Ta'leem and Tarbiya

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Salman al-Odah was asked, “How do you get your kids to love the salah?”

The first thing he said was, “Have them love you.”

Learn this life lesson: tarbiyah is founded upon relationship.

Tarbiyah is the raising up and education of a child such that she can reach her full potential as a human and a Muslim. It is different than ta’leem, which refers to fact-based education.

We often confuse the two, giving our children ta’leem when they need tarbiyah.

Ta’leem is teaching our children the how-to of the prayer. Memorizing the duas, learning the positions.

Tarbiyah is the cuddling after the prayer when we ask each other, “What did you ask for in sajdah?”

Ta’leem is memorizing ahadeeth and verses.

Tarbiyah is the dinner-table banter where we talk current events and other issues on our mind.

Ta’leem is studying fiqh.

Tarbiyah is the loving conversation we have about an incident that happened at school.

Ta’leem is studying seerah by memorizing dates and events or preparing for a quiz bowl.

Tarbiyah is snuggling in bed and telling stories of brave heroes of the past.

When we were at Umrah, Ustadh Abu Eesa stressed this point a great deal and it has caused a seismic shift in my own approach to teaching my children. I had asked him if he had a suggested program of study for school-aged children. He responded by saying that he was no expert on education and he would leave that to the experienced teachers to develop such a program. He directed us instead to focus our efforts on building relationships with our children as our tarbiyah.

“Tarbiyah,” he explained, “is an emotional, not a physical exercise.”

He went on to explain that in the Qur’an, we are taught the dua for the parents as follows: “O Allah, have mercy on them, as they rabbayaani when I was young.” In other words, have mercy on them because they did tarbiyah for me when I was young. It doesn’t say “because they ‘allmaani”–because they taught me.

Long after facts have come and gone, what a child will remember are the memories she has cuddling on the couch, laughing at stories, and warmly basking in the glow of a parent’s attention and love. This relationship is what builds the person up, not the facts and pieces of knowledge imparted.

This does not mean we do not teach facts and knowledge! Those who follow my work know that I do indeed spend time on this ta’leem. You need to discern the difference between the two themes of ta’leem and tarbiyah though, so that you give adequate time to each.

Most importantly, you must understand that you, dear parents, are indispensable. You CANNOT outsource tarbiyah. You can send your child to classes and masjid programs for ta’leem but this can never replace tarbiyah. The cuddling on the couch, the lively discussions around the table, the one-on-one chats before bed….these are the things that only a parent can do. And these are the things that build the foundation of the Islamic akhlaq and adab (morals and manners).

#meriumnotesandthoughts

My Children are my Redemption - Bushra Tobah

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“Realizing that I hadn’t had a sip of water all day, I thirstily made my way to the kitchen with Zainab in my arm. As my mouth salivated at the sight of the ice-cold glass in my hand, Zainab began kicking her legs excitedly. I knew that she wanted some too. Before taking a sip myself, I put it to her mouth. As I was about to quench my own thirst, Ibrahim ran into the kitchen and said, “Mama, I want mayya (water) too!” So I gave him the rest of that glass.

Then a thought struck me. My children are my redemption. If, as the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) narrates, a prostitute can go to heaven for having mercy on a cat, then my children can—God willing—be my key to salvation.”

Read the full article here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/growmama/spirituality/page-diary-children-redemption/

For parents who... A Ramadan memo for one and all!

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For parents who spend time doing Ramadan crafts with kids and decorate the house. Good job to you for putting in the efforts to make Ramadan kid-friendly and attractive.

For parents who don’t do Ramadan crafts or decorate the house. Good job to you too for sparing time for more Quran, conversations and prayer reflections with kids, which don’t need any photo uploads at all.

For parents who bring children to masjid for teraweeh. Good job for your courage and introducing the masjid to your children.

For parents who don’t go masjid but perform teraweeh at home. Good job for showing your children that teraweeh can also be done at home at your own time, and that reflection of Allah can be done anywhere.

For parents who encourage your children to fast all day. Good job to you for educating your children about the merits of fasting.

For parents whose children can’t fast all day, but only half or quarter days. Good job to you because you know it’s not wajib at their age, and you’ve shown your patience and compassion towards the kids’ growing physical needs.

