Marking Important Events at Home - Majlis Ideas

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In this time of Corona, with our mosques being closed, many of us may have tuned into majlis online. However, the act of doing a majlis in your living room and with all your family members is so beautiful and powerful. It establishes the importance for our children, invites blessings into the home, and shows Allah (swt) that even during these times of hardship when masjids are closed down, we continue to keep the tradition of majlis alive. Many families at times hesitate to do this because they don’t know where to start or what to do. Here is a list of ideas that people have shared which you can do with your children!

  • The atmosphere (optional): bring in the atmosphere of a majlis by dressing in the appropriate clothes (whether black for wafat or bright for wiladat), decorating the house with balloons/lights for wiladats, spreading a white sheet, wearing ithar perfume, bringing out your alams (if you have), and keeping a small tray of fruit for nazr/niyaz. Get your kids involved in this as much as possible, e.g. have them help you in the kitchen as you cut up fruit (apples, oranges, banana etc) and tell them this is our niyaz for after the majlis in which we serve in the name of our Imam and recite surahs on it.
  • After everything is set up, call all family to sit down together.
  • Qur’an: Begin with asking your children to recite the Holy Qur’an even if it’s one of the small surahs. If one of you kids can read, have them read the translation as well.
  • Meditation: One lovely idea shared was to start off with some Muslim meditation, such as through www.muslimmeditation.net/zikr-for-kids.
  • Hadith-e-Kisa – there are different options depending on the age of your children:

Option a) Recite Hadith-e-Kisa by watching this video or sing/recite it yourself using the lyrics under the video.

Option b): There are several books on Hadith-e-Kisa book on amazon, and since it may be short notice to order, you can download the kindle version and read it by printing or on a screen. Here is one of the books.

Option c): Recite Hadith-e-Kisa in Arabic yourself or have one of the kids recite it. Or read the translation.

Option 4: Listen to Hadith-e-Kisa

  • Mystery Box: In a small box or a bag, have items related to the topic of today. Have your kids come and take out items from the bag and have them guess what today’s topic is, or if they already know who it is, have them explain how that item is related to him. If you have a younger crowd, explain to them the significance of each item.
  • Books: Read stories about the holy personality/event that you are marking.
  • Videos: Show videos on the holy personality/event that you are marking
  • Hadith: Have you children research and share hadiths on the holy personality/event that you are marking, if they are old enough. Otherwise choose one or two and explain it to them.
  • Lecture/Speech: Older children can prepare a talk, or a parent can give a small speech. You could also listen to a majlis online.
  • Other methods: Maybe the children can think of how to creatively share the information they have prepared for the occasion, such as through a puppet show, or an interactive quiz.
  • Arts and Crafts: Do an art or craft on the holy personality/event that you are marking. It could also be based on the hadith shared above. Or it could be doing some creative writing/drawing based on the lecture just heard.
  • Munajaat/Nawhas – Have children and family recite a munajaat/nawha on the occasion, whether in English or any other. Or why not ask older children to write a poem/munajaat/nawha of their own and recite that.
  • End with Ziyarah: Recite ziyarah with children. Younger children can say “Salaam alayka ya Rasoolallah and go down the list of the 14 masoomeen.
  • Recite Dua Faraj together
  • Then sit for niyaz and tea/juice. For wiladats, why not bake and decorate a cake for this occasion, then cut it just now while singing Happy Birthday to the holy personality!

* Thank you to Masooma Hydery Kalyan for compiling the original post!

Thoughts on 'fatiha' in majalis...

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Have been thinking a lot about the majalis we go to, and in particular the fatiha we get. Mashallah everyone loves to contribute and so as well as the fatiha that the host themselves make and provide, many people also bring fatiha on the day which is then distributed into the bags, etc. In particular, a lot of fatiha also comes into mosque for the children’s classes, so our kids go home with bags full of crisps, chocs and drinks every night. This is all great, however – ESPECIALLY in this day and age, it really feels like that food/extras would be much better if it went to those in real need?

Discussing this with family the other day, an idea emerged. Instead of taking fatiha to people’s majlises and mosque classes, what if whenever we went to their houses, we dropped 50p, or a pound or two if we wanted (or whatever the heart desires!) into a ‘fatiha’ money collection box? At the end of the majlis, this could then be counted and donated to one of the many charities out there doing an amazing job. Even a little goes a really long way – for example, £6.50 can buy someone a blanket in Iraq to help them in the long winter months coming up.

