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* MARRIAGE * MOTHERHOOD * MONEY *

Ponn Sabra, MPH


American Muslim Mom

Contents
Why Marriage, Motherhood & Money? ................................................................ ....................................................... 3 Top Tips to Obtain Happiness as a Muslim Wife ................................................................ ........................................ 4 Muslim Wives Need to Learn How How-To Shut Up!................................................................ 6 ................................... Top Tips to Become an Ideal Muslim Mom ................................................................ ................................................. 8 Top Reasons Every Muslim Mom Should Consider Homeschooling ................................ 9 ................................... Top Ten Tips Every Muslim Mom Should Know About Managing Money ................................ 12 ................................. Focusing on Frugal Living and Making Money Online ....................................................... 15 ....................... From Confused Coupon Criticizer to Coupon Connoisseur (in the making)........................... 15 How You Can Make Money Online ....................................................................................... 20 ....................... About AmericanMuslimMom.com ............................................................................................. 22 ............................. Your Next Steps ................................ ....................................................................................................................... 23 .......................

Dedication All praise is due to Allah, subhanallahu wa Tala (May He be Glorified). May Allahs peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet and His Messenger Muhammad, (sallallahu alayhi wa salam/May the peace and blessings be upon him). I pray to Allah that the reader benefits from eace these pages, and that she makes pure intentions to act solely for Your sake and You Alone. If one so benefits, I ask that she makes dua (supplication) for my family and I, as I am always , praying for the Muminyn (true believers) of this world.

Copyright 2011. book o If you would like to share this ebook with other sisters, you are free to do so as long as it is not altered in anyway. However, I prefer that you recommend her to our enewsletter sign up page, just like you did, so she may benefit from all our future work, inshaAllah (God willing).

Balancing Life as a Muslim Mom By Ponn Sabra 2011.

American Muslim Mom

Why Marriage, Motherhood & Money?


As Muslim Moms, we are commissioned to obey Allahs commands as dictated by the Glorious Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa salam/May the peace and blessings be upon him). Therefore, we must focus on the areas that we are obliged to maintain and be a shepherd over, as noted below in the following ayat (Quranic verse, revelation) and hadith (saying of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa salam/May the peace and blessings be upon him)). Marriage Our Roles as a Loving, Supportive Muslim Wife and Homemaker, Motherhood Our Roles as a Caring and Compassionate Mother and Primary Educator, and Money Our Roles as a Wise Wealth Manager to Your Familys money, belongings, properties and investments.

Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands) and guard in the husbands absence what Allah orders them to guard (such as their chastity and their husbands wealth (money, belongings, properties and investments). Surah al-Nisa 4:34 It is reported that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa salam/May the peace and blessings be upon him) stated Each of you is a shepherd, and each is responsible for those under his care. A ruler is a shepherd of his land; a man is the shepherd of his family; a woman is the shepherd of her husbands house and children. For each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for those under his care. [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim] In action in our Three Main Roles in this life, together we will strive to be the best Muslim Moms in this dunya (life on Earth), deserving of our place in the akhira (Hereafter), inshaAllah Tala. (God willing, May He be Glorified).

Balancing Life as a Muslim Mom By Ponn Sabra 2011.

American Muslim Mom

Top Tips to Obtain Happiness as a Muslim Wife


Marriage is fulfilling half of ones religious duties in Islam. Therefore, learning to be a confident, supportive, loving, wise and righteous wife should be a top priority for all Muslim women once they are married. And, in doing so, Muslim wives have the profound power to offer much happiness to this world, as noted in the sayings of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, This world is nothing but temporary conveniences, and the greatest joy in this world is a righteous wife. (Sahih Muslim). Learning new methods to help Muslim wives fulfill their duties and responsibilities to their husband, family and household are also seen as completing critical acts of worship to Allah, may He be glorified. Listed below are some tips for a Muslim Wife striving to reach new levels of happiness for herself and her family:

Understand your duties, roles and responsibilities as a Muslim Wife. Understanding that your husband is the Imam, spiritual leader, of your family should give you great peace of mind. The ultimate responsibility of providing for the family financially, spiritually, physically, morally, and emotionally lies on his shoulders. And, the consequences of his abilities to do it appropriately and righteously are weighed on his scale of good and bad deeds. His inability to advise or provide correctly may incur sins by Allah because he is failing in his duties as the Imam. For example, if he advises you or your children to do something unacceptable in Islam, and you obey his wishes, he incurs the sin for teaching you wrongly as well as your sins for doing the sinful act. Therefore, you should appreciate the great blessing for solely being responsible for what is inside the home, your children and wealth.

Strive to be your husbands partner in this life deserving of the hereafter. You should strive to reach the highest level of heaven, furdose, together. Offer him the comfort and joy to do the difficult yet extremely rewarding acts of worship. For example, be his alarm clock for fajr, make sure he does not miss his prayers or jummah (congregational prayer on Friday). Prepare a healthy suhoor (breakfast before fasting) and have iftar (meal after the fast) ready on time. Help save money for Hajj, encourage giving random charity throughout the year beyond the prescribed zakat (alms-giving) and accept a more modest lifestyle in return. Offer to make Qayal al-Lail (night prayers) together in the third part of the night, and strive to be the most caring, compassionate.

Balancing Life as a Muslim Mom By Ponn Sabra 2011.