For parents who continue with their usual kids’ outings, playdates, activities in Ramadan, good job to you for this effort to show that Ramadan does not mean life stops, but carry on as usual.

For parents who slow down in kids’ activities. Good job to you as you understand kids need rest while fasting. You too need a rest.

For parents who cook special food specially for Ramadan. Good job to you as your kids will remember Ramadan as special because of yummy and nutritious iftar. Serving your family earns great rewards from Allah.

For parents who cook the usual daily menu which you normally cook outside Ramadan, good job to you too. You don’t spend too much time in the kitchen and instead, spend more time to dzikir, read Quran and du’a for the family.

For parents who can perform charity and donate to masjid and guide your children to do the same, good job to you for showing that in Ramadan, we can be extra generous to earn His Blessings.

For parents who cannot give much to charity as you’re already struggling to pay your children’s medical bills, basic needs and bills. Good job to you too because your children learn that charity begins at home, for family first and that paying for your children’s basic needs is already a charitable act with great rewards from Allah.

Every family is different, unique and have different needs. Do not compare one family’s Ramadan experiences with another. Do not feel bad if you perceive the other family is “doing more”. What you see on social media is not the same as what Allah sees. Whatever we do, do it with the right intention to please Allah. May Allah ease our affairs, accept the good from us and forgive our sins in this blessed month.

– Umm Anissa, Admin of Muslim Kid Genius

Fundraising Idea 23: Sponsored Sleep without a Blanket

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Here’s another one to add to the fundraising with children list… as I’m sure you’ll agree, it is very much needed at the moment. The idea is: Sleep Without A Blanket – not only will this give children a tiny glimpse into what it is like to be a child sleeping without a blanket in the winter, but also raise awareness of the struggles that other children are facing at the moment.

Here is one example of someone doing this challenge, although I know there are many out there. Do donate if you can!

https://www.justgiving.com/Sakinah-sumar/

“My name is Sakinah Sumar and I am 5 years old. Me, mummy and pappa will be sleeping without a blanket for one night to remember the Syrian people who have to do this every night. They are facing a really cold winter and need blankets to keep them warm and alive. Please sponsor me so that the money can be used to buy them the blankets they desperately need.”

And here are some oh-so-cute letters written by other children taking part!
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Sharing the message of Kerbala with children

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As we prepare to enter the months of Muharram and Safar, here are some INVALUABLE points for parents and teachers to keep in mind. Please read and share!

Take the first point for example – SO crucial:

“Images of Violence:

It never ceases to amaze me the extent of graphic details Islamic school curriculums, teachers, and speakers provide children when discussing Karbala. Yes, it was a battle and yes it was a tragedy beyond words. However, such violent and graphic details are socially and developmentally inappropriate. Many children struggle to understand topics such as death, loss, and grief. When Islamic school teachers decide to focus on the explicit details of how Ali al-Asghar or Imam Abbas (as) were killed, it can be difficult for children to overcome. You can definitely get the message across that Yazeed and Bani Ummayah were the lowest of the low and enemies of God without describing to a child in graphic details the murder of another child.”

For the whole article, click here: http://www.aimislam.com/sharing-the-message-of-karbala-with-children/

Raising Allah-centric Preschoolers by Ruhaifa Adil

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“The biggest influence in the lives of babies and toddlers are their parents and immediate family; however, as pre-schoolers, they meet and interact with teachers and other kids in their class/playground and learn a lot more about the world they live in. In these interactions, they also encounter many thoughts and values that oppose those that that they have been taught so far. It is important that Muslim parents continue their efforts to bond their children with Allah and His deen (religion) at this age.

The 3 to 5 year old stage is a stage of exploration and creativity, hands-on learning, and experimentation. It is a great age to help your children connect further with Allah by helping them learn about their deen through fun and activity-based learning. Continue with the ideas you have been using since they were infants and toddlers such as listening regularly to the Qur’an, incorporating various Sunnah practices in daily life, and telling them that Allah loves them. Add the following activities to reinforce your teachings…”

Read the whole article here: http://blog.iiph.com/raising-allah-centric-preschoolers/

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