Getting ready for the day of Arafah!

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I am up waiting for suhoor and busy getting it all ready for the day of Arafah today! So the children will walk into a room with plenty of fun and learning all set up! Why? Because building positive associations with family festivals is important for helping to build self esteem and identity. The main feature for them is the crafts table all set up including the following:

– Eid card and banner activity,

– ‘Dua list’ card activity to use as a reminder when making special prayers between Asr and Magrib.

– Craft supplies to make our own decorations!

– We also have various cake decorating goals including decorating cupcakes for iftar tonight and toasting marshmallows and sandwiching them in chocolate biscuits for another yummy Iftar/Eid treat!

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We have made a wall display with various childrens’ books about Allah. This includes an activity prompt list which the children can read and choose an activity from. The learning Wall display is shown in the photo above. (The prompt list also includes a practical  reminder for the children to help prepare their Eid clothes and their bath before attending Eid salah tomorrow!).

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And we have made a great start on our wall display of Makkah and Medina! Full of angels, sparkles and delight! No doubt the children will make more wonderful things to add to this during the day of Arafah!

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#hajj #Arafah #homeschooling #HajjCrafts #EidAlAdha #festivals #Eid

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The first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah could be your second shot at doing the last 10 days of Ramadan again with your kids!

Blog hopping !!! Check out all the links at the end of my article to visit other blogs who have written on similar themes to help you plan your days of Dhul Hijjah!

Dr Mumly

This is what i am trying to remember as we have approached the month of Dhul Hijjah (the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar). Social media users are catching on to this concept and more and more videos, blog articles and downloads have been circulated this year all aimed at encouraging the season of ‘another go at the last ten days’ – except they are the first 10 days this time round! That’s all good! I do actually welcome that! Why not be prepared and upbeat! The second Eid of the year always does seem to fly by too quickly and so the buzz of articles and videos on social media can certainly help for parents to get into the mood and help set the scene they actually want in their homes for this beautiful new season in the Islamic lunar calendar.

So what’s the plan this time round?…

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The first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah could be your second shot at doing the last 10 days of Ramadan again with your kids!

This is what i am trying to remember as we have approached the month of Dhul Hijjah (the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar). Social media users are catching on to this concept and more and more videos, blog articles and downloads have been circulated this year all aimed at encouraging the season of ‘another go at the last ten days’ – except they are the first 10 days this time round! That’s all good! I do actually welcome that! Why not be prepared and upbeat! The second Eid of the year always does seem to fly by too quickly and so the buzz of articles and videos on social media can certainly help for parents to get into the mood and help set the scene they actually want in their homes for this beautiful new season in the Islamic lunar calendar.

So what’s the plan this time round? Well, remember the empty feeling at the end of last Ramadan? Here is a chance to ‘redo’ and prolong those 10 days all over again! So you can do many things together to bond, get spiritual, get learning or sharing just as you tried to in Ramadan. Celebrating festivals, rituals, and seasons are all very important for emotional, spiritual and identity development. So don’t overlook the opportunity to involve your children. Here are some ‘short and sweet’ ideas – I know you are already inspired and i’m probably wasting my time with my super organised readers, but just incase there’s someone out there who is feeling a little stuck – here it is –  Enjoy!

1). Make a Count down Kaba poster. Easy – just cut 10 black squares and add a gold strip and rectangle for the kaba features – Kaba voila! Now add a number on each Kaba door. If you want to get really adventurous, the last door could open with a clue behind it for something fun planned on Eid day. My advice is to not put the clue behind the Kaba door till the actual day of Eid to prevent it being torn out beforehand 🙂

