The Quran is obviously something we all will be focussing on – both in terms of recitation and memorisation. Here are some ideas on that:
- This is a different take on the traditional group recitation of Quran in the Holy month (Quran Khani), sent in by a mum!
“This year we have tried something different in our classes. We have split the traditional square bench into 4 benches with only eight girls and two teachers (a ration of 1 teacher to 2 children, and grouped by age – 6-10, 11-16 years). This way, each child gets more recitation and individual attention for tajweed. We also have floating teachers for the very weak readers.
We recite for 20 mins then have 10 mins of PowerPoints about the Sura we are reading – the benefits of reading it, any story line within it, any particular ayah we want to focus on, and also the dua for that day. We then return to reading for the last 20 minutes.
Alhamdulillah, the girls have really enjoyed this way of doing it – and it combines both, recitation and understanding of our Holy book! It also prevents the children from getting distracted after a while due to the break in the middle.”
One mum created this light up Quranic box. She says: “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.)”
- Have a target for memorisation – e.g. 3 small suras, or one long one.
- Help your kids memorise in Ramadan with this DIY weekly chart
- Here is something to motivate them and you to start memorising!
Many mums talk about having a dedicated space or wall area for Ramadan themed books, props and learning ideas. Here are a few ideas:
- Your advent calendar can have prize position 🙂
- A Ramadan banner can liven up the house. There are many free downloadable ones on the internet these days. Simply print on card, cut and hang!
- How about a bucket list for what they are going to do during the month? Eg. memorise a sura, give food to the neighbours, etc. Here is a great example!
- Why not have your Ramadan books/activity books out for easy access?
- A charity box is a good idea to have out, to encourage daily giving.
- A good deed jar may also help encourage them to give in another ways!
- Why not have a theme? Here is what one mum said: “This year our theme was the Quran. The hadith about the homes in which the Quran is recited shining bright for the angels to see if the main focus, and around it there are stars which Inshallah we all will fill with ayahs from the Quran that we come across, like and want to focus on. Quran City (Q-City) has been a focus of study for us for the last few months and so a poster of the city is up there are a reminder – thank you MUCH, QFatima! Our countdown of 10 clear plastic glasses strung together with numbers written on them have Quran quiz questions from Islam From the Start and some money for them to give sadqa. In the jar next to it are the Quran word cards from the 30 Day Ramadan Activity. I am not going to have the children stick it on a chart after they look the word up in the Quran, but stick it in their Ramadhan scrapbook instead along with their thoughts/notes.Lastly, the Juz Umma sticker charts will help us on the memorisation side of things – this year we will just be focussing on refreshing and retaining the suras we have learnt thus far – and this sticker chart is a great way to make it visual and fun.
- Here is another idea for a Quran wall. This idea was sent in by a mum, and once again allows the children to focus on the deeper understanding of the Quran. She said: “During recitation, they are to retain a word they want to know more about and make a note of it. They then write down which sura it was in and what the verse is referring to.”
- One mum had the theme of gratitude for Ramadan. Check out her wall here.
- On the theme of gratitude, here is what another mum did:
Ramadan is the month of good deeds! Below are some ideas to encourage getting your children involved in the doing of good too!
- How about this Ramadhan banner one mum made with lots of ideas of good deeds children can do to help fill that tree!
P.S. You don’t need a tree to create a similar banner – they can just do the good deeds, or fill a good deed jar, etc…
- And how about this good deed tree? The children write their good deeds onto leaves and stick them on – Inshallah by the end of Ramadhan the tree will be full of leaves!
- Here is another good deed tree example: 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.
- If you’re stuck, here are some ideas for good deeds to do:
- Here is LOTS of inspiration:
They are ads, but show the spirit of this month so well!
And check out this interview and what it highlights:
- And here one for us mums to do!:
A few years ago, a friend started something that is both a lot of fun, encourages acts of kindness, and recently, finishes off with a healthy dose of charity!
