Al-Kisa Competition 2022 Winners

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On the wilādah of Imām ʿAlī ar-Riḍā (ʿa) we announced the winners of the Al-Kisa Competition 2022. This competition was inspired by 150 Life Lessons from Noble Narrations, an upcoming book. This year’s competition included a written and an art element to express what a person can learn from the wealth of ḥadīth. One entry was allowed per person. There were three categories by age. We received many great entries and our judges had a challenging time selecting the winners. Below you can see each of the winner’s submissions, māshāʾAllāh, many creative brothers and sisters!

5-10 Years Age Category

1st Place Winner - Arsham Ali Shah, Age 10 - USA



The Prophet (SAWA) said, ‘If you perform an action, do it sincerely for the sake of Allah because He only accepts from His servants those actions that have been performed sincerely.’ MIZAN AL-HIKMAH HADITH #3819

Write a description of how you would apply this ḥadīth in real life.

The name of my artwork (painting) is Ikhlas. Ikhlas is purifying one’s deeds from all contaminations in order to worship Allah in the correct way. Sincerity comes from within. One way to be sincere to Allah during prayers, is to perform our prayers as if Allah is right in front of us, watching us, listening to us, and replying to our queries. Imam Sajjad has said it beautifully, "The right of your prayer is that you know that it is an arrival before God and that through it you are standing before Him". This way You will approach the prayer with your heart and you will perform it according to its bounds and rights. Imam Al-Sajjad (as) [Sahiff a Al-Sajjadiya no.10]

Another name for this type of sincerity is KHUSHU AND KHUDHU meaning to show one’s humility and submission through voice and eyes. When a person is consistently aware that Allah sees all, he/she is more likely to remember the importance of Ikhlas, he/she is no longer concerned with receiving praise or reward from anyone but Allah and it does not matter who sees or who does not see, sometimes even though a deed can be done for Allah’s sake, the intention is tainted with boasting and showing off.

Allah has mentioned it in the Qur’an by providing different characteristics of a true believer (a momin), one of those characteristics being: “Those who, in their Prayers, humble themselves” [Qur’an 23:2]

A very simple sign to evaluate whether you’re sincere or not (while praying) is a mere fact whether or not your eyes are teary enough! This is what I have depicted in my artwork!

Imam Sadiq (a), while teaching ammal-e-Um Dawood, has also declared that a person should strive harder to flow some tears, even if those tears are the size of a sarmags (head of a fly), as this is an indication of those invocations to be accepted in the court of AllahSubhanahu wa taala. [Tuhfatul-Awaam, ammal-e-Rajjab].

Write a piece of advice that you would like to give others based on this ḥadīth.
Do not let your prayer go to waste. Make them count by pouring Ikhlas into them!

2nd Place Winner - Faryal Qumber, Age 8 - New Zealand



The Noble Prophet(s) said: Charity increases one’s wealth, so give charity so that Allah can be merciful towards you. Ref: Kisa Kid Grade 3 Student Guide, Page no. 112.

Write a description of how you would apply this ḥadīth in real life.

First of all, I do charity by donating money in my school for different causes and I help the poor and needy people by giving them food and clothes. When we help others, Allah also helps us and increases our wealth.

Whenever I meet my friends, parents, teachers and relatives I always greet them with smile which is also a form of charity. Charity includes both material and spiritual actions like I always try to remove garbage from pathways so that people won't get hurt. Whenever an old person asks me to help them to cross the road or to hold their stuff, I would help them. I would help the poor people on special occasions like Eid so they can also celebrate and we share our happiness with them as well. I do this to make Allah happy and when we help others by giving them zakat their lives gets better and they can buy things for themselves. I feel happy to donate my toys to poor kids.

Write a piece of advice that you would like to give others based on this ḥadīth.
I would also volunteer in Mosque/Centre activities e.g. I must help in distributing food and water, cleaning and organizing the things.

If you give charity Allah will be happy with you and increase your blessings. You should make a charity box and put some money in it daily and you can give the amount for a cause.

Giving charity takes away misfortunes and it increases your lifespan and rewards. When you give charity it will remove illnesses and Allah keeps you safe from diseases. Whenever you will give charity you receive it back multiplied and you will get a generous reward from Allah.

You must give charity secretly because Allah said that don’t show off your givings and respect the privacy of poor people.

3rd Place Winner - Batool Fatima, Age 9 - New Zealand



The Prophet (ṣ) has said: The most beloved of deeds in the eyes of Allah are offering prayers at the designated times; (then) goodness and kindness towards parents; (and then) jihād in the way of Allah. Ref: Kisa Kid Grade 3 Student Guide Lesson 4.2 Page 85 (My Course Book ).

Write a description of how you would apply this ḥadīth in real life.

Offering prayers at the designated times: I would always pray Namaz on time no matter how much busy I am and even if I had to do something and I hear the athan I would go straight go for praying and would leave the thing for after I pray Namaz. I will do it because I know Namza is the first branch of islam (Furu e deen) and the most beloved deed in the eye of Allah.