American Muslim Mom

Be his trustworthy confidante. Listen intently to his secrets. Be proud of your unique and special bond. Accept the responsibility that you share his inner most visions, goals, hopes, dreams, worries, and pain. Offer him the support that no one else can offer, simply because you are the only one that knows and understands him to his fullest. Mediate in kind tones when you sense he needs an advisor and best-friend. Take pride that you are his chosen confidante, so continue to foster an environment so he always turns to you first. Know that it is haram (prohibited) to share family secrets, especially private acts and words shared by a married couple.

Apply the art of influencing positive moods during difficult times. Being the sunshine to your husbands rainy days is difficult and tricky, yet one of the most treasured skills. Learn to listen patiently even if his anger makes you uneasy--know that your happy mood is what you want as the outcome, not his continued anger. Offer happiness to brighten his sadness. Rush to please him during times of frustration. Be a balanced, respectful leader so he values your strength, but beware that arrogance does not overcome you. Be kind and gentle often enough, without showing you are incapable or weak. Be confident and aggressive enough to teach him something new, yet not rude, abrasive or hurtful in the process. Be his wise woman...second to his mom. [Be aware that you and your mother-in-law have completely different relationships with your husband. Resisting competition shows your level of self-respect and dignity--qualities he yearns for in a pious wife.]

Strive to have your home his chosen place of comfort and leisure. Cleanliness, organization, brightness and clutter-freedom keep a home happy and fun. A creative woman can find her familys comfort zone and preferences. It is possible to find tones that are naturally colorful and lively yet calming. Beyond the overall pleasing appeal of your home, you need to be refreshing to him close-up too. Allow your bodily fragrances and breath to always be worth being a cheek apart. Allow him all the reasons to rush home because it is safe, healthy, and peaceful and fun--his getaway from the daily stresses of work, and outside forces. Make a lifetime goal to establish and share all your favorite halal (permissible) past-times together. From fixing cars, cooking exotic meals, playing family board games, reciting Quran, learning nasheeds (Islamic songs), and grocery shopping--family time is sacred treasured time. Be your familys Leisure Leader.

Strive to be the best personal chef you possibly can. Be keen to please all his senses, which the beauty of food has the ability to do. Be patient and try to learn how to master the art of offering a refreshing scent to your nose, pleasurable texture to your fingers, appealing display to your eyes, and the peaceful silence to your ears--all in one tasty meal. Remember that this is possible with the least of foods. For example, some of the favorite foods of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, were milk, olives, olive oil, bread, cucumbers, and dates.

Balancing Life as a Muslim Mom By Ponn Sabra 2011.

American Muslim Mom

Be timely and aware. Organize a schedule tight enough to maintain a healthy routine and regularity to your life; yet flexible enough to allow for surprises and randomness. Know that the dunya (this life on Earth) is very short, and that every positive act is one step closer to the akhira (hereafter), inshaAllah (God willing).

Strive to please Allah and Allah Alone, may He be glorified. Make pure intentions in all that you do, especially when you are ultimately doing something just for your husband, children or household. Know that these are your duties as the Muslim wife, and be thankful that no good deed will ever be overlooked or under-appreciated by our One Beneficent Creator. Do not strive for the temporary conveniences of this life (such as, Thank you gifts, or words of praise). Be aware that you can be the greatest joy in his life and worthy of great things in the hereafter. Ameen.

Muslim Wives Need to Learn How-To Shut Up!


Its important to consider three things before you consider yelling back, No. You Shut Up! First, it is reported that Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said "I stood at the gate of Paradise and saw that the majority of the people who entered it were the poor, while the wealthy were stopped at the gate (for the accounts). But the companions of the Fire were ordered to be taken to the Fire. Then I stood at the gate of the Fire and saw that the majority of those who entered it were women." [Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmed] Second, It is reported that Prophet Muhammad, (sallallahu alayhi wa salam/May the peace and blessings be upon him), said "A person utters a word thoughtlessly (i.e., without thinking about it being good or not, or if these words have any significance that will raise their ranks in Heaven) and, as a result of this, he will fall down into the fire of Hell deeper than the distance between the east and the west.'' [Bukhari and Muslim] Third, sins of the tongue include but are not limited to:

Lying, Exaggerating, Back-biting, Slander, Gossiping, Picking fun at, Ungrateful remarks, Negative talk, anger, and unwarranted disappointment, Whining, 6 Balancing Life as a Muslim Mom By Ponn Sabra 2011. American Muslim Mom

Sharing your disapproval of others to everyone except the one involved, Making hypocritical remarks and acting indifferently to said person, Sharing private secrets and/or intimate moments between a married couple, Entering into debates solely to stir up emotions and cause harm, Maintaining an argument out of defensiveness and insecurity, Making emotional assumptions public without giving the other party the benefit of doubt, Jumping to conclusions without said facts and acting inappropriately prematurely, Stating someone is guilty without seeking justice, Manipulating others, Dissuading others from seeing the truth, and Talking simply because one is unaware of the beauty of silence, or deep and reflexive thought.

(the beginning of this sounds funny- not sure how to reword)While it is a known fact that women at present (and will continue to) out-number males in the worlds population, therefore one can debate that this may be a logical reason that women will out-number men in Hell Fire. However, one can also argue the fact that when compared to men, women are more apt to participate in one or many of above stated sins of the tongue once in awhile and in many cases: often.
So, since we as Muslim women have the profound ability to bring the only true joy to this world through our piety, righteousness, silence, if given the opportunity to talk or not, wont you just consider shutting up? Now, based on the given stated facts and proposing the above questions, the logic used above does not touch upon the stereotypical belief that Muslim wives are submissive. Quite the contrary, in fact there are many examples that when a pious, righteous Muslim male leader had a pious, righteous, intelligent, loving, charitable wife, together they ruled their families and the public at large. Just like everything we do in this life, when seeking to please Allah and Him Alone, we will gain from the pleasures of this world and the hereafter. Rather than enter into acts that seem easily harmless, and ultimately harmful; such as the numerous sins or slips of the tongue stated above--choose to reflect peacefully and walk away from such circumstances. Distance yourself from negative situations. Offer a charitable smile, and dare to be a pious leader, one who can effect change by choosing to use your tongue wisely--or simply just keeping it inside your mouth.

