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 ūüôā

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 ūüėČ 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 Рyou 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 ūüėČ

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.


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


Ramadan is here! Festivals and celebrations

Well, we are on day 6 of Ramadan – the holy month of fasting for Muslims.¬†I had been meaning to write a bit about the importance of festivals and celebrations in childhood, and how they contribute to the growing minds’ conception of self and the understanding of ones place in the world. Children use their early experiences as reference points to draw comparisons with later on. My children often came home from school having learnt about Christmas and Devali – buzzing from the crafts and fun activities they had been doing that day.¬† Ramadan is also a festival – it is the festival of the Quran, the Muslim holy book. The spirit of Ramadan is to fast from dawn till dusk, in order to obey Gods command. The focus of the Month is to celebrate the Quran through recitals in groups or in solitude, to draw deep reflections on the messages and to set goals for personal change.¬† Some Muslim cultures¬†place importance on providing¬†feasts to fasting people within their family or communities,¬†and the month is perfect for¬†offering a lot of charity to the needy too.

I will add more to this page throughout the month of Ramadan.

Coming soon…

Activities with the children:

Here are some ideas that we have tried this year..

  1. Ramadan calendar РWe created a lunar calendar in order to track the days of Ramadan.  See gallery for the photo.  We filled them with sweets and made a routine of counting down the days and sharing the sweets amongst the children after the late noon prayer.  This time is our family marker of reflections and reviews of what Ramadan is, and what we are learning and gaining so far. We use this time to gather on the prayer mats and read our prayers aloud, to read out the Ramadan posters we created, before finally allowing the children to count the days till they reach the day that is due to begin at sunset (the lunar calendar day begins at sunset).  This has been a wonderful experience this year and has become a natural habit for the family to gather to pray, reflect and do the calendar!  You can fill the calendar with messages, jokes, small games too.  We went for sweets this year.
  2. Ramadan treasure box. My eldest son generously donated his hand made treasure box and pirate treasures for a Ramadan game to keep us entertained.¬† He wrapped up old pieces of treasure (my old bits of jewellery and other things important to him) and provided us with a dice. Each night, usually after calendar time, one of us rolls the dice and whosever number it falls on gets to choose some treasure.¬† Sometimes we practice sharing or giving the treasure to eachother as gifts [don’t worry, he donated thinsg he was comfortable with giving away in the game].
  3. Ramadan daily Goals and wishes cards.  I made a set of sparkly cards to write 3 goals and 3 prayers inside.  Each night my eldest son brings everyone their card and we individually reflect on how we are doing with our goals and if we have remembered to pray for the three special things we chose.
  4. Ramadan Banner and moons decorations.  there are lot of youtube videos on how to make your own decorations for Ramadan and eid. we chose to cut out stars and moons and string them around the stair case .
  5. Quran tent for children.
  6. Iftar baskets and  lamps.

Celebrating Ramadan/festivals and nurturing identity development:

I am writing a separate article about this topic. See archives soon!


Muhammad Ali

He advised a mum of a 9yr old, what did he advise? She wanted advice for her son who attends boxing lessons. What he advised was don’t think about becoming a professional boxer, but learn and get knowledge. Youth is an important time to learn. Whilst watching this interview he did in Newcastle in the 70s, I did not expect that kind of answer. Did you?

Its funny just this past few days I have been planning our home education curriculum with a desire to teach world history and world literature. Yes, the passing of Muhammad Ali today has reminded me of a few things.

  1. His was a literature rooted in causes he believed in, not boxing, but peace and of owning ones identity. He was not just a professional boxer. He was a poet and political thinker too.
  2. He talked openly about oppression and the White privelege system, black stereotypes and prejudices that still exist.
  3. He was not shy about his faith. Nor was he afraid to share his spirituality, he did not split that part of him off from his public persona.

I remember one time in supervision at work, I was asked if I had a legacy I wanted to follow or share. At that time I had not looked deeply into these thoughts. Different ideas and themes were emerging and eventually we settled on looking at Muhammad Ali’s biography. The choice as he was a powerful figure who overcame subjugating narratives in his life. Some lessons and journeys were to be found there about his deep identity reformation, congruence of self and confidence in himself. Therefore, to understand at a deeper level of how he navigated the hurdles of loving himself in a White priveleged¬†world would not only have been useful for me but also in understanding my client group at the time who were majority Black minority ethnic ¬†with some form of spiritual beliefs. You know what, I did not do it. I forgot or something else took over, and it became one of the things I will do one day.

A family therapist once said to me that every man (and woman) wants a legacy, needs a legacy, to join or reinforce a legacy…not knowing your legacy is like darkness. Uncovering your legacy can be like a shining light that brings congruence in your actions and life. I see legacy, identity and self esteem as very closely linked. Muhammad Ali knew his legacy. Rest in peace Muhammad Ali, rest in peace.

So to teach world history and world literature would mean to us that we are not missing out on knowledge and important lessons about different civilisations….and we are Becoming aware of parts of ourselves that don’t appear to fit a dominant white Eurocentric discourse, but are still proud of them. ¬†It would enable us to hold multiple narratives and discourses, and not just the dominant ones which have in history and in present day too, become narrow – and thus oppressive.

So, we will be studying the poetry and life of Muhammad Ali- yes most definately we will…His life will form part of our identity curriculum as well as in the literature and spirituality strands that I am developing. I am so grateful for this opportunity!