Celebrating the Week of the Prophet's Birthday

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Here is a week of celebrating the birthday of the amazing Prophet, and choosing one aspect of his life to inculcate with our children every day Inshallah! The inspiration for these come from stories from his life and some of his narrations.

Day 1 – Rush to be the first to say Salaam Alaikum:

“The companions of the Prophet (pbuh) knew of the reward of being the first ones to say ‘Assalum ‘Alaykum’ to someone. The Prophet (pbuh) has said that the one who says Salaam first gets99 thawaab although it is mustahab, and the one who replies gets 1, even though the reply is wajib.

However, the Prophet (pbuh) was always the first to greet them.

This time, the companions though they would beat him to it. As they saw the Prophet (pbuh) approaching, they hid in the doorways of the alley towards which he was coming, hoping that as soon as he came they would surprise him and greet him first.

As soon as the Prophet (pbuh) came to the entrance of the alley, he called out in a loud voice: ‘My salaams to all those in this alley way’!”

IDEAS to help inculcate this fully and with understanding:

* Using this story, we can encourage our children to compete with us and others in saying Salaam first! Why not have a trial right now?!
* This doesn’t have to stop in school…why not encourage them to be the first to say Good Morning to their teacher, or hello to their friends?
* Why not make an Arts and Crafts activity based on this? Maybe a hand cut out with the Arabic on one side, and the meaning on the other?
* This clip below is fun to watch and will help convey the importance of Salaam as well!

Day 2 – Be nice to someone who may not necessarily be nice to you:

“One old woman made a habit of throwing rubbish on Prophet Muhammad (buh) whenever he passed from her house. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had to pass that house daily on the way to the mosque.

Even when the old woman threw rubbish on him, he would pass silently without showing any anger or annoyance. This was a regular, daily event.

One day when the Prophet (pbuh) was passing by, the woman was not there to throw the rubbish. He stopped, and asked the neighbour about her well-being, and wondering why she wasn’t dropping any rubbish on him.

The neighbour informed the Prophet that the woman was sick on bed. The Prophet politely asked permission to visit the woman. When allowed he entered the house, the woman thought that he had come there to take his revenge when she was unable to defend herself because of sickness.

But the Prophet (pbuh) assured her that he had come to her, not to take any revenge, but to see her and to look after her needs, as it was the command of Allah that if any one is sick, a Muslim should visit him and should help him if his help is needed.

The old woman was greatly moved by this kindness and love of the Prophet. By the example of greatness of Muhammad, she understood that he was truly the Prophet of God and Islam was the true religion. She accepted Islam at once, Alhamdulilah.”

IDEAS to help inculcate this fully and with understanding:

* Talk about what we would do if someone threw rubbish at us/shouted at us/was not nice to us?
* Role play reacting like the Prophet in this situation or any other every day situation.
* Think about someone who perhaps has not been very nice to you – what can you do for them? Make them a card? Smile at them? Pay them a compliment?
* Us mums and dads – is there someone we can be nice to/call up/bake for? Watching us lead by example is the best way to get the message across!

Day 3 – Smile, smile, smile :):

“Smiling in the face of your brother is charity…” – the Holy Prophet (saw)

To smile is to be cheerful in a wonderful, contagious, and effortless way. Here is a lovely story to share with your children:

One day, Miss Ellis gave her pupils a new assignment: an assignment on happiness. Her pupils would be “happiness collectors”, and were to see what would happen when they tried to bring happiness to those around them. As part of their assignment, all the students did really delightful, wonderful things, but what Carla Chalmers did left everyone gobsmacked. Several days after the assignment had been handed out, Carla turned up carrying a big sack.

“Here in this bag I have all the happiness I’ve collected so far,” she said, smiling.

On seeing this, everyone was filled with expectation, but Carla didn’t want to show anyone what was in the sack. Instead, she pulled out a small box and gave it to her teacher. When Miss Ellis had taken the box, Carla took an instant camera out of her own pocket and stood with it at the ready.

“Open it, Miss Ellis.”

The teacher slowly opened the box and looked inside. A big smile shone on her face, and at that moment Carla snapped a photo. Carla’s photo popped out the camera, and she offered it to Miss Ellis along with a sheet of paper. The teacher read the paper in silence, and when she had finished she gestured over at the sack.

“Oh, so it’s….”

“Yes!” interrupted Carla, undoing the knot which sealed the sack, “It’s a great big pile of smiles!”

She opened the sack and hundreds of photos fell out, all of different smiles, each one of them beautiful.