This is in no way saying that there shouldn’t be fatiha at all! I think a little something is excellent, both for keeping the kids excited when they come to mosque and it is of course also a sunnah and a pleasure to feed people when they come to our homes for a majlis – I am simply referring to all the extras people bring on top of the norm.

I also think perhaps we need to re-focus on what the fatiha is actually being given for. Fatiha is to encourage people to recite Sura Fatiha for the marhumeen of the giver’s family (as per my understanding), is it not? But when we do give fatiha, how many of us actually give the names of our Marhumeen too? And when we get and eat and enjoy, how many of us actually do remember to recite it? Perhaps with the ‘fatiha’ money collection box, we can also have a piece of paper where people can write down the names of their marhumeen, to be remembered and recited Sura Fatiha for within the majlis itself.

If we start implementing this one household at a time, maybe just sending out a message to all those coming beforehand to let them know…perhaps we can make this a tradition going forward? In terms of classes, we could include it in the letters that parents get so that they are aware too?

Would love to hear your thoughts!!

P.S. November, 2016: Slowly but surely, things are Inshallah changing. In the Children’s Library event a few weeks ago, we asked people to bring in change instead of fatiha, and raised £122 from one afternoon! This will be feeding those really in need, Inshallah – for the thawaab of the Marhumeen of those who donated.

In the classes at mosque this Ashra, we are Inshallah introducing a similar scheme. The poster we will be putting up is attached here, in case anyone wants to do the same in the different jamaats around the world.

Inshallah, here’s hoping that this little change will make a BIG difference!

Children's Majalis - Idea 10: Love and Ya Husayn pillows

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Someone sent in their majlis idea! I love the idea of a heart pillow with Ya Husayn written on it 🙂

“There is a group of girls conducting activity for kids 0-5. Recently we did this from a very different angle and would like to share it with you.

Our topic was love and we started by singing ‘I love you, you love me’ song because young kids love their mums the most :). From there we explained that mum loves Imam Husayn (as) and that’s why we go to majlises and Imam loves us so much. He is so special that when he was born he started giving gifts and here we told them the story of FITRUS getting his wings.

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Then we explained we cry, do azadari and share food for Imam and the things that Imam would also love us to do, like pray – we all went to Sajdah and did Shukar. Imam would also like us reading Quran so we did 2 ayahs with actions. Finally Imam loves Azadari.

We love our Mum and Imam loves his mum too. Therefore we said ‘Abd Walkah Ya Zahra…’ to end with.

We gave away heart pillows with Ya Husayn written for kids to hug live and connect with Imam.

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At the end we did a planting activity ad told the kids as we watch and see the plant grow our love for Imam will also grow!”

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Children's Majalis - Idea 9: Dua and Imam Mahdi (aj)

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Another great interactive majlis sent in! Here are the details:

“Alhamdulillah I was blessed to conduct this Interactive workshop/majlis for my son and few of his friends age 5-6 years at home.

Topic:- Dua and being amongst the supporters of Imam Mahdi:

Our mummies love us sooo much, and she wants to know each and everything that we do eg in school. Did you know Allah loves us 70 times more than our mums. He also wants us to talk to Him about everything.

 Activity:

Draw hand and explained how to make Dua. Pray for family/ people far from us/ imam Mahdi/Those sick and ill/ and lastly pray for yourself. Allah says He will accept our Duas if done via Imam Mahdi so we should pray through him.

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Activity:

All kids wrote arizah with their mummies help using the “letters to my Imam” book of buzzideazz, using their hand model that they had drawn.

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We were blessed that one of the kid, was going for iran ziarat the following day. We handed over the arizahs to this little girl to put it in the well behind masjide jamkaran in iran. This well is a place where people put their arizahs to Imam Mahdi, Imam visits this masjid every Tuesday.

Santa fulfils wishes only once in December. Imam Mahdi will fulfil our wishes anytime when we raise our hands in Dua and anytime we write to him Ariza.

But when Dua is not accepted, know that it’s because it’s not good for us. Eg:- if we pray for chocolate factory, Allah may not accept as it will spoil our teeth.

So whenever you want to talk to imam Mahdi write to him using this book which they all were given to take home.

Dua plus action is required:- 

Sitting in one place and praying to be amongst the supporters of imam mahdi isn’t sufficient. We need to do action too.

