Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

August 2009
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Children's Corner

The Queen of Roses
By Khusthar Jamal
The rose is a lovely flower. There are other flowers that smell as sweet, but they are not so beautiful as the rose. There are other flowers as beautiful as the rose but they do not smell so sweet. There is no other flower on the earth that is both so beautiful and so sweet as the rose. Therefore, it is called as the Queen of Flowers.

In most parts of the world, rose grows wild. But, wild roses are not so large and nor so beautiful as the garden rose. A garden would look incomplete without a rose plant. There are hundreds of varieties of roses, some large and some small. They are of different colors; some white, some red and some are yellow. There is a color that is known as the rose color.

Once upon a time, a lovely and a spirited young woman called Nur Jahan ruled Delhi (the Light of the world) on behalf of her husband, who was the great Mughal Emperor called Jahangir. It is said that she often used to bathe in a water tank in her palace, which was filled with red roses to perfume the water. Once the roses were left in the bathing tank for two or three days – the Queen who was looking at them noticed a sort of oil floating on the top of the water. Now, Nur Jahan was a clever woman who was always full of ideas. She touched it with her handkerchief and found that it gave out a lovely perfume. She decided to manufacture it for her husband Jahangir and for other ladies of the court. She gave it the name, “Perfume of Roses.” Others believe that she called it as the, “Perfume of Jahangir.” It was the finest perfume that was ever developed in India. The first Europeans who came to India were enchanted by its sweet smell that they decided to take it to England, where it was called as the, “Otto of Roses.”

The Rose is today grown in large numbers in Iran, Turkey, and Kashmir. There are two kinds of perfumes that are made from it. The common kind is called Rose water, whereas the other is the, “Perfume of Roses,” which is rare and costly as the day, when Nur Jahan had it manufactured for the first time.

Rose water is made by putting a large number of roses, which are freshly picked into a closed vessel filled with little water. The vessel is then heated. The vapor, which rises is made to pass through a tube into a cold vessel, where it again becomes water. This is called as the Rose water.
From the rose water, the Perfume of Roses is manufactured. The rose water is poured into large shallow pans, which are dried for several days. During the night a little oil rises to the top of the water. This is carefully skimmed with a feather. This is called the, “Perfume of Roses.” It is very valuable. It takes one hundred trees to make on rupee's weight in perfume. This is often sold for thousands of rupees.

Zagros Mountains
Natural Wonders of Iran

According to the estimates of Geologists working at the Zagros Mountains of Iran, that in the Miocene Period, which was approximately 13 million years ago the Arabian and Asian tectonic plates collided, and since then they have been converging at a rate of four centimeters every year. This massive collision triggered an upheaval of land that led to the creation of the Zagros Mountains, which is located in southwest Iran bordering the Persian Gulf – a 900 kms long mountain range – that has a permanent snow cover on its peak throughout the year as the highest peak stands at 12000 feet and its width is 150 miles, which is a strange phenomenon in a country that is largely dry and barren. The Zagros Mountain Ranges extends from northwest to southeast from the Diyala River, an important tributary of Tigris River to the ancient city of Shiraz. Formed primarily from limestone and shale, it consists of numerous parallel ridges, or fold that is unsurpassed anywhere in the world for its symmetry and extent. The folds increase in height and merge with a plateau that lies at around 5000 feet below it. The higher slopes of Zagros Mountains are covered with trees of oak, maple, beech and sycamore. Willow, poplar, and plane trees grow in the mountain ravines, and walnut, fig, and almonds grow wild in the lower slopes and fertile valleys.

Late Lateef
(By: Khusthar Jamal)
Time for Tales

Lateef was a boy who was eight years old. He had a kind father and a happy home. He was as a rule a good boy, and did what his parents told him to do. But, he had a great fault. He never did anything on time. He was always late.

When his father admitted him to a school, he was six years old. The school would open at seven o' clock every morning. But, on the first day itself, Lateef was five minutes late and the next day he was late again. And, when it happened every day, his schoolteacher got tired of scolding him, and decided to call him as, “Late Lateef.” Lateef felt ashamed. But, he could not help himself, and he always came late.

It was the same story at home. His mother would call him at six o'clock to get up from the bed for his breakfast. But, Lateef would always laze around in the bed. His father would call him for dinner, but Lateef would always come late to find all others had eaten before him and the food on his table had grown cold. One day, his brother asked him to post an urgent letter before the post office closed at half-past three in the afternoon. Lateef obediently took the letter and started for the post office. On the way, he happened to meet his friend who was trying to fly a kite. Lateef stopped to help him and arrived at the post office at four o' clock in the evening. The post had left for the day.
One day, his father decided to take all his family to a grand fair in a nearby town. When his father told them the news, everyone in the family was delighted. They were told to make themselves available at eight o' clock the next day morning at the railway station to catch the train. His father turned his attention to Lateef and told him that he should not be late even by a single minute. Lateef promised that he would be there before eight o' clock as the railway station was very near to their house.

Next morning, Lateef got up earlier than usual. His father was pleased to see that he ate the breakfast with the rest of the family. But, when he called his children together at half past seven he found Lateef was not there. His father looked for him all over the house shouting his name. But, Lateef was not in the house. His father thought that he had gone to the railway station ahead of them. He thought perhaps he was afraid of being late.

His family marched to the railway station. They could not find Lateef. His father purchased tickets for all of them and still there was no trace of Lateef. Finally, the train arrived at the railway station and his entire family took their seats except for Lateef. Exactly at eight o' clock, the train left the railway station. His father was peeping through the window trying to find Lateef. Where had he gone?
When the train gathered speed, his father could make out Lateef running along the platform trying to catch the speeding train. But, the train was too quick for him. He was now seen running behind the train begging for it to stop. But, the train stops for nobody, and Lateef was left behind. He had played in the field that morning confident that he would get at the railway station in time. But, again, he was too late. That night, when his family returned from the train, they found Lateef sitting in the front of his house looking sad and lonely. He ran up to his parents embraced them and started crying. He resolved from that day he would never be late again for anything. Lateef had learnt his lesson the hard way.

Moral of the story: The train waits for nobody!