Archive for August, 2008

How do you know if you are close to Allah?

This is something I found on Hijrah To Algeria… blog and I just had to share…

If you want to find out whether you are close to Allah, this is the way:

Look at how easy or difficult it is to do different actions that are pleasing to Allah (reading qu’ran, giving sadaqa, qiyam, siyam, etc).

If you are so happy and take great pleasure at performing these acts, and it is easy for you – this is a sign that you are close to Allah.

If it is difficult for you and you find yourself making excuses, and it is hard for you and you literally have to drag yourself to do these acts, then know that you do not have a close relationship with Allah.’

Who can ever hold a burning coal?

Alhamdulillah this past weekend we were able to take a trip to hear a couple of very beneficial lectures by Br. Mohammad Elshinawy. One of the lectures “Walking Alone: Bearing the Flag of the Stranger” was something that we really needed to hear.

This lecture was based on the hadeeth;

“Islam began as something strange and will revert to being strange as it began, so *tooba (glad tidings) to the strangers.”

*Tooba is a tree in Paradise promised to the strangers of this dunya. It is such a special gift because it is not something easily attainable. The strangers are the likes of the believers mentioned in Surah Al-Ahzab, in the incident of the Battle of the Ditch (Khandaq), whose faith was strengthened in the face of great adversity.

Trials and tests are necessary because they act as a mechanism to filter out those who are pure and to expose those who have the disease of doubts in their hearts.

In times of ease it is easy to claim eman, but it is only in times of trials that our true colors are revealed. Hence we only know our true selves by seeing how well or how miserably we fare while undergoing difficulties and hardships in this life.

Masha-Allah there are sooo many lessons from this lecture but one that truly struck me was when Brother Mohammad mentioned the hadeeth;

“There will come a time of patience when the one who adheres steadfastly to his religion will be like one who holds a burning coal.”

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2260; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 957. )

And then he asked the question:

Who can ever hold a burning coal?

And then came the crystal clear answer:

With certainty that if I let go of this coal, what comes after it will be hotter….i.e. hell-fire.

Ramadhan Lapbook Pics & Printouts!

As promised…a more detailed post on our Ramadhan Lapbook! Sorry about the pics though, the lapbook was made 2 Ramadhans ago and as you can see it has been well-loved! (smiles)

Alhamdulillah I have edited some of the mini books we used and added more graphics etc, so they look much better than the plain mini books you’ll see from our pics (smiles). Insha-Allah you’ll be able to use them for your own Ramadhan lapbook. Just click on the pdf files to view and download the printouts. I would say the printouts are best suited for Grades 1 and up, but of course you can modify them to accomodate younger kids.

We got a lot of the ideas for this lapbook from TJ Ramadhan. Masha-Allah they even have activities for every single day of Ramadhan! After going through the lessons from TJ that I thought would be of interest to my daughter, we made this lapbook to supplement the lessons learnt. Also lapbooks are great for reviewing and your child will enjoy refering to them again and again to help remember all the stuff you’ve covered!

Here are some of the activties we did for our Ramadhan Lapbook. (You can always click on the pics for a more closer look.)

1) We made a Ramadhan Lunar Calendar.  

Go here and scroll down to Activity 3 and click on  Make Your Own Lunar Calendar. We printed a blank calendar and the different pictures of the moon throughout the month from the lunar cycle. Then once we knew when the first day of Ramadhan was, we pasted the different pics of the moon onto the calendar, starting from the new moon and so on.

We also cut out squares and wrote the dates on them and taped them onto the corresponding moon pic so we could flip and see what the moon looked like on a particular date. Insha-Allah we’re planning to do to this calendar again this year but this time we’re going to use different colored paper for the dates to make it more colorful.

2) We learnt the reason why we fast and the daleel (proof) for this. View Why Do We Fast Activity pdf file.