An Islamic version of Secret Santa, in Mystery Mauliani, at the beginning of Ramadan we are given a person’s name and contact information. Thus begins the fun! Throughout the month, we then try and do little acts of kindness for this person, showering them with love :). Ideas include helium balloons on their doorstep, Survival Kits for Laylatul Qadr, baked goods passed on through messengers and much more. At the same time, someone is doing all that to us!
At the end of the month is the famous MM reveal, where we get to find out who our MM was and vice versa. Previously we would give our MM a gift, but now we donate to charity on their behalf. Today is our reveal which is why I thought I’d mention it! These opportunities to give really do get us buzzing – the receiving feels nice of course too ;).
Alhamdulillah there are many other versions of it now, such as Secret Sister (between the volunteers), Nudba Angels (between a group that meets for Nudba regularly), etc. There is also a version of MM for the younger crowd!
With the wafat of Lady Khadija coming up, here are some idea sent in that perhaps you could use:
- “We are having purple day two days before wafat/shahadat to get to know Sayyida Khadija. Why purple? Because purple is the colour of royalty. Girls are going to be given a letter from her name to write a sentence about what they know of her, and eventually form an acrostic poem for display!”
- “We cut out and put two big crowns on a wall. We then gave cut out gem shaped cards to the girls and asked them to write out an act of Khadija-ness on them, then stick it on the crown. Every princess needs a crown AND a wand (and Lady Khadija is Ameera-tul-Quraish), so as favours we gave them a rainbow sherbet stick with a star on top saying “Illuminating Khadija-ness”. The girls loved it!”
- Here is a great way to emulate how Bibi Khadija helped with all that she had.
Ramadan is often a time when mothers, especially those with young children, feel at a loss and unable to maximise on the month. Nazmina Dhanji talks about this spiritual vacuum and how to still connect with Allah despite the challenges.
Motherhood is a role much emphasised in Islam, be it the respect due to mothers or the responsibility that comes with it or even just the gravity of the post itself. From a child’s point of view, the mother is their first deity – before they even know their Creator, she is the one who sustains them, clothes them, and ultimately connects them to Allah. It is only fitting therefore that we give just as much importance to a mother’s spirituality, in how to fuel her for such an important job of nurturing little human beings. In order to bring up righteous children, and remain motivated for her role as a mother, it is absolutely essential for her to maintain her spirituality and connection with Allah.
For nine months she ate the best Halal, home-cooked food. She read Qur’an day and night, recited lots of du’as and tasbihs, prayed a full nine months of salaat without breaks in between, remained positive and at peace and wonderment with her Maker that He had put this life inside her. She felt sick and tired but the thought of the rewards and perks in Jannah that lay reserved for a mother kept her going. Then suddenly – a spiritual vaccum! Along with her precious gift came sleepless nights, leaving her half-dead and just about able to pray Fajr, let alone the extra du’as or tasbih. Her Qur’an is reduced to short surahs read on her baby, and her frequenting of mosque is greatly diminished. No more time for Du’a e Kumayl or Du’a e Tawassul – she barely manages the wajib.
Everything has changed and yet her job is to remain on top of it all and ooze out positive energy for the sake of her child and her milk. It is very important to maintain those positive vibes since the emotions of a mother affect the child. The great scholar Ibn Arabi saw a direct correlation between his own relationship with Allah and his relationship with his children, saying: ‘I am kindest to my children when I am closest to Allah’. But how to achieve this closeness when she has the baby blues to contend with on top of her spiritual vacuum?
