Another benefit of doing good is that we get lots and lots of sawab (or what I call Happy Points when explaining it to little ones).Allah is so merciful that when we do good, he gives us lots of sawab, but when we do bad, he will only gives us one gunnah (Sad Point), as he states in the following ayah:”Whoever brings a good deed, he shall have ten like it, and whoever brings an evil deed, he shall be recompensed only with the like of it…” (6:160)
and here: ‘Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He will multiply it for him and he will have a noble reward?’ (57:11)
When trying to get the children to understand this concept, why not make it hands on? Take two jars (I made the Happy Point jar bigger to symbolise that we get more), label them, get some counters (different colours for good/bad) and voila! Either role play or when they actually do something good, get them to count out 10 counters into the Happy Point jar, and v.v. when they role play something bad, they only put one counter in the Sad Point jar.
Then the next time they do a good deed, you can remind them of this and how many happy points Allah is showering on them at that moment
P.S. This was initially used in Madressa to explain the concept of Sawab and Gunnah and the kids loved coming up and showing what would happen in terms of sawab and gunnah in certain situations!
If your children are anything like mine, then they will take the video (from last post) and the concept of kindness coming round to us very literally! I remember some time ago, my son did something good and then expected something good to happen to him soon after and in a similar way too!
As well as explaining that it may not come straight after or in the way we expect, this may also be a good time to introduce the concept of doing good makes you FEEL good too, and this in itself may be the goodness that is promised to us. Here is a lovely video to make us understand that…
P.S. After watching the video, my daughter decided to write a few letters of her own! Here are two of them…to Africa and Japan.
And how about this video?!
Here is a lovely video to show how good deeds spread happiness and makes everyone (us and others!) feel good:
I thought it might be nice to share different ways we can motivate ourselves to do good, and to encourage doing good not only within our families but to the wider community as well!
So to start us off: Good Deeds will always come back to benefit US!
“…If you do good, you will do good to your own souls…” (17:7)
and “Is the reward of goodness anything but goodness?” (55:60)
- Here’s an amazing video to help share this concept with our children:
The video shows this in such a simple but sweet way – when discussing this with our children, we can look at the following verses from the Quran, which are so amazingly apt:
2. Here is another video:
3. Here is a beautiful real-life example for our children about how good things come around! I’m sure you heard about the little boy who gave his pocket money up to help the mosque in TX that was vandalised.
This is what the American Muslim community did for him in return!
It’s the birthday of Imam Ali (pbuh)!
Below is a compilation of some ideas by amazing mums from around the world, on how you can mark it with your children/classes:
- Play this game of Fast Feet – Race to Get the Object – ideal to be played over zoom and get children moving during lockdown!
- Have children research and present one hadith by Imam Ali (as)
- Older children can do a short skit/play on his birth/life. Here’s one example of a puppet show one mum did.
- Have a gameshow with questions on Imam Ali (as)
- Have a poem writing or a spoken word competition with the subject being Imam Ali (as)
- Read ‘The Secret Jar’ (By Kisa Kids) and then have a honey tasting session
- One talented girl made fortune cookies with sermons from Nahjul Balagha in them
- One family read how Imam was a lamp in the darkness, and then made a lava lamp!
- Mystery box: Usually used during circle time, you (or ask a child to) pull out items one by one that related to the theme or special person. As you take them out you explain the meaning or significance, and help deepen and broaden the children’s understanding of the theme or special person by attaching a visual and/tangible object to represent the different attributes of said theme/person. To make it more exciting, even with very young kids (2-5), you can put all items back in box and at the end of your session you can ask them to remember what items were in box. It’s a good way of seeing how much they picked up as well 🙂
The items mentioned below can be used for the mystery box idea:
- No. 1 – to represent him being the first Imam
- A small Kaaba – to represent where he was born
- A toy lion – he was known as Asad-ullah
- A ring – for when he gave charity while in ruku
- A sword – to represent his sword of Zulfiqar
- A door – to represent Khaybar/city of knowledge
- A prayer mat, bread/rice – as he used to feed the poor at night
- A bed – as he slept in the Prophet’s bed on the night of Hijra)
- A spool of thread – to show how he used to mend his own clothes
- A pen – because he transcribed/compiled the Quran
- Scales – for his sense of justice
- A small book – to symbolise Nahjul Balagha/Dua Kumail
- A picture of his shrine in Najaf
- The letter ‘ayn’ for his name
- Read this jellybean poem on Imam Ali (as) and have the children colour it in, and then finish off with some jellybeans for them to eat as a wiladat treat! Alternatively, one mum used M&M’s instead:
- Have a drawing competition on the theme, e.g. everyone draws a lion like one family did
- Create Imam Ali (AS) bags for the less fortunate: “We first explained how Imam Ali always helped people. We then went to the store and she picked items she thought everyone would need on a daily basis – comb, toothbrush, snacks. We 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. Inshallah we will be distributing them to the people we came across on the street.”