3) We reviewed our memorization of Surah Al-Qadr and we learnt the meaning of this surah. (View Surah Al-Qadr Activity pdf file)

4) We learnt and memorized a hadeeth about fasting. (View Hadeeth on Fasting pdf file)

5) We learnt some new Arabic words (View New Arabic Words pdf file)

6) We learnt some new vocab (View New Words  pdf file)

7) We learnt about the things breaks your fast & about the people who are exempted from fasting (View Who Are Exempted & What Breaks Your Fast Accordian Books pdf file)

 

 

9) We learnt about Laylat-ul-Qadr

10) We learnt about odd and even numbers

11) We had a Ramadhan Quiz (View Ramadhan Quiz pdf file)

12) We made a book about Ramadhan

 

13) We made a Ramadhan du’a book (View Ramadhan Dua Book pdf file)

14) We learnt that Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and we learnt our Islamic months. (View Islamic Months Activity pdf file)

15) We practised our Arabic handwriting by doing some copywork. (View Command To Fast Copywork doc.file)

I’ve also made a Fasting Cycle Wheel to add on to our Ramadhan lapbook. (View Fasting Cycle Wheel Book pdf file)

If you’re new to lapbooking, I’ve just found out about a great site for Islamic lapbooking resources! And even if you’re not a big fan of lapbooks, insha-Allah you can still make use of the resources here to supplement your Ramadhan lesson plans.

Have fun lapbooking!

Being Able to Homeschool is a Favor from Allah

These last couple of weeks we took a trip to visit a friend whose husband recently passed away. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’oon. Verily to Allah we belong and to Him we will return.

Like me she has 3 very young kids, and she has been a homemaker eversince her first child was born. But now Mommy has to be Daddy too and insha-Allah she will begin her new job soon. Her younger kids will be sent to a Muslim runned daycare while the oldest one will enter an Islamic school bi ithnillah. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala make it easy for her and her family. Ameen.

Looking at her situation made me realize the great favor that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has blessed me with, and which I have taken for granted all these years…that He has given me a husband who is healthy and fit and is able to provide for us so that I can be a full-time mom and homeschool my kids.

You know homeschooling in itself can be trying at times and one of the most hardest experience I’ve had was to homeschool and attend to a nursing baby at the same time. Alhamdulillah, my son is fully weaned now and those days seem far away, yet when I really think about it, if given a choice I would willingly go through that all over again rather than go out and work. Yes, it’s true that just the mere thought of not being able to be home with my kids is enough to make me feel all queasy inside!

And Alhamdulillah, I am so grateful that I do have a choice and I chose to be a stay at home Mom. What I really need to understand is that if Allah wills, it could easily be that I do not have a choice but to work. O Allah please help me to remember this and be grateful to you for your favors. Ameen.

Sometime ago I remember reading a very beautiful piece of naseeha from Tea & A Think:

“As one du`aa goes (received by email one day):

Allah, I thank Thee for this sink of dirty dishes… we have plenty of food to eat.

I thank Thee for this pile of dirty, stinky, laundry… we have plenty of nice clothes to wear.

And I would like to thank Thee, for those unmade beds in there. They were so comfortable last night. I know many have no bed.

My thanks to Thee, Allah, for this bathroom, complete with all the splattered mirrors, soggy, grimy towels and dirty lavatory… they are so convenient.

I thank Thee for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs defrosting so badly. It has served us faithfully for many years. It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals.

I thank Thee Allah, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today… it has baked so many things over the years.

The whole family is grateful for all that tall grass that needs mowing, the lawn that needs raking… we all enjoy the yard.

I thank Thee Allah, even for that slamming screen door. My kids are healthy and able to run and play.

Alhamdulillah.

Allah, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says Thou has richly blessed my family. I shall do them all cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully, In sha Allah.”

Even though the du’a is specifically about being thankful to Allah for having household chores (which I do not particularly look forward to) and looking at them from a different angle and actually appreciating them, I think we can change it to accomodate any circumstance in our lives…

In my case for example;

O Allah I thank you for all the whining and squabbling from my kids that I hear on a daily basis…alhamdulillah I have kids and am able to be home with them and enjoy their company.

O Allah I thank you for all the trials and tests I’ve had to deal with in homeschooling…alhamdulillah my kids do not have to attend public school.

O Allah I thank you for all the times I wish my husband wasn’t so busy with his work and studies so he would have more time to spend with us…alhamdulillah we have enough money so that I do not have to go out and share the burden of providing for the family.

Shukoor Alhamdulillah. All praise and thanks be to the Lord of all the Worlds.