Balancing Life as a Muslim Mom By Ponn Sabra 2011.

American Muslim Mom

Top Tips to Become an Ideal Muslim Mom


Muslim children have rights over their parents: shelter, food, clothing, health, hygiene, and education. Therefore, parents are obligated to provide these for them. Fathers must provide the financial means and assurance of all these necessities, while mothers must maintain and disseminate them. In being the childrens primary educator, mothers must always strive to be caring, compassionate, and healthy role models who practice what they preach. Top Tips to Achieve Happiness as an Ideal Muslim Mom

Be a Student of Allah - Gaining knowledge is a duty for every Muslim. Studying our deen, religion and way of life is especially more important when you are a mother, because its your responsibility to teach your children whats important that your faith. And, to practice it accordingly so together, you can work to achieve the greatest goal: entrance into jennah, Heaven. Your studies should include the Quran, Sunnah and Sirah of our Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, learning about the Sahabah, and all our secular studies intertwining Islamic history, science, and culture within them.

Embody Islam - Everything you need to know to achieve a strong character, pleasant personality, sound manners, and high moral and ethics is found in the Quran and Sunnah. A Muslim mom should be truthful, sincere, secure, honest, loving, resourceful, stable-minded, and strive to be her childrens most compassionate caregiver who they will always feel comfort in turning to first.

Instill Intellectual Inquiry as the Root to Gaining Complete Knowledge - There is more benefit to creating a life-long learner by teaching a child to love learning, through investigative reasoning, discovery and inventive creation-building based on the childs own curiosity.

Be a keen and adaptive educator. It is your duty to be astute to each of your childrens different personalities, skills, strengths, weaknesses, sensitivities, and talents. By being fully aware of each of your childrens similarities and differences, you will have the patience to cater to their every need and desires in a personalized way. It is imperative that you treat each child with tact and the right amount of attention they deserve. By doing so, your children will never doubt that home is their most safe and secure place in this world.

Balancing Life as a Muslim Mom By Ponn Sabra 2011.

American Muslim Mom

Offer guidance in a nurturing environment. As your childrens primary advisor, you must assure that you maintain a trustworthy and respectful atmosphere to allow your children the comfort to find deep understanding and appreciation for everything you teach them in this world. When children have a supportive environment, they will grow and thrive in any or all subjects you teach them, whether the education be religious, secular, cultural, physical, artistic, logic, home economics, civics, politics, money management or any life lesson you teach them.

Be a Delightful Disciplinarian and Just Judge. When you maintain a hair, honest and patient demeanor, your children willfully accepts strict rules, understandable limitations, frequent rewards, and just punishment. Children actually thrive in environments that values rules, because it affords them the opportunity to please others in the process, such as their parents, and Allah. To be most effective, you must remain steadfast, stable, and consistent it all dealings, otherwise your children will undermine you authority if they sense that you dont value your authority yourself.

Be a Resourceful Family Fun Leader. Its critical that you offer your children lively, creative, exciting, unexpected, funny and colorful entertainment that is halal/permissible. By offering your children all the pleasures this world has to offer in context of Islam and in safe environment of your familys presence, they will develop confidence and selfrespect for their individuality, that they will not be affected nor desire haram/prohibited outside influence. Regardless if you live in a primarily Muslim or non-Muslim culture, it is your duty not to permit your children to assimilate to un-Islamic customs, nor will you isolate from un-Islamic lifestyles. It is your duty to show them all forms of cultural understanding, and as long as you follow the Sunnah you will develop strong Muslims worthy of be emulated by others in this life. For living life righteously means living without fear of being ridiculed, or desiring praise from people in this world. After all, you owe it to yourself and your children to only desire to please Allah and Only Him, in all that you do.

Top Reasons Every Muslim Mom Should Consider Homeschooling


Continuously increasing Alm, Knowledge, is a duty and obligation of every Muslim. As a Muslim Mother, your duty is to provide your children with the best-rounded, complete and enriching education possible, which includes their spiritual and secular education. Since it is your childrens right you are obliged to weigh all possible educational options. And, as your childrens first teacher in life, homeschooling is the most natural, and possibly the most Islamic option to date. Top Reasons to Why Every Muslim Mom Should Consider Homeschooling

The best teacher is caring, compassionate, patient, resourceful, loving, who understand his/her students personal needs, desires, hopes, dreams, weaknesses, strengths, dislikes, likes, wonders, fears, individual learning styles, levels and abilities so he/she can give the most personalized teaching program possible for his/her student can fully excel and thrive. Can you imagine even the best teacher figuring out how to do this with 9 Balancing Life as a Muslim Mom By Ponn Sabra 2011. American Muslim Mom

25-30 different students every 9-months with a 3-month break in between? Highlyimprobable.

As a mother, you are the primary influence to your childrens character. No one knows your children more than you, and your children trusts or respects no one more than you.