Goodness and kindness towards parents: I would help them, I would hug them, I would listen to them I would make them happy, I would kiss them, I would spend time with them, I would not shot at them I would give them a glass of water when they coming to the house, I would take care of them if they are tired, I would not yell at them jihād in the way of Allah: I must struggle in the way of Allah, always avoid doing Haram things, and do good deeds. I must follow the teaching of 14 Masoomeen AS like praying on time fasting for 30 days in Ramadan stay always from sin.

Write a piece of advice that you would like to give others based on this ḥadīth.
Offering prayers at the designated times: If you pray Namaz on time, you will get more rewards / blessings if you pray on time Allah like you more.

If you pray on time, you will have much more time to do other things and can manage your time better if you start your day with praying Namaz then it is easy for you to stay away from sin

Goodness and kindness towards parents you should be kind to your parents because they feed you, cloth you, help you to grow up and have a successful life. Also they love you from their heart. When you sick they take care of you. So always, pray from Allah for your Parents. Jihād in the way of Allah: If you struggle in the way of Allah will reward you in this word and Jannah.

If you do good deeds then you can guide other to do well and make a Muslim community.


11-17 Years Age Category

1st Place Winner - Muqtada Al-Shammary - Age 16 - Australia



My hadith is about orphans. Ref: اﻟﻤﺼﺪر : ا ل/ج 3 ص 1

Write a description of how you would apply this ḥadīth in real life.
There are many ways you can apply this hadith in real life one of them is to be kind to the orphan and treat them like they are our sons, brothers or sisters. Also not to steal their right, an example would be taking money that they inherited or not giving them the right to learn etc.

Write a piece of advice that you would like to give others based on this ḥadīth.
Note: per artist, this is in Arabic to clearly express the advice.

ﻧﺼﻴﺤﺘﻲ ﻫﻴﻪ اﻧﻪ ﻫﻨﺎك ﻟﺪﻳﻨﺎ دورﻟﻼﻳﺘﺎم ﻛﺜﻴﺮة وارﻳﺪ ان ﺗﻨﻈﻢ زﻳﺎرات ﻣﺘﻜﺮره ﻟﻬﺬه اﻟﺪور وﺗﺤﺴﻴﺴﻬﻢ اﻧﻬﻢ ﺟﺰء ﻣﻨﺎ وﻧﺤﻦ ﺟﺰأ ﻣﻨﻬﻢ

2nd Place Winner - Elhaam, Age 16 - USA



Imām Ḥasan al-ʿAskarī (ʿa) considers the breaking of such habits to be similar in nature to a miracle. Ref:

Write a description of how you would apply this ḥadīth in real life.
I will start to stop myself from damaging myself and love me more, in order to stop anything harmful towards me.

Write a piece of advice that you would like to give others based on this ḥadīth.
Pray and sometimes if your unable to help yourself, ask someone else for help.


3rd Place Winner - Zainab Khimji, Age 16 - USA

Life Purpose


Imam Ali (AS) said, For the one who finds delight in the pleasures of this world there is distress [and regret in the Hereafter]. Ref: Ghurar al-Hikam. HADITH #3401

Write a description of how you would apply this ḥadīth in real life.
In life, we often get carried away by the trends, fashion, and gossip that surrounds us, especially as teenagers. We try to fit into society's standards which don’t always align with the teachings of Islam. This makes us more distant from Allah and we don't even realize it.

In order to apply this hadith to my life, first, I think it's important that I, as a Muslim, take a few moments out of my day, like during the 5 prayers or before bed, and think about all the many ways I am blessed. I should ask for forgiveness and also think of the many ways I can improve my lifestyle to get closer to Allah and attain taqwa.

I think most importantly, it's crucial to remind myself of the day of accounting (Qiyamah) and not to get lost in the pleasure of this world, as the pleasure of Jannah is so much better. As Imam Ali said, “Paradise is the best goal.” Paradise should be our final aimed destination.

Write a piece of advice that you would like to give others based on this ḥadīth.
Never forget to trust the teachings of Islam, and most importantly trust Allah. Whenever you are in doubt about whether you are doing right or wrong, ask for Allah's guidance. And also know that if something is not in alignment with the teaching of Islam, then there is a reason for it and we may not realize it, but we have to trust Allah's decisions and try and be the best human we can be.

So my one big piece of advice would be not to give in to the temptations of this world. Society's standards require us to try and be the richest, the one with the most Instagram likes, the most famous one, and these expectations make us greedy. By trying to get more of these worldly pleasures, we forget our deen and our purpose on this earth. So it's important to control this greed and focus on gaining the pleasures of heaven through ibadat and good deeds than of this world by straying away from Allah. This world is a temporary place, the akhara is the final abode hence don't get carried away with the glitter of the world as there is a bigger award for the patient ones in the hereafter.