2). Watch Hajj live or prerecorded as a family. Make a special viewing area in the house  -for example – place the screen/ laptop on a low table and then the colourful prayer mats arranged to form a carpeted area to sit on.  Use a special bowl for prayer beads. Go further and  drape white, black and gold scarves around the area. this depends on the space you have and if you have a wall stapler 😉 Hang sparkly battery lights that you may have used last Eid. When the family is not watching Hajj live you can play the Quran or set up everyones Qurans to sit in a circle to read together in the mornings and evenings. Whereas the build up was to laylatul Qadr in Ramadan, in the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah the build up is towards the day of Arafat (day 9) and Eid (day 10). The day of Arafat is the day pilgrims stand on mount Arafat all day making dua. It is strongly recommended to fast for those not at Hajj and of age/physical ability. Therefore, day 9 may include extra special activities such as suhoor and iftar, and elongated dua between Asr and Magrib.  Remember to read up on all the sunnahs for the day of Arafat and day of Eid so you are not caught out.

3). Create a playlist of historical educational programs about the Kaba. Use this as an opportunity to understand more about the Holy mosque and what changes have been made over the centuries in Makkah and Medina. Do post a link in the comments if you find some good ones to recommend to others.

4). Revisit stories of how and when the Kaba was built and by which prophets. Use childrens’ stories of the prophets books available in audio or book format.

5). Set up another table for crafts. You can colour a Dhul Hijjah journal together as a family, doing a couple of pages each, or an entire journal each! There are plenty of journal  ideas found on the ilmaeducates blog.

6) If you have been on Umrah in the past,  look at the pics/ videos and talk about what prayers you made and make a new dua list to use in these ten days. (If you are planning to go on Umrah after the Hajj season with your kids – you may want to also read our short article featured in the Muslim Travel Girl blog .

7) Let the kids try on Ihram! Either borrow one from someone you know or use scarves.

8) Don’t forget the usual list of good deeds –  fast, read your personalised dua lists, perform night prayers, and giving to charity are all important. Allow the children to participate according to their age/ability. Sometimes families may also encourage their children to participate in a sponsored fast to raise money for a big charity.

9) Qurbani – the story behind this will have been told via the prophets stories mentioned above. If you are doing qurbani locally, try to distribute it as a family. Kids will remember actions better than explanations, therefore, involving them wherever possible in good deeds and ‘giving to the needy’ is important.

10) Eid plans – be sure to make  gifts and visit or invite family and friends that you may not have been able to see last Eid. Making gifts is more fun than buying them! How about air-dried clay tiles with hand designed geometric patterns (with the name of the person you are gifting to in the centre).  Don’t forget to make two holes at the top of the clay tile to thread ribbon through so the tile can be hung. You will need to get making now so they are dried and decorated in time for Eid!!!

Did i miss anything? Let me know in the comments 😉

This post is part of the Eid al Adha and Hajj Blog hop by Multicultural Motherhood. Join us as we share Eid and Hajj related posts. Hop over to see related posts from other Muslimah Bloggers.

BLOG HOP LINKS:

Eid Party Crafts For Kids by Multicultural Motherhood

Ever Wonder why Hajj is Once in a Life Time by Jeddah Mom
Hajj/ Umrah Products by Ayeina.Com
Dhul Hijjah Best 10 Days by Christal Joan
Eid Ul Adha crafts/activities and celebrations in a homeschool by The Fire Fly
The activities of the big day of Eid al Adha we need to know by Ummu Kulthum
Get organised for Eid ul Adha – printables, activities and more! by And Then She Said
Free Download: My Dhull Hijjah Journal by Ilma Education
The first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah could be your second shot at doing the last 10 days of Ramadan again with your kids by Dr Mumly

