The Islamic Christmas Tree

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Not so long ago, we introduced the concept of an Islamic Tree for Eid – check these out here and here.

Why not use the same concept for Christmas also? Living in the West (and even if you don’t nowadays) the pressure to celebrate or mark Christmas with the usual tree and gifts is very strong. So why not celebrate… but in more of an Islamic way, as opposed to the Christmas tree and baubles and things very much associated with another religion?

I came across this article called The Little Known Story of the Islamic Christmas Tree which I thought was so interesting, suggesting that an Islamic tree would actually be much closer to a true marking of the birth of Jesus (no matter what date!) than the actual Christmas tree.

It says: “According to the Quran the tree is a date palm, which has both Mary and baby Jesus resting beneath it. The tree has ripe dates as it is bearing fruit at the time of Jesus’ birth. It also features spring water towards its base, which (in the story) miraculously appears for Mary to drink from.”

A date palm Eid tree was actually the original idea – but until we can get one, why not try the alternative (as suggested in the blog posts cited above)?

Happy celebrating Prophet Isa’s birthday 🙂

 

Ramadan Activities for Young Ones

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So here is what one mum did to help her kids benefit from this month in so many amazing ways!

Imam Ali (AS) bags for the less fortunate: Great activity for little toddlers. They love filling bags. First explained how Imam Ali always helped people…. Went to the store had her pick items she thinks everyone would need on a daily basis- comb, toothbrush, snacks. Came home and she packed everything into ziplock bags and asked the grandparents to come home to help write Hadith from Imam Ali (as) on the hearts which we put in the bags. IA to disburse them throughout the holy month.

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Shahru Ramadhan treat boxes for little friends: Cookies made and decorated by little one and family, kajur, and a small toy to help celebrate the beginning of this awesome month!

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Good Deeds Tree: pick a good deed from the jar, implement it and get to decorate a heart ornament to put on the tree. Just like a tree grows beautiful hearts good deeds will make our hearts grow and make us shine. The tree will light up every time they were able to do the good deed.

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Quran Wall: Use this wall to learn all about the awesomeness of this great book. Focusing on Surah Qadr memorization and suwer of Juz Ammah. Each time she memories a Surah she gets to put the sticker on the Juz Ammah tree.
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 We have a light up Quranic box which we will put different objects that are in the Quran inside and begin discussions from them. Example- we will put animals in the box. Create excitement by turning the lights on the box on and off, open the box and talk about the story of Prophet Nuh. Box credit goes to HIC Quran Club.
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Following the Footsteps of Imam Ali (AS):
Learn all about our amazing Imam and give children examples from his life the little ones can implement. Children will cut out their own footsteps and put it on the wall to help them see the path to Allah is always going to be through the our Ahlul Bayt and Quran. We will post different activities we do that relate to the Imam on the Black cloth and end it with his martyrdom.
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Advent Calendar: Each bag has a good deed to do, a Quranic Word, money for sadka. Bags are decorated to also show days of sadness (black bags) and happiness (glitter bags). Some bags have special presents to help reinforce the extra special days and likewise for the days of mourning.
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Our Blessings Garden: Helping children see how beautiful our blessings are and how we need to nurture them and appreciate them.
Each flower will have a theme in the center and the petals we will write why that blessings is important to us. One of the theses will be Allah- we are thankful to have the one and only beat God. On the petals we will put Allah’s names and discuss how lucky we are to have Allah who is Al-Khaliq he made everything and go into discussion of all the creations.. How Allah is Al-Wadud and go into discussion of how He loves us soo much.
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Arabic letters centers: toys, puzzles, games, flash cards to help the children learn their letters!

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Is it Eid yet? A Fun and Educational Countdown for Kids.

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It’s already that time of year, would you believe?!

“On one such occasion last year I found myself telling him Eid was only 100 days away…and with that came an idea so exciting that I set to work straight away. We would have a tree – it would be a learning tree, a growing tree and with each leaf that opened we would count one less day till Eid but one more inch closer to Allah. I proposed to my then-four-year-old that we would have a “99 Names of Allah Tree.”

And here dear reader, I invite you to join us! This year on the 29th of March, it will be approximately 99 days till eid.”

