Ashra Idea 12 - Muharram at Schools

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Subhanallah! I am in AWE!

You HAVE to read this account of a secondary school teacher who introduced Imam Hussain (as) to his school…

I really feel like cutting and pasting the whole thing (!), but will settle for this excerpt ;):

“Pupils swarmed towards me to let me know how much they loved the message and story and I felt a relief. Imam Hussain’s universal message would never let me down, why did I have any doubts? During the following weeks, pupils would walk past me in the corridors and chant ‘Hussain’ whilst clenching their fists in a celebratory manner of approval; they agreed with his values. Pupils would demand I include his story in the Religious Education curriculum. Pupils saw my wristbands with Imam Hussain’s name on them and asked where they could purchase one because they wanted to wear it too. They would stand with me during break-time and ask me more questions. Remember, this is not a Muslim school. We are talking about pupils from a conservative Muslim background as well as plenty of those who aren’t Muslim at all making these comments. It goes to show that Imam Hussain’s message transcends sects and appeals to those who love justice and human values.”

Read the full article here: http://themuslimvibe.com/faith/in-history/when-i-introduced-imam-hussain-to-my-school/

Muharram Idea 21 - Some Muharram Gems for our Families :)

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Muharram Gem 1:

Teach your children that the tears for Imam Husayn (as) have shafa – indeed, tears have been found to have different chemical content, depending on why they are being shed. Encourage them to wipe it on their faces and body, rather than wiping it away with a tissue.

From a majlis by a Zakira

Muharram Gem 2:

We need to put a love of the family of the Ahlul Bayt (as) into our children from a young age. If we do this, then it will help them when they’re older. Many teenagers have strayed, but through the love of Imam Husayn (as) have then come to the majalis of Muharram and returned to the right path – they started praying again, started fasting again, started wearing hijaab again, and so on…

Summarised from a seminar by Sheikh Abbas Jaffer

In the same vein: We need to put the love of Islam into our children BEFORE the law. When they are older, if they rebel against the law, it will be the love that will bring them back.

From a majlis by a Zakira

Muharram Gem 3:

Don’t underestimate the value of maatam and the symbol of what it stands for. Teach your children it’s importance and to take part, even if they don’t understand it yet.

In Russia, when it was difficult to openly practise Islam and commemorate, Muslims developed a softer, more secret way to do maatam rather than give it up altogether. They would slip their hand in between buttons and place it on the chest and whisper, and they taught their children to do the same.

Now, they are allowed to practise more freely and so do maatam normally again, but continue to do this secret maatam every now and then as a reminder…

Summarised from a lecture by Sheikh Abbas Jaffer

Muharram Gem 4:

We listen to lectures year in, year out – but the change in us in minimal. How can we change this so that the knowledge turns into action?

One suggestion is that we reflect on it and pull out a point of action even after the majlis. On the way home, why not start a family tradition on what each family member learned and one small thing they are going to try and change based on that? Inshallah with little steps like that, big changes can happen 🙂

Inspired by a lecture by Sheikh Abbas Jaffer

Muharram Gem 5:

The first ten minutes are what is most pertinent to us, and it relates to the different ways that people around the world do Azadari. The poppy example is a good one to explain the symbols we use to commemorate Ashura to our children:

Muharram Gem 6:

Muharram rituals can save our children:

Muharram Gem 7:
“Values we learn from the holy month of Moharram can be embraced in our daily lives, all year long. We are doing a disservice to our children, and ourselves, if we only remember these values one month out of the year. All it takes is a little bit of time to make Imam Hussain and Karbala a part of our families and our lives.

Technology is a part of our lives now that we cannot ignore. But you have the option to unplug and log out. We must create a space and time for our families to reconnect and think about the bigger picture. This is where the story of Imam Hussain and Karbala can save us.”

Read the full article here.

Muharram Gem 8:
“So, while I find myself feeling overwhelmed and disconnected during the majalis, I have found the solution to all those issues through the acts of Imam al-Husayn (as). Mothers must, whether at a very minute or grandiose level, sacrifice like our Imam did. Sacrificing our peace of mind, our physical energy, and at times, even sleep for the child’s benefit. While this sacrifice is not limited to any month or day of the year, it is felt especially strong and perhaps, even burdensome, in Muharram.  Our sacrifices are not for vain, it is for our young seedlings to take root and grow. With time’s allowance, their souls will bear the fruits of our hard work. The difference is that despite us not being in the time of Karbala, we are in a time even more necessary for sacrifice: the occultation of Imam Mahdi (aj), the Husayn of our time.”
Read the full article here.

A young blind boy's amazing wisdom and faith

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He has no physical sight, yet his spiritual sight is a thing of beauty!
May Allah grant us all his faith…totally, totally inspiring.

And here are some more to inspire you!

How about this haafidh who is Autistic:

Learning the Quran in sign language:

Hijaab reshaping British culture

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Another Muslim hijaabi making us proud… And with such a profound message too!

She (and the H&M hijaabi model pictured below) are getting a lot of press.

H&M

Check this out:

“H&M has been largely applauded on social media, with one non-Muslim woman tweeting that she was “so happy that the gorgeous hijab-wearing fashionistas are being represented by a global brand”.

And another social media favourite has been hijab-wearing Great British Bake Off (GBBO) contestant Nadiya Hussain, who has galvanised public support with her brilliant flavours, expressiveness and warmth, with many canvassing for “Nadiya as Bake Off queen”.

Comments such as these indicate a much-needed shift in attitudes towards Muslim women. As a strongly politicised sign of religious identity, the hijab has been subject to a complex debate in recent years, with some viewing it as a feminist symbol of liberation, while others disdain it as a symbol of oppression. When I began to wear a headscarf, one friend split no hairs, telling me I was bending to “male enslavement”.

The hijab may have been dressed up by some as being “at odds with society”, but the fact that it is entering popular culture is in itself a celebration of the religious freedoms and universal values that Britain prides itself on.”

Read the full article here: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/28/hijab-h-and-m-mainstream-culture-great-british-bake-off-diversity

And of course, hijaabis making history in England’s Wimbledon: http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/meet-the-muslim-woman-making-history-at-wimbledon–by4zNoWDGx

Baby Aidan of Baby Muhammad? The importance of a name...

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For those of you who maybe thinking about baby names 🙂

Also pertinent to those who shorten names to suit others around them… let’s own our names with pride!

“The process of choosing a name for a tiny human being is a tremendous, anxiety-inducing responsibility that can lead to marital spats, desperate crowdsourcing and late-night prayers for divine inspiration.

For Muslim parents, it carries a much heavier burden.

“Should we give our baby a less Muslim-y name?” I asked my wife after we did an awkward, late-night celebration dance upon seeing the “+” sign appear on the pregnancy test over a year and a half ago.

It wasn’t crazy to be entertaining the question. Why burden your kid with a profile-worthy name in addition to the problems he will likely inherit because of his skin color, ethnicity and religion?”

Read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/04/opinion/sunday/for-muslim-americans-baby-aidan-or-baby-muhammad.html?_r=0

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