As a mother, it is your responsibility to notice gaps in your childrens education and upbringing and discover means of filling that void. With failing public educational system, most mothers are already filling in the gaps with every subject in life beyond the test-able Reading and Math. Missing pieces include Writing, Science, Social Studies, the Arts, Money Management, Politics, Civic duties, Charitable Giving, Domestic Studies, Physical Education, Ethics, Commerce, Communications, Technology, Keyboarding, Engineering, Literary Analysis, Public Speaking, Invention, Innovation, Recreations, Health & Hygiene, Organizational Skill-Building, and real Socialization. Since youre already exerting much energy and resources, its more effective and efficient use of your time to educate your children right, right from the start.

A home environment provides freedom of choice what to study, when, how, where, with who you choose, and to figure out why its necessary in the first place. Therefore, Muslim Moms can prioritize our structured ibadah (acts of worship), as the framework of your day. For example, your prayers can be prayed on-time, your studies and activities can surround Friday jummah (congregational prayers) and Ramadan fasting. Rather then adjusting our religious duties around a structured school schedule, youll have the liberty to create your lifestyle that blends your education within, not without Islam.

Learning about our deen, religion and way of life should not be taught as one Islamic studies subject, but it needs to be rooted in all subjects such as History, Geography, Science, Math, Literature and Language Studies. Learning Quran is an art and craft that is much more than memorization. Quranic studies includes reading Arabic as a language, reciting based on the rule of Tajweed, writing unique to the Quran, comprehension of based on tafsir (full meaning of the Quranic ayats) not strictly translation of Arabic as a separate language. While Arabic, Quran and Deen may not be your areas of expertise, the great advantage of homeschooling, is the flexibility of cooperating efforts with other families, hiring private experts (not tutors or assistants), travel overseas during low-travel seasons for a fraction of the costs and explore creative and more comprehensive options not afforded by any public, private, or Islamic school system.

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Balancing Life as a Muslim Mom By Ponn Sabra 2011.

American Muslim Mom

Depth of knowledge, deeper appreciation on topics taught, self-directed discovery and experimental investigation to help a child learn any lesson beyond test-taking is greatly missed in school. Schools primary focus is on measurable benchmarks that not based on intelligence, creativity, and educational understanding; rather Math techniques and Reading levels. With a nurturing environment based on love in the home setting, a homeschool mom can measure success by mastery of any and all topics studies and explored.

Only at home can one teach, learn and actually test if real knowledge is gained through ones individualized educational program. Since our duty to Allah is to gain knowledge and not necessarily go to school, a rational argument would be that school is not only a poor choice for your children, but possibly a waste of their childhood years. Debating the notion that homeschool children dont have optimal socialization skills? Consider this Special Report on CNN by Harvard University,as they seek more play-time over academicpreparation as a form of education.

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Balancing Life as a Muslim Mom By Ponn Sabra 2011.

American Muslim Mom

Top Ten Tips Every Muslim Mom Should Know About Managing Money
One of the three major responsibilities for Muslim wives in Islam is managing the familys wealth. In addition to caring for the childrens education and overseeing the household, Muslim wives often negate their priority to manage their wealth--money, properties, belongings and investments. Becoming a better Muslim Mom Money Manager takes time, can not be achieved overnight, but with the right intentions and determination to learn and act accordingly, Allah (God) will help you succeed, inshaAllah (God willing). Listed below are the some tips to get you started:

Setting a Frugal Mindset for your family is an Act of Taqwa (God conscientiousness). Frugality is an intelligent lifestyle--not a cheap one! Bargainshopping is a gift to your family, not a punishment. When a mother (and father) instills the value of earning a dollar and stretching its value, children will appreciate and even feel challenged to gain the most from your familys money. Be creative and ingenious in how to position the minds of your family members to appreciate frugality as a duty of all, and not a choice of a few. Those who are spend-conscience are more intelligent than spenders. You have an obligation to your family to be resourceful and appreciative of the worldly gifts Allah has provided your family: your wealth. Your material wealth is not an indicator of how much your faith is worth. Therefore, you should never judge your status in life with money--your status is determined by your deen--your religion and way of life. So, live your life responsibly, after all, the one who misuses and abuses his/her wealth, is guilty of possible waste and arrogance. Dont like the term: Frugal-Minded? Then, try Value-Spending.

Know The Financial Rights of Each Family Member in Islam. Your husbands obligations is to provide your shelter, food, clothing, and financial means for you to live comfortably, therefore it is your responsibility to spend wisely. Spend your money reasonably and responsibly on the necessities in life, such as clothes, education, health and hygiene for you, your husband and children. However, if your husband is misery with his money and you do not have necessities, you are permitted to proudly, not secretly, use the money to fulfill the familys needs. Keep in mind, that as a Muslim wife or mom, it is not your responsibility to bring money into the household. And, if you incur money it becomes your own wealth, which you can spend as you wish. This luxury, not afforded in many other cultures or religions, should never be under-appreciated or taken for granted. Meaning, if you have wealth and your family is experiencing difficulties, remember that charity must first start at home--so, helping your family carries great benefits for you in this life and the hereafter. On the other hand, if your husband is experiencing great fortune, and you desire to work, your duty to your family and home takes precedence. It takes a creative mom to find balance for her family--and it starts by maintaining balance herself first. 12 Balancing Life as a Muslim Mom By Ponn Sabra 2011. American Muslim Mom

Understand the difference between Luxury and Rewards. Succumbing to desires through luxurious items should always be secondary to fulfilling your family needs. Also, when determining if you should reward your children, self or family (such as using money or monetary things as an incentive to completing ones duties), be fully aware of your intentions and outcome of the reward: Is this an investment (such as rewarding your childs positive work in his education) or a luxury (such as planning a family vacation while youre experiencing daily financial problems; yet your reasoning is we deserve to get away from our problems for a while. No, your family deserves simplicity, sacrifice, and creative quality family time together getting back to Tip #1)

Follow-through With Your New-found Value-Spending Mindset. Learn circular and coupon shopping. Shop online. Be disciplined. Do not succumb to impulse shopping. Appreciate and invest your time in researching how to best spend your money and buy accordingly. Use only cash. Eliminate debt. Utilize technology.