Read the full article here: http://seekershub.org/blog/2016/03/countdown-to-eid/

Countdown to the Prophet's Birthday

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Continuing on with our catch up about the Holy Prophet’s birthday…

As mentioned earlier, we have previously done celebrating his birthday with a week of emulating his life. (See:http://www.buzzideazz.com/glimpse-of-week-ahead/ and http://www.buzzideazz.com/week-of-emulating-the-prophet/).

One mum did something similar, but in such an amazingly creative way! Check it out…

“Count down to the Holy Prophets’s khushali:

To make my kids learn and look forward to the Prophet’s birthday we made an advent calendar with 7 days of different activities.

We put together 7 tissue rolls and covered them with a coloured tissue. Each day had a learning activity about how the Prophet lived and how we could incorporate them in our daily lives. So in each tissue roll I put in a note of what they had to think about do.

Here’s what we did on each day:

1. We talked about the story of the Prophet and the sour grapes. How the poor man had brought the Prophet grapes and the Prophet ate them all himself and when the companions asked why he didn’t share he said they weren’t sweet and he didn’t want the poor man to feel sad if at all the companions made a face.

https://m.facebook.com/notes/prophet-muhammad-saw-the-last-and-greatest-of-all-prophets/12-stories-from-the-life-of-prophet-muhammad-peace-be-upon-him/10151682990754918/

We learnt that we should share only what we like 🙂. I put in one tube of smarties for all to share!

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2. We listed a few things that the prophet ate, eg. Dates, grapes, figs, honey,pomegranate, olive oil, etc. I put in some khajoor pak as a treat (because I didn’t have enough khajoor!)

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3. Discussed how the prophet ate. I gave them a napkin each and asked them to write down how he ate so they can keep it with them at the table.

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http://www.messageofthaqalayn.com/54-Eating%2097-122.pdf

4. Talked about how the prophet slept.

I got the kids small emoji pillows and wrapped them up and kept them in their beds. On a piece of cloth I wrote down simple things that they can do before/when sleeping to remind them of the prophet. They then stitched the cloth on to the back of the pillow and keep it with them in bed! They made small tasbeehs at madressa which fit on perfectly with the pillow so it all stays together.

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http://www.shiavault.com/books/tahzeeb-ul-islam-islamic-ettiquettes/chapters/8-etiquette-of-sleeping-reciting-do-as-at-the-time-of-sleeping-and-seeing-dreams

5. After getting all these little pressies and being excited, it was only fair to remember the sick and less fortunate. So today’s task was to do something to make someone else happy!
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6. Cleanliness. The prophet was always smart and clean..

For this, I got the kids some small things to remember what the prophet carried with him to be clean at all times. I got a small towel, perfume, hairbrush with mirror and a toothbrush (in place of miswak) I didn’t put in the toothpick and scissors for safety reasons.

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http://m.harunyahya.com/…/102752/our-prophets-(saas)-modern…

7. On the last day I cut up some stars and asked the kids to write down what they had learnt over the past week and then put the stars up on our tree (Shajaratul Tayyibah) :).  We also hung up the ornaments from Buzz Ideazz for the Prophet and Imam Jaffer Sadiq (as)’s birthday after decorating them!”
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Shajaratun Tayyibah - Islamic Tree

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So if you have been following Buzz, you will know that I have been advocating for an Islamic tree for a while! (See: www.buzzideazz.com/eid-tree-2/)

Recently, we released a new product of wooden ornaments to help liven up these trees and mark the important wiladat dates of the 14 Masumeen at the same time… (See: http://www.buzzideazz.com/shop/wooden-ornaments-14-masumeen)

Here is what one mum did with the ornaments/tree – receiving this picture made my heart sing (nasheeds of course ;)) as it is exactly what the vision was!

I loved the name they chose for the tree – Shajaratun Tayyibah – it is a much better fit than an ‘Eid tree’ (and reflects the many uses of the tree throughout the year also) and so I am officially adopting the name from now on!

Here is what the mum said:

“We decorated it with glittered natural pinecones. Then we got the 14 cut out wooden shapes.