- Or why not follow in his footsteps and take some food with your children to a food bank near you. Imam used to make every effort to feed those who had no food, often giving away the little he and his family had!
- One family went on a walk and wrote down all the street names in their area they came across. Then they went home and tried to see how many words related to Imam Ali (as) they could find using just those letters.
- Make Father’s Day cards with a hadith inside
- Make bookmarks and write Ali on top and decorate them
- Here’s a nice craft on the titles of Imam Ali by Teaching Young Muslims
- Decorate your home with home-made decor like one mum did
- Decorate cakes with Ali – this is what one community did!
- This is a craft one mum and daughter worked on. This is what mum said:
“FZ and I made a luminarium (paper lantern) using waxed paper that we normally use for baking, crayon shavings, oil pastels and sharpies, to celebrate the birthday of the Prince of Believers, Imam Ali as! We used a candle in a glass holder on the inside to ‘light’ it up, and the overall effect was pretty awesome. Luminarium tutorial here.
Over the past week, we had discussed various aspects of Imam Ali’s life and teachings through stories and activities…his miraculous birth, devotion to Rasulullah and Islam, steadfastness in belief, compassion and charity towards those less fortunate, love of children, and his bravery, strength and courage. To culminate our activities, we talked about Sermon 187 from Nahjul Balagha, where Imam Ali as says: ‘Amongst you, I am like a lamp in the darkness. Make your way through Life by my Light…’ (paraphrased)
FZ used sharpies and oil pastels to draw her designs onto the front and back of the luminarium. She wrote ‘Ya Ali’ on the front and the drawing on the back is ‘a beautiful palace in Jannah for the Shia of Ali as’. Insha’Allah we shall be lighting up our luminarium often as a visual reminder to always hold on to the Rope of Allah swt (Qur’an 3:103) through His Chosen Ones.
Books, Journals and other Resources
- This colouring book by Islam from the Start
- This Nahjul Balagha Mini-Book by Towards Jannah is great to do
- Here is a Nahjul Balagha reflection journal for older children
- I love this personalised colouring sheet idea – (Child’s Name) loves Imam Ali (as)!
- This links to a story on Imam Ali’s birth in the Kaaba (slides)
- This is a great website filled with info on the Imam
- This short document on Imam Ali (as) might be useful
- This is a simple rhyme that goes to the tune of Barney’s I Love You song. These posters (Allah loves Imam Ali!_Rhyme) can be used alongside the relevant lines:
- Here are some more rhymes:
Props like laminated picture of number “1”, a small cube painted like Kaaba, a toy lion from a dollar store, a ring, and the picture of a sword or a toy sword can be used when singing the rhymes, to help visual learning.
- Read ‘Isa Climbs Mt Mushkil’ and watch the corresponding nasheed:
Here’s a reading of it:
A craft to go with this is making a shield with Naade Ali on it:
- Here is a link to a YouTube playlist on Imam Ali (as) with Nasheeds in English:
- And here’s a movie on Imam Ali (as):
Idea 6: Have a Sufro for children!
Check out this great idea sent in by someone
“This is the month of duas…how about having a sufro with kheer and puri. I remember we used to get all excited at the thought of finding a ring in our kheer bowl, wearing white and green, making all our duas in this month and reciting Imam Jaffer Sadiq’s (as) munajat.”
* Note: These days, putting rings in the kheer may be a health and safety risk, but why not give them rings as fatiha later?
For more information on sufro/nazr, check out the following sites:
I came across this idea some time ago on a blog, and filed it away as a cool thing to do. Then with Rajab approaching, I thought it might be a great way to encourage my kiddos (and ourselves!) to make the most of this month in terms of doing as much good as we can, as the 7th Imam has said: “Rajab is a glorious month. Allah doubles good deeds…”
When I went online to look it up, I actually found that lots of people have used these – with a great deal of success! Initially I wanted to make a separate jar for each of us, as the Quran says: “so compete with each other in good action” (2:148). However, my son reminded me that actually Islam encourages us to do good in secret and to not show off to each other, and so if we were all to use one big jar, no one would know who had contributed what. So in the end, that’s what we did.
We took a jar, and decorated it. When any of us have done something good, we simply write it on a piece of paper and pop it in. (Younger kids could simply take a pom pom or something similar and put one in). When it is full, we have promised the children that we will have a treat, whether it is going bowling, picnic, out for ice-cream, etc – we are focusing on the reward being spending time together as opposed to a purely material treat.