Know the rules of ribaah/interest and why it is haram/prohibited. By living life free of debt-incurring and addictiveness of credit cards, mortgages, leases, and/or being deluded with the fact that savings accounts and bonds are good for you--is living true freedom! There are halal, permissible, and more long-term beneficial financial options for your family, such as shared ownership, creative financing, charge cards (payments paid in full within reasonable amount of time with no interest) and cash dispersal. The more you research your rights and understand your duties to find the most Sharia-based financial alternatives; your wealth value maintains value from day-one.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Be Resourceful: Green is for Islam too. There are many financial, familial, and religious benefits that far-exceed the obvious environmental benefits of living a greener, more natural life. Reducing material things causes you to live a simpler, healthier lifestyle. For example, your closet was designed to hold clothes that you use on a daily basis, and your fridge was designed to cool foods that should be eaten and not thrown away. Can you think of a few things in your home right now that you reduce for the sake of Allah? Extra clothes or food to give to the poor? Reusing materials causes you to creatively not waste more than necessary. For example, by determining if there are any materials for your next family project, rather than buying extras, you gained more than just the value of those materials--you gained memories. Recycling allows you to gain the most from your money. For example, you pay the 5cent deposit on your aluminum and plastic bottles when you purchase it, if you dont recycle that bottle; youre wasting money that is rightfully yours. Research and apply any new resourceful way to do things with what you buy, use, give away, share and spend. Since green is often a color associated with Islam, take pride that being Green is about worshipping Allah, and not just a mere conservation attempt. 13 Balancing Life as a Muslim Mom By Ponn Sabra 2011. American Muslim Mom

Building a Resourceful Network. Being resourceful doesn't stop at knowing things--its also knowing people. The power of networking helps greatly in living a more religious, frugal, value-spending, green, natural life, because like-minded people help others to achieve your shared goals quicker and easier. See your time spent sharing tips and tools to live life simpler as an investment in your time well spent. By setting a purpose of being more resourceful when you are with other moms, you become more determined in your time spent together rather than resorting to gossiping or backbiting which is prohibited acts in Islam. Your resourceful network will help you join the freecycle.org movement, teach you how to knit, share deals, help you find freebies, keep you more God-centered in all your actions, and much more. Learn how to save and invest based on Sharia laws. o Dont use savings account, bonds, or any interest-bearing bank options. o Save cash. o Purchase gold or certified gems that maintain its value. Invest in your Muslim brothers and sisters by offering creative financing options, shared home ownership, business investments, or sharia-approved stocks. o Keep in mind that it is allowable to invest and maintain financially-healthy business relationships with non-Muslims, and typically theres more to gain that just financially when working collaboratively with non-Muslims because investments should be based on value, and their knowledge have proven priceless. o Your goal is to maintain your cash value at all time, and increase its value when rational options become available. o While simpler said than done, its your duty to invest your time to learn how to save and invest according to the laws of Islam not solely for achieving the greatest financial value--but more importantly to please Allah, for remembrance of Allah is never forgotten in this world and/or the hereafter.

Learn how to build your wealth with an Entrepreneurial Mindset. Now, that you are successful at, or at least are trying, to clear your familys debt, spend cash only, build wealth through wise investments of your available cash, properties, and belongings; with the correct God-centered mindset, the next logical tip is to be more resourceful through entrepreneurialism. Thinking like an entrepreneur is about thinking creatively and investing wisely. Weighing ones best value of his/her time and money, means a successful entrepreneur strategically weighs market-research and invests accordingly. Your goal is not to be the next millionaire, but it is to achieve the millionaires mindset: to make money when the opportunity presents itself. So, if youre able to make a few bucks with your familys highly-talented new past-time of knitting, you have an entrepreneurial mindset. If you bring your passion of life online, and make money in the process--you have an entrepreneurial mindset. Follow a mentor, invest wisely, and your entrepreneurial-minded hobby has great potential to bring you wealth. Many moms are successfully making money online, and if this fits your familys lifestyle; its a worthwhile option to explore further.

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Balancing Life as a Muslim Mom By Ponn Sabra 2011.

American Muslim Mom

Give for the sake of Allah. Give often. If you adhere to all the above tips, you are spending the appropriate amount of charity on your family, which may even bring your family more wealth in the process. As Muslims, we know that any charity given to the name of Allah is multiplied ten-fold, inshaAllah, God willing. Be mindful that your charity must be given purely, with the intention of pleasing Allah and Him Alone. So, its important to know that charity should never been given as an investment. Only Allah knows our pure intentions, and it given purely, He is the judge as to when He will reward our efforts--be it in this world, or in the hereafter.

Focusing on Frugal Living and Making Money Online


From Confused Coupon Criticizer to Coupon Connoisseur (in the making)
Listed below are a few tips that helped me reduce my weekly grocery bill for our family
of five from $167.50/week to $89/week in two-months, without giving up my sanity, red meat, pricey dairy products, or daily produce. Have you ever thought the following?

