Muharram Idea 26 - Teach them about the Black Heroes in Kerbala

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Rcae is an ongoing complicated issue in today’s society – unfortunately – and it is important to discuss his with our children. It is not surprising that Islam teaches us lessons through the personalities of Kerbala on every aspect of life – including race. It is also another great example of how we can introduce such topics in school settings…

Here is what she said:

“October is black history month where black personalities are remembered for their contributions in all walks – history, science, etc.

I took this opportunity to raise awareness at school and decided to hold assemblies and wrote an article for the weekly newsletter. Year 10’s have also read and discussed this in their PSHCE lessons:

“Black History Month continues to remember John and Fizza.

While everyone was enjoying their half term holidays some staff and students of QPC School were part of over 1.5 billion people globally commemorating the martyrdom of personalities such as John and Fizza.

John was a Christian Abyssinian freed slave who was the companion of Husayn. John’s life teaches us a lesson of loyalty and true friendship. He defended his companion with his life.

Fizza was an Abyssinian princess who left her riches to join the struggle of Husayn. Fizza showed that age or worldly desires should not come in the way of your belief. She happily went from riches to rags becoming the backbone of the household of Husayn which was a symbol of peace, justice and good virtue.

The selfless sacrifice made by black Abyssinian personalities such as John and Fizza at the epic of Karbala have great lessons for us to learn amidst a world of discrimination and injustice.”

P.S. The photo is of one of a great series of books on the companions of Imam Husayn (as) in Kerbala!

Muharram Idea 25 - Muharram and Birthdays

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One thing parents may face is the question of how to mark their children’s birthdays during these two months of Muharram and Safar. This was the first year we have had to deal with this and while we celebrated before Muharram started, my daughter wanted to take in sweets on the day to school, as is the norm.

So with the kind help of the creator of the Random Acts of Kindness cards that i shared a few days ago, we decided to do this! We waited until the 10 days were over and then gave out a little chocolate as well as the cards, with a little message on top about the commemoration of Ashura, in order to raise awareness about Imam Hussain (as).

Inshallah may it lead to lots of acts of kindness in the name of Imam Hussain!

Muharram Idea 24 - Giving Charity on Ashura Day

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So proud of the girls in the mosque classes, Mashallah!

After discussing the part in Ayatul Birr (Ayah 177 of Sura Baqarah) where it talks about the quality of righteous people giving away money that they love, we invited them to bring in some of their OWN money on Ashura day for charity…

They were told that any amount – or even no amount if they didnt want to! – would be fine, even a 1p coin. And yet they brought change, they brought notes, and they brought in large numbers! Alhamd they manged to raise over £140! Just shows how much we can do when we come together, even at the tender ages of 7 to 11 years…

May Allah make them of the righteous ones, Inshallah 🙂

Muharram Idea 23 - Felt Story Bag on the Tragedy of Karbala

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A good way of narrating stories is using felt images. In this video,you are shown how to make your own Felt Story Bag to create many different stories on the Tragedy of Karbala.

P.S. Check out TanveerShares for other cool activities and posts: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKjeShaxzkrM_PX5lndPpMA

Muharram Idea 22 - Kerbala Video Resources for Children

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For children it can sometimes be difficult to find a way to explain what happened in Kerbala. Below are some resources you might find useful.

Here is a series on Muharram for children that were created during the lockdown period:

A Story Time based on the book: Yasser and Zahra Meet the Saviour of Islam

A puppet show series – short and good for younger kids:

What is Muharram?

Why attend the majlis of Imam Husayn (as)?

The Journey of Imam Husayn (a) from Medina to Kerbala:

A series of episodes for the 10 nights of Muharram:

A beautifully done video narrated by a little girl, on Imam’s final embrace:

The following is a series of powerful videos on each of the main people in Kerbala. The imagery is suitable for young children:

This video is an overview of the events, with a focus on the sermons that followed:

Sand Art – Kerbala:

This one is a general simple and short cartoon:

This is a 4 part series about the life of Abbas (as) in Arabic:

This is an English series called Heroes of Kerbala telling about the companions of Imam Husain (as):

The Unsung Heroes of Karbala:

On Kufa and the Entrance in to Shaam:

Some videos on Bibi Ruqayyah/Sakina:

On Imam Hussein (as):

What happened after the day of Ashura:

This is a series of Masaib that is easy to understand for teens too:

This animated cartoon of a latmiya where the father (Abather Alhalwachi) narrates to his son (Ammar Al Halwachi) the story of the children of Karbala:

An English cartoon recitation for children:

Thank You O' Hussain

💚 Thank You O' HussainBy Basim KarbalaeiDirected by Abbas Yousefi

Posted by Ahlulbayt TV on Friday, 28 September 2018

Here is an activity idea:

And finally, this looks like a good full-length cartoon movie:

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.

Muharram Idea 20 - Being careful when sharing the message of Kerbala with children

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As we prepare to enter the months of Muharram and Safar, here are some INVALUABLE points for parents and teachers to keep in mind. Please read and share!

Take the first point for example – SO crucial:

“Images of Violence:

It never ceases to amaze me the extent of graphic details Islamic school curriculums, teachers, and speakers provide children when discussing Karbala. Yes, it was a battle and yes it was a tragedy beyond words. However, such violent and graphic details are socially and developmentally inappropriate. Many children struggle to understand topics such as death, loss, and grief. When Islamic school teachers decide to focus on the explicit details of how Ali al-Asghar or Imam Abbas (as) were killed, it can be difficult for children to overcome. You can definitely get the message across that Yazeed and Bani Ummayah were the lowest of the low and enemies of God without describing to a child in graphic details the murder of another child.”

For the whole article, click here: http://www.aimislam.com/sharing-the-message-of-karbala-with-children/

Muharram Idea 18 - Kerbala Wall Displays

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Have your children been learning lots this past ten days? Why not have them reflect on the main points and put them up on a Muharram wall, like this family have done (main pic above)? It would be a great way to solidify and build on their learning 🙂

Also check out what another mum did with her children to commemorate these months… they looked at quotes by Imam Husayn (as) and made it very visual. A great way to learn new and relevant hadith while marking these days as well.

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