping us from fulfilling our religious duties. Imam Ali (peace be upon him) said, "A man must never go on a journey in which he has cause to fear for his faith or his prayer." (Bihar al-Anwar)