We had been talking about the 5 panjetans and the 12 imams and the 14 masumeens – so to learn more about them we wrote their names birthdates ( khushali) and birthplace on one side And the death dates (wafat) and their titles on the flip side. We also added the number of the imam on it too for the imams.

Then using coloured pens and metallic pens we decorated them

My older one (8) then had to read the information out to the little one (4) They’ve had a lovely time making this and bonded and learnt so much.

Later on – one of us will hide one wooden shape and all the others in the house will try to figure out which one is missing- the youngest can participate too because he knows his numbers well so he’ll see which one is missing and will remember the imam that goes with that number. And the others (older one and adults) will have to remember most of the info on the shape to win it back, and put it back on the tree branch.”

This year's EID TREES!

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As you know, I get a bit excited when it comes to EID TREEs! (Sorry I’m so excited I’ll probably use CAPS for that for the next few posts. Consider this an advance warning ;))

We launched the idea this year (see previous posts on this here and here), and Alhamd it has taken off! Here are some pictures sent in:

Here is what the mum said: “It holds the new moon of Ramadan 2015 and will be blossoming thoughout the month.”

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And here is another beautiful home made EID TREE! The mum found a nice vase, and then actually found the twigs herself! Looks beautiful and oh-so do-able!

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And here is our Ramadan and Eid tree! We have a big plant which we normally decorate and put presents around for eid, so I didn’t want something else that was big, but i did want somewhere to hang our good deed and gratitude notes.

So I went out and bought a nice vase that can stay there all year round. The hunt for twigs at shops was fruitless, but as luck would have it (in other words, Allah guided us to it!), we found a huge bunch of cut branches and twigs that were ideal! And voila 🙂

It is slowly but surely filling up – can’t wait to see what it looks like at the end of the month, Inshallah!

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P.S. If you’re exchanging gifts with a group of children, how about trying this?

Each child gets a little piece of card where they write their name on one side, and a prayer on the other. Younger children can get help writing. When their name is called to get their gift, they come hang their dua up on the Eid tree – and so it also becomes a prayer tree!

Someone suggested to hold on to their duas and take it out next Eid, so they can see whether their duas were answered :). Duas each Eid can be saved to see how they’ve grown each year too!

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Eid Tree - Decoration Ideas!

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Following on from the Eid Tree idea shared last week, now we need to get thinking on how to decorate it!

We are trying to gather all the ideas (both decoration-wise and just general uses for the Eid tree) here on this Pinterest board – join us! If you come across anything that you think might be good, pls feel free to share too!

Lastly, why not get some mums and kids over to have a decoration making session? Home-made decorations are so charming and the children will love seeing their handiwork up there. It also makes it easier when done together, doesn’t it?!

If you’re in the London area, join us for ours! It will be at the Children’s Islamic Library in Stanmore next Wednesday at 2pm.

Happy decorating 🙂

https://www.pinterest.com/abbashy/buzz-ideazz-eid-tree/

Eid Tree!

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Bismillah!

Here is the idea I was talking about yesterday. They are apparently all the craze at the moment, being used at baby showers, weddings and whatnot. As mentioned yesterday, they come in all shapes and sizes, and you can choose whether you want one with inbuilt LED lights or not. The price is not too costly at all – and of course, you can really keep costs down if you go for a simple one like the one with the yellow hearts in the pic – all you need is a set of twigs and a vase!

Now, if you are familiar with Montessori, you will know that they all have an ‘interest’ table, where they lay out stuff that is of interest at the moment, be it leaves and nature stuff during autumn, or certain artefacts from a country that they are studying. Similarly, many homes will have a place where they have some Alams or an Islamic focus. This tree can be your home’s spirituality table! Throughout the year, there are things you can do with the tree to keep your children’s interest piqued, remind them about the different important days that are coming up, etc. If not throughout the year, by all means, put it away and dust it off for the month of Ramadhan 🙂

So here are (JUST) a few ideas for this tree (to prove to you that it is well worth the investment!)…

1) Our primary aim of course was to DECORATE it for Eid and use it as a place to put presents round. For smaller trees, simply place on a table and do so; for larger trees, just around the base. In terms of decoration ideas – have no fear, another post will soon be here 😉

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2) We usually decorate after Laylatul Qadr, so when thinking about a possible use prior to that, I came across the idea on Pinterest of using it as a Prayer Tree. Hang up people’s names that you want to pray for, or even your own family’s personal duas.