Cited example of Bibi Hajras Dua for water and her running from safa to marwa in search of water. Because of which we have zamzam water flowing till today.

 Activity:

Showed them a house model with 8 windows.  Asked the kids to think about what deeds they would do that would make imam Mahdi come to our house and we stuck those deeds using cardboard on the windows.

Cardboard pieces had these deeds written:-

  1. Pray on time
  2. No lying
  3. No haram food
  4. No haram things in the house like music
  5. Respect and care
  6. Stay clean
  7. Recite Quran
  8. Check your deeds before sleeping.

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Building on point no 8, i gave them all a laminated weekly chart that they could use to self assess themselves before bedtime. This chart has space for 5 good deeds to do and 5 bad deeds to avoid. ( left these empty for the mummies to personalise what deeds they would like their kids to build on and can change when needed)

Then kids can assess if their imam is happy or sad with them by putting a smiley face or a sad face.

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Based on above actions, we will know if we really await imam mahdi or do we dread his coming as a “Thief wouldn’t await the coming of the police ”

Will we be the thieves or will we be with the police in catching/fighting the thieves?

How can we help imam when he comes when we are just 5-6 years old?

We need to prepare ourselves just like bibi Sakinas example.

In kerbala, we had bibi Sakina who was 4 years old. Inspite of all the tortures and especially in the jail in shaam, she never missed her Namaz, woke up in the cold mornings for subh namaz, until one morning when she didn’t wake up when she had already passed away.

A 5 yr old girl then recited for us a poem about bibi sakinas tortures.

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Then we had two boys recite Dua hujjat and then we had matam and ziarat.

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References  :-

  1. A bond with Imam e Mahdi volume 14, printed and presented by Al Mahdi (as) Centre -ladies wing, Dar es salaam.

Muharram activities ebook

http://www.islamfromthestart.com/2014/09/muharram-activities-ebook.html?m=1

Archive of Buzzideazz blog about muharam/safar

https://buzzideazz.com/category/muharramsafar/

 

 

Children's Majalis - Idea 8: Project Majalis

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Project Majalis was set up to teach children all aspects of the Majalis process, from setting up the hall, to reciting noha and marthiyya to making the ‘alam and tabout. This helped to engage children in what work goes into the majalis process and familiarised them with different roles so that inshallah they are able to conduct similar roles in the future.

We focussed on Bibi Zainab (s.a) as the role model for Project Majalis as she set up the institution of Majalis, and thus one of the majalis’ the children conducted was dedicated to her.

To make the majalis process interesting for the children we devised certain roles that they could participate in, this included the following. The children had to chose what they would like to do when they had to RSVP to their Majalis invite:

– Setting up the hall

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– Reciting majalis: x 3 children (5min or less per child)

– Reciting marsiya & matam: x 6 children

– MC: x 1 child

– Making & distributing Sabil

– Making & arranging niyaz/tabbaruk

– Welcoming Azadari’s & arranging shoes

– Cleaning up: x 5 children

– Car park volunteer: (with adult supervision)

– Audio/visual system

– Majalis Guide: (to show the children who have just walked in around the life size displays)

– Quran recitation: x1

– Dua recitation: x1

– Ziyarat recitation: x1

– Imam Hussain Anthem (all children)

We also recreated certain parts of Ashura day and Shaam-e-Ghareeba so that the visual stimulus will engage children in the stories of Karbala & Shaam, this included:

– Tent with burnt cloth on top (which the children helped to make)

– Spears on heads with blood (which the children made)

– Cut outs of the shaheeds, this included Hazarat Abbas (a.s), Imam Hussain (a.s) with Ali Asghar (a.s), Dome and minaret of Imam Hussain (a.s), Zuljina, helmet of Hazrat Qassim (a.s), Ali Akbar (a.s) bidding farewell to Imam Hussain (a.s) .  This was printed on A1 paper and stuck on corrugated card.

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– Mannequin with abaya and chains

– Taboot and cradle

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We had three main activities on the day that all children participated in during Project Majalis!

– ‘Alam making

– Handkerchief: writing Ya Hussain on black handkerchiefs

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-After the ziyarat all the children had to declare their loyalty for Imam Husayn through a poem (Anthem) they all recited together which was circulated to them a week before to practise.