I don't have time or patience to clip and organized coupons, I can never save enough money to make it worth my while, I'm too brand-loyal to even find value from coupons, My family eats too much red meats, dairy, and fresh produce; coupons will never make a dent in my grocery bill, My goal is not to have a $40 grocery bill--but, saving $40 from my grocery bill would be great, My family is not willing to eat frozen or canned fruits or vegetables just because I have a coupon for them, Store-hopping is not worth the gas in my tank, Searching circulars is too much work, Organizing a whole week's menu is mind-boggling, I despise getting newspaper ink on my hands (no, really...), Ugh...all this coupon lingo is so confusing, and Since I save enough money with my frugal family-fun day trips, homeschooling educational goodies, etc. I'll just attribute my high grocery bill to paying for convenience...or laziness

If you felt any of these concerns above, don't worry...I felt every single one of them. So, if I can be such a Confused Coupon Criticizer, and still cut my grocery bill in half in 2-months, you can too! Tips to cutting your grocery bill in half in less than 2 months:

Involve your kids. Make coupon finding, circular reviewing, and grocery shopping a frugal family fun activity. If it wasn't for my girls to keep me motivated, I would have given up long ago. With every "Mama, I saved $1!" surprised cheer, I was committed to coupon and circular shopping, for the joy first, and then the savings. 15 Balancing Life as a Muslim Mom By Ponn Sabra 2011. American Muslim Mom

Turn boring, cranky errands with kids into fun family field trips. People are amazed how much fun my three girls and I have as we travel the grocery aisle. Many comment how it's a pleasure to see little astute shoppers, instead of whining, crying, bored kids dragging behind the cart. Since we're homeschoolers, we're always talking about math too. Stop Clipping Coupons; Organize Them! I use a 3-ring file-pocket and filler-paper binder. While big and clunky, it has everything in its right place. The front side has circulars filed by week, with special fles for "store-specific coupons" (drug-store specific coupons) and "outings" (restaurants, events/field trips). I use filler paper to write out my weekly menu, which for me only lists the meat I'm going to cook for dinner each night. Also, I list "deals" at different stores. I use binder sleeves to put the receipts in for the week, and have baseball-card sleeves to organize rebates or special little coupons with no particular place to go. Learn the lingo right from the start. It only takes minutes to review a "Learning the lingo" article. Think Strategic Shopper, not Cheap Couponer. CouponMom.com found that 47% of women who use coupons are educated, affluent women who choose to use coupons, not necessarily out of necessity but for the savings. Let the Pros "tell" you what to do. Time is money, so stop wasting it. I follow the blog posts of Deal Seeking Mom and the forums of Coupon Mom. When I first got started, I was following nearly a dozen blogs, which left me confused and overwhelmed. Now that I know both website's posting schedule, I'm a loyal follower to only these two frugal and savvy moms. Survey your starting point, and then set a realistic goal. My husband and I use Mint.com for free. o We tracked my grocery bill for 6-months and averaged $167.50/week. o Realistic goal: Save 25% in Month-1, then 50% by Month-3. Track your spending. I have a tiny notebook in my purse that I write all my purchases for the day then submit to Mint.com at night. Now, I voice record on my Smartphone if Im in a rush, or I submit directly on the Mint.com app for Android.

Don't drive around to save pennies; fit detours for dollars. I keep my coupon binder in my car, so if I happen to drive by one of the stores with special "deals", I make a quick detour. Shop at discount stores, such as Price Rite, Save-a-lot and ALDI's. I found that Price Rite has the most name brands and best prices, and they carry halal meats (Islamicpermissible foods, like Kosher for Jewish people). Save-a-lot has an email list with $5/off sign-up coupons; and they always have the cheapest bananas in town. ALDI often has good deals beyond grocery shopping that are worth making the additional trip.

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Only use cash. If you can, cash forces you to stay within your budget and stretch the bill further, rather than resorting to a debit or credit card's unseen dollars & cents. [It leads to a debt-free life too]. Be patient, persevere, and work on one goal at a time. The success of saving with the non-coupon-clipping, circular-organizing system; is that with every new week you add dozens of more coupons into your personal database. Therefore, you potentially save more money each and every week. Now, that I reached my grocery-bill goal one month early, I'm starting to get into the drug-store coupon/circular shopping strategies, and other fun savings. Find a network and stick with these smart & fun chicks! I love Deal Seeking Mom's community. Tara & her guest bloggers' posts are always easy to read and understand and are extremely welcoming and encouraging for any Frugal Newbie, such as myself.

Its important to consider what type of couponer you aim to be. Is your goal to get as many groceries as you can for the least amount of money? Or, are you pleased just to save on your grocery bill? While, I prefer the latter, its a life choice that you must decide for your family. How I Make Money Blogging Must-Have Tools and Steps to Take Whenever Im asked, How do I make money blogging? I always reply that its all about setting your blog up right by using the right tools, and networking with the right people. Whenever I talk to moms interested in making money online from home, I always explain that it takes some investment. And, its a trade off of your time or money. Since all the moms I ever talk to always have limited of both, my #1 advice is: Value your Time & Money, Invest accordingly Dont pay so little that the services are unreliable and inferior. Yet, dont pay too much, that you cant grow into or afford (in time or money) for the long haul. So, you basically need to pay enough so you dont waste your time for having to re-do everything with another service. And, dont pay too much, because buying big may not be what you ultimately want. After all, not all big ticket items are for everyone. In some cases, they are not necessarily superior or better than the economical options anyways. Ive been online long enough to have experienced both ends. I lost when I paid too little, because I didnt use a reliable service. So when something went wrong, I didnt have the support I needed; therefore I alone had to figure out things myselfheadache and waste of time. Then, I had to hire someone to fix everything anywayswaste of money. And, I paid too much that unless I kept buying more, and/or working more hours, I wasnt able to sustain the business they were promising me would be built. So, I learned that there are many different lifestyles and business models online that doesnt work well with memy particular lifestyle, personality, or beliefs.