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3) After Eid, how about making it a Thankful Tree? Again, thank you Pinterest! You and your family can think of things you are thankful for that Eid, or perhaps even once a week for the rest of the year, and add that on.

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*As a side, note – speaking of thankful/gratitude/Alhamdulillah trees, check out this alternate idea: http://www.ruqayasbookshelf.com/planting-seeds-of-gratitude-in-little-hearts-the-gratitude-tree/

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4) Or how about a good deed tree? Someone sent this awesome idea in!

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5) Someone else sent in this idea – how about making it a tree of knowledge and using it to share ahadith and ayahs of interest?

treeofknowledge  treeofknowledge2

4) Another idea for the rest of the year was to use it to display family pics – a visual prayer tree of sorts! Looks pretty awesome too 🙂

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5) Going back to the idea of the interest table mentioned earlier, why not change the objects on and around the tree depending on what Islamic month it is? Perhaps books or objects relating to the holy personalities that are commemorated in the month, or even any Islamic arts and crafts they have done?

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6) Lastly (although am hoping you will come up with many more uses), I have a product that is being developed which will Inshallah help us mark the birthdays of the holy personalities with the kids in an interactive manner. Starting from the 17th of Rabbiul Awwal and for every birthday after, they can hang a little wooden piece with their name on it (which can also be decorated by little hands) as they sing Happy Birthday! In a year’s time, the tree will be full and it can start all over again… Inshallah will keep you posted on this 🙂

So get on your phones/iPads/computers and start shopping, people! Ebay, Amazon, etc have loads. And FYI for those of you in the UK, Hobbycraft have some too! We (ie. that creative friend and I!) are hoping to get one soon and perhaps try out all these ideas, take photos and share with you all – so stay tuned!

Would love to hear your thoughts?

Eid Tree - Let's Do This!

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Alhamdulillah.

A few years ago, my kids were enthralled about Christmas and meh about Eid. I REALLY wanted to change this, and started thinking about things we could do to give Eid an oomph! I had big plans – to replace Christmas trees with an Eid tree, to have lots of Eidy decorations around that tree, etc, etc…

That was the Ramadhan that Buzz Ideazz was born, in an attempt to fill this gap. There wasn’t enough time to get the tree as a product as I needed to do research, sourcing, etc, but we started with Eid Cardzz with a twist – in particular, Eid cards to give out to friends at school and cards for our neighbours.

And at home we started making changes – we used our massive yucca to put presents round, but still had to use christmas tinsel to decorate with (which i reeeeally don’t like!). We introduced a family Eid treasure hunt, which the kids now look forward to months in advance. There was a sudden boom in Ramadan and Eid decor which could be printed out and hung up around the house. And Alhamd, slowly but surely, things changed and now our children love Eid and all it stands for.

But my initial dream was still unfulfilled. I tried looking for ways to get an Eid tree – I even ordered an artificial palm tree to see if that worked (let’s just say it didn’t!). Then a few months ago, a friend who i had been brainstorming with on and off called me up. Her son had just come of that age of understanding, and she was in the same place I had been a few years back. I get it,” she said. “Let’s do this.”

Now luckily, this friend is very creative – and when we met last week, she showed me this one, very awesome, idea that she had come across. The beauty of it is that it is neutral (i.e. not christmassy), it can be used for SO many different things – even throughout the year IF you want (ideas to come soon on that), and you can decide on a size and type that suits you and your family – whether you want a big or small one, with lights or without, different colours, etc.

I think it deserves a post to itself, so will be revealing it very soon Inshallah 🙂
Let’s just say I can’t wait to get one this Ramadhan and Eid!

P.S. Adding this in Ramadan 2018: Seems like I wasn’t the only one wanting a tree! Check out what these Muslim Mummies did – they made a moon tree!: https://eu.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/wayne/2018/05/07/michigan-ramadan-trees-islamic-dearborn-muslim/582403002/

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