Here are the words to the anthem:

Hussain you are the symbol of strength

 Hussain you are the symbol of strength

And brave you will always be                                    x2

Hussain your name is in my heart

And your life will live with me        

  

All of your family received the pain

Your sister, your brother, your son and wife

Hussain your name is in my heart

And your life will live with me

 

Hussain you are the symbol of strength

And brave you will always be                                    x2

Hussain your name is in my heart

And your life will live with me       

 

My eyes will weep for your brother Abbas

He never lost one arm but he lost two

Hussain your name is in my heart

And your life will live with me

 

Hussain you are the symbol of strength

And brave you will always be                                    x2

Hussain your name is in my heart

And your life will live with me       

  Comments:

– The Imam Hussain (a.s) anthem was a great finish to the Majalis, and was truly amazing to watch children pay their allegiance to the Master of Martyrs.

– We provided Project Majalis certificates at the end of the Majalis, this helped to legitimatise the children’s had work and they truly appreciated it.

– The pocket money that we requested if children wanted to donate went to 2 different options: ‘Helping little Hussaini’s & Zainabi’s who are poor’ which The Zahra Trust will distribute to orphans and vulnerable children.  And the second option was ‘Spreading the message of the Ahlulbayt (a.s)’ which went to Safeer TV as they are showcasing majalis.

– Here is a powerpoint on Azadar that was made – some slides were used as posters also. Download: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/12898635/What%20is%20Azadari.pptx

Procedure for the day –

  •  As the children walked in they were welcomed by a child who took their shoes.

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  • Children then had to register their names at the registration table.
  • At the registration table there was a large flag on paper where children could sign their names or write their wishes to Hazrat Abbas. This flag will be taken to Hazrat Abbas’ s shrine in Arbaeen 2014.

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  • The children were then taken in groups to see the displays produced by the Zahra Trust.
  • Thereafter the children could make their very own Alams and Hankerchiefs (with Ya Husayn written on it. These activities were supervised by the older children.

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  •  The children who had chosen various jobs like preparing the tabarruk and sabil also had the opportunity to do so. Children made Milk Sherbat or squash.

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  • Some children helped to prepare the take home tabarruk bags.

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  •  Some children made Chocolate Ladoos (chocolate oat truffles) the night before ready for the majalis.
  •  Once the children had set up everything for the majalis the MC started the majalis.MCIMG-20141208-WA0015 Tilawat of Qur’an  IMG-20141208-WA0013

    Marsiyas

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    Speeches

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  • Noha/LutmIMG-20141208-WA0017
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  • All the children pledging allegiance to Imam HusaynIMG-20141208-WA0028 
  • At the end tabarruk was served. Children waiting for their Tabarruk.
  • As the children were leaving they were given their take home back with various goodies and gifts from the Zahra Trust.  They were all presented with a certificate to legitimise their hard work in taking part in the project.

 

 

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  • They were also requested to write their thoughts on the project on a large drawing of a dome.

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*Here is the text sent out to parents:

PROJECT MAJALIS!

In conjunction with The Zahra Trust child’s name would like to invite you to Project Majalis.

Project Majalis is an initiative to teach children all aspects of the majalis process; from setting up the hall, arranging the food, reciting Majalis/noha, making the ‘alam, to cleaning up at the end!

Also there will be an exhibition of life size cut outs of the shaheeds to help the children learn about the story of Karbala.

Date:

Time:

Venue:

for boys under 10 (non baligh) and girls of all ages.

Following roles are open for the children:

– Setting up the hall: x 5 children

– Reciting majalis: x 3 children (5min or less per child)

– Reciting marsiya & matam: x 6 children

– MC: x 1 child

– Making & distributing Sabil: x 4 children

– Making & arranging niyaz/tabbaruk: x 6 children

– Welcoming Azadari’s & arranging shoes: x 4 children

– Cleaning up: x 5 children

– Car park volunteer: x 2 (with adult supervision)

– Audio/visual system: x 2 children

– Majalis Guide x2

– Quran reciter x1

– Dua reciter x1

– Ziyarate reciter x1

If children wish to they can bring in a small amount of money as they will be given an opportunity to donate to a worthy cause.

Children's Majalis - Idea 7: Puzzle

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In this children’s majlis, when the girls entered they could colour in the ‘Oh My Asghar’ in this unique puzzle especially made for the occasion!

They then had a chance to break up and make the puzzle if they had time. This was followed by namaaz, and then marsia, mahlis and maatam. The focus of the majlis was Hazrat Ali Asghar.

They got to take their puzzle home at the end – am sure they will remember Hazrat Ali Asghar’s story every time they make it!

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