Allah, has given us great clues when He has bent the rules a little for women and excused them from certain things. Apart from the Wajib, he has made everything else Mustahab and secondary to looking after her children, nor is it necessary for her to earn her livelihood, nor attend Friday or congregational prayers outside of her home. This shows us that we are to derive strength and energy from the wajib acts themselves. Even if the bare minimum is all we can manage, then we must make it count by letting it be our very best. See that wajib salaat as a time-out, take deep breaths, and make the whole experience last, pour our hearts out to Allah in Sajda and gain strength for the next part of the day. As for the extra du’as, remember that they are Mustahab, and they are there to teach us how to ask Allah so that we may articulate our wants ourselves eventually. The best du’a is that which flows from the heart and onto the tongue. That is the very best way to maintain the closeness and dialogue with Allah – to speak to Him directly and ask Him for every little thing – the strength, the energy, the colic to stop, the milk to flow, the baby to sleep, the child to be righteous, etc…
There are also other clues scattered in the various ahadeeth that tell us of a mother’s reward for waking up in the middle of the night being like one who stays awake the whole night in vigil in Jihad, or the number of thawaab accorded for every drop of milk fed, or how our slate is wiped clean when we give birth, etc… All these clues point to the very poignant fact that Allah does not expect us to get closer to Him through the same means we used to pre-motherhood. Mothers are not expected to maintain the same type of spirituality that they achieved previously – sure we can listen to lectures online and have the du’as playing in the car, and recite Qur’an as we teach our children, but more importantly, He has promoted us to the status of motherhood and a different type of spirituality that comes with the territory. He has also given us the tools necessary to maintain that spirituality – our children. They are the new means by which we get closer to Him. Our job now is NOT to seek a way to perform ritual acts or pray in spite of our children, or to side-step them in an effort to reconnect with Allah. Rather we are to involve them and seek a way to Allah through them.
We know that when done with the intention of seeking the pleasure of Allah, every little act in their upbringing becomes an act of worship. However, the greatest thing a mother can do to fuel herself to bring up her children on the right path and for the growth of her own soul, is to be connected to Allah through her thoughts in the simple things in her day. Here are a few examples to illustrate this:
-When she feels that intense feeling of love for her child inside her heart, she must connect it back to Allah and think about how much He must love us since He has created us
-When she hears her child calling out for her, or crying to be fed, or looking at her longingly asking for his toy, she melts at the sweetness of his call or the look in his eyes. For her to think at that moment how much Allah in turn must love to hear our voices asking Him for something with sincerity, and for her to then ask of Him in that very moment that she fulfils her child’s need would greatly boost her connection to Allah.
-When she sees her child trying to crawl, sit up unaided, hold a spoon, try to fit a piece of a puzzle, the urge is there to do it for him and intervene in the process. But she knows she must let him do it himself or she will stunt his growth like the man who snips the cocoon to help the butterfly in its struggle, only to stunt it and lead to its destruction. Again she must let all those moments remind her of Allah’s special love and care for us when He does not intervene, allowing us our space to make mistakes and grow, and fuelling us with the patience we will need later on as we mother them in their teens.
-When she experiences the amazing feeling of being needed by a little human being, she must again reflect back to how great Allah’s bounties are on us when He is absolutely needless of us, and we are so needy of Him. That is enough to fill her heart with gratitude to Him.
– When her child disobeys her, throws tantrums, is ungrateful, does the complete opposite of everything she has so lovingly taught him, she should let it be a reminder of how awful it must be for our Creator to have us disobey Him when He has fashioned us with His own hands and loves us seventy times more than we love our own children. He is the Master of the universe and these little creatures with no knowledge whatsoever dare to challenge His authority, wisdom and better judgment. We know it feels horrible to be disobeyed – let’s not do it to our Creator and Maker.
This level of contemplation and connection to Allah is real life-changing spirituality that can come along as a by-product of motherhood. This is where a mother’s wisdom, her insight, and her status come from – only when she uses the gift of motherhood to get closer to Allah.
NOTE: This beautiful short video clip complements the article above perfectly!
Charity is highly emphasized in this month especially – why not make it a project to do with your kiddos?
If you’re stuck on what to do, check out the fundraising series we have covered which gives many ideas on how to get stuck in!
For those of you who are planning to do worksheets and art activities with your children at home, or Ramadan class teachers who are looking for a way to organise all the children’s work, here is an idea that might help!
Simply fold over a large piece of sugar paper (the size of paper depends on what your needs are), staple the sides and get the children to decorate the front! Add moons, stars, stickers, glitter – basically get the creativity flowing and make something practical at the same time 🙂
UPDATED Ramadhan 2015:
Or how about this idea about making a scrapbook? I have been fretting in the last few week because I can’t seem to find a good Ramadhan Journal for my kids – one that has all the things that I want it to have, and doesn’t have the things that I don’t think (from past experience) will be useful for them.