The rest of the class tried to work out how Carla had managed to create such a great big chain of happiness. All there was in the box was a photo of a big smile. But everyone who had seen it had felt happiness being transmitted to them, and in return, without even thinking about it, every person had responded with a smile of their own.

With all her classmates now smiling, Carla took a photo of each one of them. She gave them their own photo along with a slip of paper, which asked them to do the same with other people, and to send a copy of the photos to her home address. And for months afterwards, Carla’s post box was always full to the brim with photos of happy, smiling people.

And so it was that she managed to spread understanding of the simple truth that every time you smile you are sending a gift to the world.

IDEAS to help inculcate this fully and with understanding:

* Brainstorm how we can remember to smile throughout the day – maybe leave a note in your child’s lunchbox?
* Have a discussion on charity and what the wider meaning is.
* Maybe even decide to give monetary charity as well on this day, or why not make a Sadqa box?

Day 4 – Learn something new and share it with your family:

“The mosque of Medina was not only a place of worship.

Once the Prophet (pbuh) entered the Mosque before the prayer time. He found two groups in the Mosque. One group was busy with its own act of worship, some were reading the Quran while the others were supplicating. The other group was in a corner busy learning. They learnt how to read and write and discussed the teachings of Islam and their application to their daily lives.

Looking at both, the Prophet (pbuh) said:

“They are both engaged in useful pursuits. But I am a teacher. I shall join the group assembled to learn.”

And so he (pbuh) sat with the group of students.”

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: The virtue of knowledge is more beloved with Allah (SWT) than the virtue of worship.”

IDEAS to help inculcate this fully and with understanding:

* Share the story above with your children and ask them why their think learning is so important for us.

*I once heard someone mention a family tradition that I thought was so simple to implement, yet so awesome! At dinner time, they would ask each other to say one new thing they had learnt that day. If the person had learnt something, they would share it; if not, everyone would shake their heads and tut tut at them! Even the parents were grilled!

* Maybe you could have a small whiteboard somewhere, where you write and share a new hadith, or think to learn as a family – each family member can take turns to write something once a week.

Day 5 – Eat and drink like the Prophet (saw):

Subhanallah, we have so much advice from our Prophet on the little things in life 🙂 Here are some of his habits:

– He would drink water in sips and not gulp it down all together.
– He said: “Food that is hot does not have blessings so let it cool.”
– “Olive oil and vinegar are the food of the Prophets.”
– He would have dates and raisins for breakfast.
– There was no fruit more liked by him than pomegranates.

IDEAS to help inculcate this fully and with understanding:

* Talk about the above and what the reasoning may be behind it – maybe a research project for the older ones on the benefits of dates?
* Have some of these yummy fruit today – stick them in their lunchbox, or as an after-school snack!
* We’ve already seen some amazing fruit art 🙂 How about some more edible art with the fruits mentioned above, or an arts and craft activity on the same?

* Check out this awesome poster which highlights some of the important meal time manners in Islam – why not print it out, laminate it, and stick it up in your kitchen as a reminder all-year round?

* When researching this topic, I came across this document which covers research into the Prophet’s methods of eating and drinking in depth.

Day 6 – Do something extra that you don’t normally do to help you mum out in the house:

“It is said that once our Prophet (SAW) was on a long journey with a number of his companions. At one place they all decided to rest. They all alighted from their horses and loosened their luggage. They then decided to slaughter an animal and prepare a meal. One of his companions said, ‘I will slaughter the animal.’ Another said, ‘And I will skin it.’ A third volunteered to cook the meal. The Prophet (SAW) then said, ‘And I will go and find fuel.’

Immediately a number of his companions rose and said, ‘No, O Prophet of Allah, let it be our privilege to serve you while you rest. We are here to do the work for you.’ The Prophet (SAW) replied, ‘I know that you could all do that. But Allah hates a person who enjoys such a privilege amongst his friends and companions. Allah hates a man who adopts any preferential position.’ He then went towards the woods and brought back with him twigs, which were then used, in the preparation of the meal.”

IDEAS to help inculcate this fully and with understanding:

* Our Prophet taught us many lessons of self-reliance such as this example above. Discuss how we can become more self-reliant in our own individual roles in the family.
* Depending on age, maybe this would be a good time to decide on chores and responsibilities?

Day 7 – Wear some perfume today:

it is said that the Prophet’s hands were like those of a perfume
seller, always with a beautiful fragrance. He used to love perfume and used to spend more on it than food!