18+ Years Age Category

1st Place Winner - Mohaddesa Alarakhia - Canada

Flower from Heaven


Rasulullah has said " A good child is like a flower from heaven" Ref: Usul al-Kafi, Vol 6. P.3

Write a description of how you would apply this ḥadīth in real life.
When I read this hadith, I immediately thought of Bibi Fatimah Zahra (A.S) referred to as a flower from heaven. It makes me realise what an important role I have in Islam as a parent. When I think of the life of Rasulullah, I see he loved children and they loved him too be it his grandchildren or children on the streets of Madina. He treated them like valuable flowers and assets.

Write a piece of advice that you would like to give others based on this ḥadīth.
We have to realise the impact we are leaving on these little creations that Allah has entrusted us with. We will be held accountable for this responsibility and we need to make sure we treat children gently just like we would flowers.


2nd Place Winner - Wajeeha -USA


"Jealousy destroys good deeds just like fire burns wood." Ref: Ghurar al Hikam Hadith #1891

Write a description of how you would apply this ḥadīth in real life.
I can apply this hadith in my real life by not getting Jealous with what other people have. I should be thankful for everything Allah has given me and sure he will increase his blessings on me.

Write a piece of advice that you would like to give others based on this ḥadīth.
I want to advice the same which I advice myself after working on this hadith. That life is short don't waste it on looking for things which doesn't worth anything. looking here and there will burn what you have. So better stop yourself as it's your Imam words that Jealousy will surely destroy your good deeds.




3rd Place Winner - Tanveer Pirmohamed - USA

Knowledge and Reflection
  • Know that there is no benefit in knowledge without thought.
  • Know that there is no benefit in the recitation of the Qur’an without contemplation.
  • Know that worship without reflection is without effect.

Ref: Usul al Kafi , Vol. 1, pg. 36

Write a description of how you would apply this ḥadīth in real life.
Gaining Knowledge, Reciting the Holy Qur'an, and engaging in the worship of Allah (SWT) are actions that I do in daily life. Because I am so accustomed to doing them daily, they easily become a ritual and part of my daily routine. I sometimes end up doing them without thinking much about them. By selecting this Hadith, I am actually resolving and reminding myself to be more mindful of these actions that I engage in, in daily life. As per the image (artwork), I selected my own pictures and have added thought bubbles to them. This is to help remind myself that my knowledge, my reading of the Qur'an daily and my worship are of no benefit if I don't think, contemplate, and reflect on them.

I will now be more mindful of these actions and pause before doing them. I will make a conscious intention to benefit others (with the knowledge that I gain), look up the meaning and tafseer of the verse(s) I am reading, and be more (God) conscious during my worship.

I will also try and increase my knowledge by reading more as well as engage in other Mustahab acts that will help me get closer to Allah (SWT). I will spend more time in general contemplation and reflection as the Holy Prophet (SAW) is known to have said: "one hour of reflection/contemplation is superior to an entire year's worship". By spending time in reflection, I will draw my attention towards my daily actions, where I am, and what my hereafter is going to be like? It is in my hands and depends on my actions. Reflection will help me realize what I need to change about or in my life in order to get closer to Allah. The bottom line of this hadith is to think, to reflect, and to contemplate. Thinking, contemplating, reflecting, makes us more mindful when we engage in gaining knowledge, reciting the Qur'an, or worshipping Allah rather than doing all of these mindlessly.

Write a piece of advice that you would like to give others based on this ḥadīth.
Just because the Hadith says that there is no benefit in knowledge without thought, doesn't mean that one should not acquire knowledge, but rather one should think deeply about what one is learning and resolve to be of benefit to others. One should also be mindful of what kind of knowledge one is gaining and what is one's intention of gaining that knowledge. Is it to show off? Or to truly learn more? The more knowledge one has, the more humble they should be. Knowledge that makes one arrogant is not beneficial.

Just because the Hadith says that there is no benefit in the recitation of the Qur'an without contemplation, doesn't mean that one should stop reciting the Qur'an because one doesn't have enough time to contemplate. Rather, one should pick just one verse of the Qur'an, and contemplate on it. Read its meaning, look up some more information about when or why that verse was revealed (its context) and then think about how that verse is relevant to oneself.

Just because the Hadith says that worship without reflection has no effect doesn't mean we stop worshipping just because we may not have time to reflect. Rather, we should spend even 2 minutes before engaging in an act of worship, think about what we are about to perform, bring our attention and presence to what we are about to do, then engage in that act of worship. It will be more fruitful than doing it mindlessly. We will also find ourselves enjoying that act of worship rather than doing it just for the sake of doing it.

We don't necessarily have to spend an hour in reflection. If we take just 5 minutes before every prayer and before going to sleep and engage in reflection, we will be able to gain knowledge, read the Qur'an and engage in our daily worship more sincerely and with presence of mind and heart.