And then I saw this! It’s perfect! I can help them incorporate exactly what is right for them into it, and it will Inshallah be a perfect place to stick their work/crafts into – and thus become a perfect keepsake for this year’s special month.
Inshallah if we keep this up every year, they will have a whole bunch of scrapbooks to show their development as they go into adulthood! I only wish I’d come across this idea a few years ago 🙂
- The importance of neighbours is highly emphasised in Islam anyway, but what better time to fulfil their rights than in this month?
In the Psalms of Islam (Sahide Sajjadiya), the grandson of the Prophet welcomes the month of Ramadan with a supplication. In it, he states: “O God… Give us success in this month to… attend to our neighbours with bestowal and giving.” Why not reach out to your neighbours with some dates and this letter?:
It is the month of Ramadan!
Ramadan is a special month of the year for over two billion Muslims throughout the world. It is a time for inner reflection, devotion to God, and self-control. Muslims think of it as a kind of tune-up for their spiritual lives.
Fasting has many special benefits. Among these, the most important is that it is a means of learning self-control. Due to the lack of preoccupation with eating or drinking and other such physical appetites during the daylight hours of fasting, the focus is on one’s spiritual nature, which becomes a means of coming closer to God. Ramadan is also a time of intensive worship, reading of the Qur’an, giving charity, purifying one’s behaviour, and doing good deeds.
As a secondary goal, fasting is a way of experiencing hunger and developing sympathy for the less fortunate, and learning to be thankful for and appreciate all of God’s bounties. Fasting is also beneficial to the health and provides a break in the cycle of rigid habits or overindulgence.
Muslims break their fast with dates, and today, we would like to share this delicious and nutritious fruit with you.
Fancy a Date?!
- Giving dates to your schools is also a great way to familiarise them with the month and what your child may be going through if they are fasting, etc.
- For inspiration, check out all these ways in which people shared dates!
In a Ramadan program intended for us to improve ourselves – body and soul (check out it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/holisticramadhan/?fref=ts), one of the recommended actions was to write an intention letter, a letter where you write out what you intend to achieve this Ramadan.
Why not do this with your children? They can write it on a piece of paper and stick it up, or place it in their prayer mat. Inshallah this can serve as a reminder throughout the month, and then at the end they can reflect and see whether they think they have achieved their goals!
Don’t forget! Intention improves attention, which is the first step to manifestation
Welcome Ramadan in with EXCITEMENT!
I am super excited to be sharing this with you. Inspired by this post on an idea to welcome the school year, we have come up with with a Welcome Ramadan card and poem for children!
“The night before Ramadan is exciting and fun
There are always so many things to be done
Your sadqa box is ready, your dua book is too
Your mosque is full of fun things you will do
Lots of questions go through your head, of every kind
Will I be able to fast? Fast with my whole body and mind?
Sometimes we all get the jitters down deep
And that makes it hard to fall fast asleep
So I’ve made this magic confetti for you
Full of promises for the whole month through
On Wednesday night when you lay down your head
Just sprinkle some under your pillow in bed
The confetti will help you sleep through the night
And wake in the morning fresh and bright
Mommy and Pappa are excited for all that you’ll do
Remember Allah and be kind…we’re so proud of you!”
It’s a FREE download! Simply print it off, fold it, and stick on a teeny weeny bag of confetti inside – then cuddle up to your children tonight, open it and share a special moment welcoming this month in, Inshallah!
Here is the link: https://buzzideazz.com/shop/welcome-ramadan-confetti-card/
P.S. If you’re like me, you may want to keep a hoover/brush pan nearby for afterwards!
- Why not also prepare a Welcome Ramadan surprise basket for them to wake up to? Here is a great example!
- Many people are also doing Ramadan scavenger/treasure hunts whereby through a series of clues, the children can find their Ramadan baskets! There are quite a few on google so have a quick look!