IDEAS to help inculcate this fully and with understanding:

* Smelling nice goes hand in hand with being clean – perhaps this could lead to a good discussion on good habits, like brushing teeth, having showers, Jummah ghusl, etc?
* Maybe go shopping with your child a perfume of his/her own? Or gift them one of your own – it is said, he never used to refuse perfume when he was gifted it.
* In last week’s Show and Tell on the Prophet, one of the children brought in perfume and had a great time as he went around and put a little perfume on everybody else 🙂

 

And there you have it! Inshallah I hope it is simple enough for the younger ones to do, but something that the older ones can also fulfill to their capabilities, not to mention us mums and dads 🙂

 

App 13 - 40 Hadiths for Children with Stories

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So I was going to end it yesterday with the awesome number of 12 apps reviewed, when I was sent this one.

With the Prophet’s Birthday coming up, I think this is a perfect way to end this series…and hey, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that 13 is also a special number in Islam, right? 🙂

This app is also a perfect prelude to beginning the next lot of posts, which is to do with the Prophet (saw), of course! Stay tuned!

App No 13: 40 Hadiths for Children with Stories

Along with penned illustrations, this app has 40 stories that are short and easy to read, each one with a deeply embedded moral. At the end of each story is… you guessed it… a hadith from Prophet Muhammad (saw) that encompasses the moral succintly.

Again, the ahadith are from Ahle Sunnah sources – the moral stays the same though, and the stories are not the common ones that we’ve heard, and really bring the moral to life.

Overall? A lovely tool to teach our children values and morals, using the captivating medium of story telling.

Download for free on itunes: (sorry androiders)

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/40-hadiths-for-children-stories/id393304538?mt=8

App 12 - Islamic Academy

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App No 12: Islamic Academy

So here is a high quality app with excellent graphics, exciting sound effects and smooth game play – and it combines many of the features that have been in the other apps, all in one!

Create up to 5 users, then enter the Academy, where you have the option to either answer quiz questions in many different modes – “Challenge” – answer x questions, “Speed” – answer as many as you can in the time allowed, and “Survivor” – answer until you get one wrong! The questions are randomised and constantly changing to keep you on your toes. (Again, please be aware that some of the questions are fron Ahle-Sunnah, although the majority seem to be relevant to both.)

If you’re tired of the quizzes, then why not click on a Puzzle, a Spot the Difference picture, or Match it (memory)?!

A really unique feature of this app is that it allows players to challenge each other and play multi-player games through the game centre. You can also win trophies and certificates!

A trial is available for free, and then you can upgrade to full membership for only 69p.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/islamic-academy/id532231639?mt=8

App 11 - Kids of the Ummah

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App No 11: Kids of the Ummah

Looking for a contemporary, fun app that has beautiful pictures that introduce your children to Muslims in different countries around the world from A-Z? Look no further…!

Kids of the Ummah was the brain child of Peter Gould, an Australian designer who wanted something fresh and different for his children.

Also a book, it is the first in a series of educational apps and books aimed at celebrating Muslim cultures around the world, encouraging exploration and understanding of the alphabet (English & Arabic) and Muslim names through colouring, puzzles and book mode.

Try a little out for free before you decide to buy (for £5.99).

This one’s only for Apple users I’m afraid –
thought it was only fair 🙂

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/kids-ummah-exploring-global/id518246075?mt=8

App 10 - Islamic Quizzes

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App No 10: Islamic Quizzes on each of our Masumeen!

This (or should I say these) blew me away!

When someone recommended them, I checked them out and they are a wonderful, wonderful resource. They can be used for so many things it’s super exciting – at home with you and the kids on a khushali/wafat night or just like that, in Madressa to provide an alternative to just reading or testing (make it into a fun group competition), as something to fill the time while you’re waiting for the last few minutes of classes to finish…and so on!

The questions are not so hard to put you off, but not an easy ride either! There are between 10 and 20 questions and these just repeat every time you play, so the second time round you can test yourself on whether you have actually remembered something or not from the last time! It also times you so you and your children can try and beat the clock…

Overall? A MUST-HAVE, for us and for our children! Once you’ve downloaded one, check out all the others by the same developer – Husnain Kazmi.

Am so sorry but I haven’t seen it on itunes yet 🙁 – please check and let me know if you find it.

Android users, here is the link:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.husnainkazmi.imamaliquiz&feature=more_from_developer#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwMiwiY29tLmh1c25haW5rYXptaS5pbWFtYWxpcXVpeiJd

App 9 - Islamic and Moral Stories

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App No 9: Islamic and Moral Stories

If your children are anything like mine, then you’re usually asked often to tell them a story! Now, sometimes I just can’t think of one offhand, and my brain is too tired to make one up…that’s when this app really comes into action 🙂 And the best part is, it has values too!