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Keep in mind, that numbers dont always mean everything. I know many online business owners making solid full-time incomes without the big ticket items, nor the huge following, because their business is built on Quality, not Quantity. And please, dont think you can do everything for free. Researching and trying to figure everything out for yourself can lead you down some awful roads. Believe me; I wasted a good deal of my time and money having to fix problems because I thought I could do it myself. Reliable, affordable, must-have blogging tools So, here are the basic, reliable and affordable tools I use today: GoDaddy Domain Registrar. After four previous domain registrars, after spending 2 hours and 40 minutes on the phone with me just to transfer my multiple domains, help activate each of them, update contact information, synchronize annual payment dates and even helped me research the best combinations of words since the domain I wanted was actually gone the moment I calledI cant think of any reason to go with anyone else!

Mom Webs webhosting. Watch this great Top 10 Reasons Why MomWebs webhosting Rocks! video clip that my daughter and I made and won 2nd prize for getting the most votes. After 7 years and 3 failed webhosts prior, Im stuck for MomWebs for good!

WAHMCart shopping cart and autoresponder. WAHM = Work At Home Mom. After two failed attempts (one free and one paid), Ive been a member of WAHMCart for over 4 years now, and never turned back. All bloggers (not just internet marketers) need an email list which is managed by an autoresponder system. A shopping cart is a system that allows you to sell products or informational products (such as ebooks, ecourses, memberships, etc.) online (which accepts major credit cards), and have affiliates sell under you. Even if you never plan to sell products online, for the price of many reputable autoresponders, if you get WAHMCart its as if youre getting a shopping cart for free.

Mom Masterminds Mentoring Program. I started off with them 7 years ago, and while I went astray following a couple of other mentors and programs; the lifestyle, straight-talk, and sisterhood of these honest, down-to-Earth, work at home moms (many who homeschool) is what I needed most. If they can juggle it all, and successfully make money onlineso can I. Kelly and Lynette lead, guide, and motivate by example; and all the members equally share in the support and necessary cheerleading as well. This program is not designed solely for the aspiring Professional Blogger, rather its a resource for the Online Business Owner. In addition to mentoring and networking, Mom Masterminds offer special members-only discounts, how-to tutorials, audios, videos and 18 Balancing Life as a Muslim Mom By Ponn Sabra 2011. American Muslim Mom

much more. Not sure if youre ready to join yet? Take this free 9-day ecourse and learn the basics of establishing a thriving internet business.

Smart Blogging Basics. Following this 10-week program really gives you all the fundamentals to start off a WordPress blog right, right from the start. It helps you position your blog to become the branded business it deserves, by first branding you as the expert in your field. Im presently going through this program and have seen positive results from every lesson I implement.

WordPress Orientation While I havent attended a session yet, just knowing that I have the expertise available to answer my questions every Monday night is a necessary safety net that was worth invested in for me. But, I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in moving over their blogs to WordPress from blogspot. I moved all my blogs to WordPress back in 2006, and I couldnt be happier.

Mom Spark Media - Ive been a member since Amy opened her doors, and while I wasnt very active until just recently the mommies offered me an extremely warm welcome. The moms here are so filled with energy, knowledge, that the atmosphere of sharing and learning together is absolutely incredible. No question is too dumb, and every expert willfully gives with a sense of humility. While Im members of dozens of groups and communities, this group tops my list. In addition to blogging courses, monthly live chats, and a great community, paid members have access to some awesome opportunities to work with fabulous small, mid-sized and big brand names. [If you decide to join please write PONNSABRA (must be in caps) referred you.]

Stretch Yourself Challenge This is the first step to making a sustainable, online business while branding you an expert in your field. Since I left the professional blogging world, to turn to mommy blogging, Im re-inventing myself online here on American Muslim Mom, so Kellys Challenge is really stretching me professionally mostly because Im taking my very personal homeschooling, world-traveling, religious views to blogging. So, consider taking this challenge with me, and we can cheer one another along the way.

Blog Editorial Calendar for 2011 Starting the last week of December 2010, I have yet to miss a single day of posting thanks to the combination of this hand-written calendar organization and WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin. My need to upkeep a wellorganized blog has finally come true after seven years of posting haphazardly, on the rush, and with random note sheets scattered around.

Now that you have the right tools, 19 Balancing Life as a Muslim Mom By Ponn Sabra 2011. American Muslim Mom

How You Can Make Money Online


By implementing one or a combination of all the below tactics:

Sell a physical product online. For example, I have a best-selling book on amazon.

Create and sell infoproducts, such as ebooks, ecourses, audios, membership sites, etc. I presently offer free eproducts such as this ebook, and building an ebook line as I type. You can get free goodies just by signing up to my email list at http://AmericanMuslimMom.com

Sell advertising on your site or create online campaigns. For very reasonable rates, work at home moms, nonprofit organizations and businesses purchase buttons or banners on my site, product reviews, or create creative online marketing campaigns that fit their budget and publicity needs. Check out our many options here.You can do this on your site(s) too.