When looking online, I found lists of ideas that people can do, and decided to share some here. Maybe print it out and stick it up where everyone can see it and be inspired?:
1. Give someone a hug today.
2. Write a thank you note to someone.
3. Hold the door for someone.
4. As an elderly neighbour if they need any help.
5. Pick up a piece of litter.
6. Let someone else go first.
7. Share something that is yours.
8. Help clean up.
9. Clean your room without being asked to.
10. Say something nice to someone.
11. Call your grandparents just to say hello.
12. Give some money to charity.
13. Make mum/dad a cup of tea.
14. Hang your coat up.
15. Vacuum a room.
16. Unpack your lunchbox after school.
17. Help get your lunchbox ready.
18. Get dressed for school without being told to.
19. Take out the rubbish.
20. Play nicely with a younger child.
21. Say a dua for someone.
22. Read a story to someone.
23. Write a letter to a cousin and mail it to them.
24. Help with laundry.
25. Put someone else’s toys away for them.
26. Give someone a compliment.
27. Smile at three people today.
28. Say hello to someone first.
29. Make your neighbours something sweet.
30. Help your friend/sibling if they’re stuck with something.
Happy good-deeding everyone, and Jummah Mubarak!
P.S. This is the final idea for this series – unless you have more that is, then please send them in!
There is a beautiful hadith about anyone who performs the prayers this evening, the first Thursday night of the month of Rajab. It says that anyone who performs the prayers, on the first night in his grave Allah will send down them down as a person with a beautiful and very bright face, who will give that person the good tidings that Allah has given you security from all hardship and sorrows of the grave. The dead person will be amazed and he will ask this person, “Who are you? I have never seen a beautiful face like yours, nor did I ever hear someone speak so softly and sweetly.” The person will answer, “I am the reward of the prayers that you had performed on such year at such place and on such and such night. I have come to give you company in your loneliness and to remove your fear; and on the day of judgement when you will be awakened I will be your shade.”
If our children are young, maybe we can encourage them to simply recite a two rakaat salaat but with the intention of fulfilling the importance of this night? Then followed by either a simple sajda where they just talk to Allah and thank Him for everything, or if they are old enough, do the Sajda part of the prayers – reciting the dhikr once (instead of 70 times).
The aim inshallah is nothing too weighty but just enough to feel like this is a special evening…maybe end with a special treat for having done the above 🙂
Iltemase dua tonight!
There is a short and sweet dua for Rajab, which is recommended to be recited daily, especially after the prayers.
To try and involve the children, why not print it out and stick it on some card, decorate it together, and then place it where they can see it everyday?
Depending on the age of the children, you can help them understand the dua by rephrasing it. I have attempted it here for the little ones, please do use it if you find it useful:
In the Name of Allah, the most Kind, the most Merciful
Oh Allah, bless Muhammad and his family
Oh He, from whom I hope for everything good, and I am safe from His anger at everything bad
Oh He, who gives so much even though we do so little
Oh He, who gives to anyone who asks Him
Oh He, who gives to anyone who doesn’t even ask Him or know Him, out of His kindness and mercy
Please give me, as I am asking only from you, all the good things from this world and all the good things from the hereafter
Please keep away from me, as I am asking only from you, all the bad things from this world and all the bad things from the hereafter
Because what You give does not mean You have less
Please give me lots from your bounty, O The Generous
O The Inspiring and The Distinguished
O The Bountiful and The Magnaminous
O The Gracious and The Mighty
Save me from Jahannam
P.S. Following on from this idea, Busy Mummys had the brainwave of turning it into a poster! So if you don’t think you will get around to decorating it with your children but would still like to have it up for them to read every day, check out our FREE download on the Buzz Ideazz website.
Dhikr is very highly emphasised this month. Why not gift them a tasbeeh if they don’t have one already, and keep it near their bed as a reminder to do dhikr just before they go to sleep.
1. Asking for forgiveness – The older ones can recite Astaghfirullaha wa as-aluhu tawba. (I seek forgiveness from Allah, and I pray He accepts my repentance.) whereas little ones can simply be encouraged to say i’m sorry for every bead, and think about something they may have done wrong.
2. Repeating Laa ilaha illAllah (There is no God but Allah). Share this awesome hadith with them! The Holy Prophet said that if we recite it 1000 times, Allah will grant us 1000 rewards and houses in heaven. Ask them to imagine this as they are reciting!
3. For older children, the following dhikr can be done: The Prophet said that we should recite Astaghfirullahal-ladhee laa ilaaha illaa Huw, wahdahu laa shareeka lah, wa atoobu ilayh (I ask forgiveness from Allah Whom there is no God besides He, and He has no partner, and I repent before Him) 400 times. The reward of that will be the same as 100 martyrs would receive!
And let’s not forget to do these dhikrs ourselves Inshallah!
It’s Rajab! As e-mails are bouncing around on how to make the most of this month in preparation for the holy month of Ramadhan ahead, it might be a good time to think about how we can help convey its importance to our children as well…
So here’s the first of our short series on Rajab, sent in by someone who has loads of other creative ideas!
“Create an easy and effective wall display to emphasise the importance of the months leading up to the holy month and indeed the holy month itself.
There are large bold letters spelling the names of the month – a nice craft activity. We also used a calendar print out from QFatima. Include written or typed important dates in those months, and one Hadith about the month.
It ends up to be a beautiful colourful display and a great source of information for the children.”