There are Islamic stories (from history and recent times) and stories for kids (not necessarily Islamic but has some of the well-known ones like The Hare and the Tortoise), as well as some jokes, although I would vet these!

Just a note to keep an eye on the content, although on the whole it seems neutral.

Overall? A useful and enjoyable app to have, especially when you’re snowed in somewhere and have time to wile away!

Android users, here is the link:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.afaaao.android.story&feature=also_installed#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwNCwiY29tLmFmYWFhby5hbmRyb2lkLnN0b3J5Il0.

I actually didn’t find this one on itunes, but this seems to be something similar with many of the same stories:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/islamic-stories-for-muslims/id413488290?mt=8

App 8 - Memorize Quran

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App No 8: Memorize Quran

Given that it’s Thursday night, I thought this would be a good app to share!

When this app was recommended, I was quite eager to check it out because I’ve been looking for such a tool to use with my lot. And it didn’t disappoint!

You start off by creating a profile (and you can even adjust your pic to have one that looks like you!) Then pick a Sura from the Juz that interests you – the 30th Juz is unlocked and the rest can be purchased for a small amount each. Stats are then kept on each profile such as verses, suras and ajza’ that have been worked on.

Once you’re in the sura, click on the ayahs that you want to work on, and off you go! There are options to repeat automatically, have some time after each verse recitation to be able to repeat it yourself, set a bookmark and so on.

The recitor is Sh Mishary Rashid Al-Afasy who recites beautifully Mashallah; the only downside is that the recitation is quite fast for each verse…I would prefer something a bit slower for the children.

Overall though, an excellent excellent tool!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/memorize-quran-for-kids-adults/id413035746?mt=8

P.S. Sorry, haven’t been able to find this on android 🙁 – HOWEVER, check out this alternative that I came across: Juz Amma (Suras of Quran).

P.P.S – Also check out Pre-School Quran which was also recommended! The verses are repeated by children which is great to help learn the suras also.

App 7 - Moslem Kids Puzzle

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App No 7: Moslem Kids Puzzle

So we haven’t had a puzzle app yet, and the other day I came across this cute little one!

Simple enough to use, this app has 3 levels – pick a level, pick a picture you would like to do a puzzle with, and off you go.

I love things like this because it gives our children an Islamic alternative – although it isn’t necessarily useful for teaching the Arabic alphabet, etc (although some of the puzzles do have letter in them), i think it’s important just for the exposure to games and pictures featuring a girl wearing the hijab, mosques in the background, and all the rest of it.

Guess what Android users, this seems like one that’s only available for you! (Sorry iphone-ers)

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.MoslemKidsPuzzlever01

App 6 - Children Islamic Quiz

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App No 6: Children Islamic Quiz

I really love this one, and we have already spent quite some time on it 🙂

Exactly what it says, the app quizzes children (erm, and adults) on basic Islamic information, such as which Holy Book was sent towhich Prophet, about the angels, and the life of the Prophet.

Users can create their own profiles and the highest score for each level will be saved – there are 4 levels, with the number of questions increasing on each level. Why not compete with the other members in your family to see who can get the highest score for each level? There are other useful features as well such as resetting scores and some terms/names which are i=given as both Islamic and Western names.

For Shia users – just keep a lookout for any questions that may differ from our beliefs, we have completed level one without having seen any though (a reminder that our similarities are more than our differences!).

The first level is free, but the rest can be purchased for £1.86.

Available on both android and istuff!

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ilmasoft.ciq_play&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImNvbS5pbG1hc29mdC5jaXFfcGxheSJd

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/children-islamic-quiz/id456549444?mt=8

App 5 - Over the Moon Stories

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App No 5: Over the Moon Stories

So far the only ones of its kind, Over the Moon Stories are animated books for Muslim children!

There are two books available so far: Allah Made the World, and Ramadan Kareem. When you open them up, you have two options, you can have it narrated for you, or read on your own. When you click on certain things in the book, they will move or speak.

The books are beautifully illustrated and written in simple rhyme. They are short stories (about 5 pages long), so good for preschoolers. The author, Suzanne Muir, is a Muslim teacher and mom of 3 herself!

Downloadable for £1.49/$1.99:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/allah-made-the-world/id430824072?mt=8&ls=1

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ramadan-mubarak-happy-ramadan!/id453925553?mt=8

(Sorry androiders 🙁 )

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