Affiliate marketing. The #1 method I make money ever since I came online in 2004. For example, most of the paid products that I use and listed above are all linked with my affiliate codes showing that Im referring you to their services. In good faith, I wholeheartedly love, purchased, and use all the above services on a regular basis. Im basically an online sales affiliate referring potential clients to their products or services, and I get paid a commission when someone purchases that product or service. One huge benefit in the first week of the Smart Blogging Skills program is Kellys Affiliate Marketing Expo audios, notes and assignments. After only the first lesson, I thought I got well-worth the small investment I made when starting the program.

Sponsored posts or reviews. In my professional blog I used to make a ton of money through direct sponsored post, or work with a sponsored broker. However, I am presently getting the majority of sponsorships for reviews or creative marketing campaigns explained above. To tap into the sponsored review programs, you can view the list of Partners and Sponsors that I work with here.

Building a Blog, Brand and Business Last thing to mention about making money online through blogging, is that someactually, very few bloggersare fortunate to fall into the professional of blogging. But, the majority has to Work, and Work Hard for it. So, its best to blog right, right from the start.

Think of building your blog in simple steps:


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1. Get a Professional Blog Design Think Im worthy of owning my own domain. Get a URL, and set up a professional image. You can get one via MomWebs webhosting, and they will help you install a WordPress blog too!

2. Think: My Blog is My Brand Think of your blog as one of many, or the primary marketing avenues for your online business. As mentioned above, the Stretch Yourself Challenge will help you here.

3. Think: My Brand is My Business Build a sustainable business worthy of your time and monetary investment, and watch it grow as you nurture it. Get the right tools and right network of online business owners to help you reach your goals. Since Making Money Online is a process, if you have any questions at all, please comment on directly on my blog so everyone can benefit from your questions being answered publicly. But, you can always tweet me @ponnsabra, become our Facebook Fan, or email me at ponn@americanmuslimmom.com

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About AmericanMuslimMom.com
American Muslim Moms ~ Trying to stay Centered at all times.
Mission To enlighten, educate, and empower moms, especially American Muslim Moms living in America and abroad, to take action. Description AmericanMuslimMom.com is the #1 online blog community for American Muslim Moms living in America and abroad. Articles, commentary, tips, tools, reviews, and contests are based on the Quran and Sunnah and designed to help Muslim moms raise the next generation of pious believers in Islam (Muminyn). Ponns Personal Passion My goals and dreams are to be a devout servant of Allah (Muslim) deserving of the highest level in Heaven (furdose). To be an Ideal Muslim Mom, we must live according to the Quran and Sunnah which states that we must maintain our roles as 1. A loving, supportive wife and homemaker, 2. A caring and compassionate educator to our children, and 3. A wise manager of our wealth (money, properties and belongings). The journey of life consists of constant education, reflection, and application of what was learned. As humble, mortal human beings, we are bound to make mistakes, yet fortunate to find some helpful lessons and tips along the way. As such, AmericanMuslimMom.com was created as a repository of findings and experiences of many practicing Muslim moms living in America and Americans living abroad, such as myself. We do not claim to be scholars, so we assure you errors will be evident. If you find errors or have insights to share, please kindly leave a comment, and accept our apologies if we wronged you in anyway. May Allah subhanahallah wa Tala (May God be Glorified) accept our efforts as ibadah (acts of worship), and forgive our sins. Ameen. About Ponn M. Sabra Ponn Sabra, MPH was a highly-prolific ex-public health official, turned best-selling author, internet marketer and columnist, who now focuses all her time and energy on being a Muslim dedicated to her marriage, motherhood and responsibilities. Thanks to social media, her three young daughters help her blog their Muslim-centered, high-tech, world-traveling, green homeschool lifestyle. Featured in Associated Press, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and other main stream media outlets, http://AmericanMuslimMom.com is filled with tips, tools, contests and much more. Come join the active community today!

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Your Next Steps


Every word in our Mission Statement was chosen carefully, because I wanted to create an online community that offers the resources I, and every Muslim Mom needed to succeed in this life to enter into the Hereafter, inshaAllah (God willing). Therefore, I set a Mission To Enlighten Make understand, or give spiritual (Islamic) insight to, Educate Instruct, train and teach, and Empower To give confidence to do something.

And, the something is to take action, whether it be in your Marriage, how you approach Motherhood, or in managing your Money. InshaAllah, God willing, you found this ebook met this goal. Become an active member of our community! If you think this ebook met my goal, I encourage you to share your progress by becoming a more active voice in our community and letting us know how you are doing and where you need help. How? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, so you never miss another post again. You can also subscribe via email here as well. Become our Facebook Fan where we discuss much more than our blog topics. Follow us on Twitter. I Tweet back to every live persons mention and Direct Message. When in doubt, if you need immediate attention, its best try tweeting me first, especially during normal business hours. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, better yet become our Friend. So, you can see our latest videos. Please rate and review us. The more positive feedback and visibility we gain, the easier we can secure partners and sponsors to keep our community alive!

Have a question, concern or recommendation? First, search our blog to see if we already answered your question. Next, if you cant find an answer to your question, then please look for the most appropriate post and comment directly on our blog. By sharing your issues and problems live; others can gain from you asking, and we can better prioritize whats the most current and pressing issues our community is facing. When surveying our multiple websites and social media outlets, we then post detailed answers to the most popular questions online more thoroughly and quickly. We find this to be the most efficient and effective means of everyones time. However, if you need find that youre in extreme emergency case or you want my dedicated time and expertise, please feel free to contact me, or consider hiring me for a one-hour phone consultation by emailing me directly at ponn@americanmuslimmom.com . 23 Balancing Life as a Muslim Mom By Ponn Sabra 2011. American Muslim Mom