Author Interview – Ramadan without daddy

It is a great pleasure to interview the author of Ramadan without daddy! Welcome Misbah Akhtar!
1) Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and bred in London although I lived in Dubai for a while. I love chocolate and all things horror whether it be games, movies or novels! I’ve been writing from a young age and was inspired in particular by Christopher Pike who remains my favourite writer. I’m a busy mum of 4, founder of Single Muslim Mums; and editor-in-chief of Mumspiration – my blog documenting my journey to become a more positive, mindful me.
I felt there was a need for it within our ummah (Muslim community). A story about different types of families to promote awareness about single motherhood and the challenges these mums face. It was an extension of the work I do for Single Muslim Mums. I believe it will aid parents in explaining the concept of divorce to their children, and I hope it is also a wake up call to all the absentee parents out there who don’t see the sadness left behind when they abandon their children.
2) What has been the reaction to the book before and after it was out? 
It’s been good. A lot of mothers have been calling for a book like this for a long time. They like the straightforwardness of the book in an easy to understand way for children and appreciate the honesty of how parents may behave and feel when going through a divorce/newly divorced. The book hasn’t been out that long and I’m hoping in time we see more titles like this in Islamic book shops and mosque book shops also.
3) What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on my debut novel entitled: The Jinn Within. It’s a horror story (of course!) about jinn possession and the impact that it has on one family. It has a lot of real elements to it based upon a true story; again, the aim is to promote awareness, this time about the the spiritual realm. It isn’t just a story but also a form of creating awareness for others about the different kinds of spiritual beliefs people have, in this case the belief in Jinn.
4) What other challenges have you faced in the writing industry?
Promoting and marketing your work as a Muslim author is certainly hard because we are only now starting to see fiction books written by Muslims for Muslims. I haven’t come across a published Muslim fiction book that deals with the horror the jinn can inflict on humankind (yay, I can be the first 😉),  or many books written for children talking about sensitive Islamic issues either. It’s therefore hard to gauge what the  reaction will be to such books, but I remain hopeful. Writing is also a lot of hard work  which I only now fully appreciate!

Book review: Ramadan without daddy

RAMADAN WITHOUT DADDY  –   BOOK REVIEW

It is a pleasure to review this book which has entered the shelves of child book stores for families. As the title suggests the book is about a family adjusting to changes after separation/ divorce.  The book is an important contribution to the many other therapeutic resources written to help children to understand and adjust to the changes they may be going through after parental separation. My review is brief and will focus on what i think the book can offer.

First of all, it is really encouraging to see that the book is not only colourful and vibrant, but also represents ethnic diversity in the illustrations. This allows it to immediately relate to families who often feel not represented enough in mainstream literature, illustration and animation. The title also acknowledges one of the most recognised festive seasons celebrated and practiced in the world – Ramadan! The very use of this word in the title helps to normalise Muslim culture which is an important aspect of encouraging identity development for Muslim children. Immediately these factors convey the impression that this is a book that my children could relate to easily, and so I was pleased to be able to review the book and see for myself!

The general message of the book is of how children notice change and sadness, and how they try to make sense of it in their transition to a new smaller family unit after parental separation. The story provides hope about the future as we see the mother offering messages of encouragement to her children and their bond strengthening in return. The story itself could be experienced as quite sensitive dependant on the experiences of the family reading it, and the momentum of the sensitive topic is quick paced. The reader is swiftly brought into the reality of the changes experienced for the characters living at home ‘without daddy’. The characters include the mother and two children who exchange conversations about why daddy is no longer living at home. The main character is the older sibling and she tries to find ways of explaining the change to her younger brother.  There are some sad moments in the story for example, when the children are reflecting on how contact with daddy is decreasing over time, and how their Ramadan experience has changed. Equally, there are some very important messages for children. Such as the important notion that the changes are not their fault and will not feel the same way forever. This book read with plenty of time for reflection and musings could help to encourage children talk about any sensitive conversations it may open up. These conversations could serve therapeutic if engaged with sensitively by a nurturing carer. Therefore the book, in my view, would work best therapeutically when read with/ to a child by a nurturing adult, rather than kept for independent reading time.

 

Over a year without school…

So i have not written on the main site for a while but there have been things going on behind the scenes! I now more regularly write on the facebook for Dr Mumly which i have tried to link to the website page (this is all still a new world). We did a travel review article and there is a book review article coming soon. In and amongst other things, home education has been cool! We are starting to turn a corner now and buckle down a bit more into our own home ed groove. I am still working on the emotional development resources, however i have generally allowed a more relaxed pace to allow our gazillion missions to gently evolve if that makes sense. Ok i am going to test if i can still work this button and press publish 🙂