Alhamdulillah, the Muharram half-term event at the Children’s Islamic Library was so well attended, and all ages children ended up being very busy indeed!
Downstairs, children created a wall of mosaic art – each chose a word related to the event of Kerbala that meant something to them, and then went on to decorate this word using materials of their choice. These different mosaic tiles then went on a wall to make a magnificent display. The children also had access to all the books and games from the library – it was great to see all these materials being used by so many!
Upstairs the children aged 7 and older were honoured to have a workshop with renowned recitors! Muhammad Datoo (from Voices of Passion) led a nauha writing workshop, along with support from Muhammad Abbas Khakhi, Ali Panju and Sakina and Sabiha Rahemani (Rahemani Sisters). They chose a nauha ‘Countless Voices’ and then worked on creating a new verse or two for that in their groups and individually.
They then joined everybody else downstairs and after Story Time, some shared their new verses for all to hear. They recited beautifully and we look forward to a new generation of recitors for the Ahlul Bayt, Inshallah!
Until next time… 🙂
P.S. Oh yes! We specifically requested no Fatiha to be brought (as is usually the custom for Muharram majalis – see some thoughts on that here: https://www.buzzideazz.com/thoughts-on-fatiha-in-majalis/). Instead the library provided a simple fruit jelly pack, and we asked for people to bring in some loose change or contribute whatever they wanted for charity instead.
Alhamdulillah the response was great, with someone even bringing in their entire money box for us to break and use! We managed to raise a grand total of £122.35, which will be going straight to those in need, via Hujjat Jamaat, with the thawaab going to all the families’ Marhumeen Inshallah.
A huge THANK YOU to everybody!
To view the pictures, see: http://childrensislamiclibrary.com/photo_gallery_view.php?id=39
So lovely to see the youth leading the way in this!
It would be negligent of me not to mention the one most powerful thing we can do to commemorate as a group, and that is to take part in the most awe-inspiring journey, the ziyarah of Imam Husayn (as).
And what a group! To date the largest peaceful gathering in the world, this Arba’een saw 21 million people come together in Kerbala… Can you imagine? To walk, weep, grieve and pray as one in such a gathering? Subhanallah…
If you were one of the lucky ones who got the blessing to go this year or previous years, please do share your experiences. And if you, like myself, have not had the chance to go yet, may Imam call us there soon inshallah!
Idea No 10: Reconnect with and share the message of Hussain (as) with the neighbours of our Islamic Centres!
One of the ideazz during the ten days of Muharram was to share the message of Hussain (as) with our neighbours. In line with the ideazz during these ten days of ‘group’ activities, this is a phenomenal initiative to now reach out to our local centre’s neighbours.
Just before the commencement of Ashra-e-Zainabiyya, the Hyderi Centre in South London, UK and Stanmore Centre in North West London, UK did exactly that!
In Stanmore, a group of 11 people (including two children) got together and knocked on 200 doors to give them a gift bag including:
1. A Who is Hussain Card (www.whoishussain.org)
2. A Buzz Christmas Card
3. A special message inserted inside the card to apologise for any inconvenience we may cause them throughout the year
4. A small box of chocolates
Although mixed feedback was received, overall the neighbours deeply deeply appreciated the gesture and even gave a gift back in some instances 🙂
Some of the mixed feedback included:
1. You have been great neighbours.
2. The foot flow makes us feel safe.
3. Haven’t really noticed any inconvenience.
4. Please be more considerate when parking and don’t damage the grass area.
5. Next morning, there is a lot of litter of Styrofoam cups left lying around 🙁
Overall – it was a very positive fulfilling experience for those involved.
If any other centres have done something similar, please do share!
For those centres that want to reach out, this can still be done by replacing the Interfaith Christmas card with a New Year’s card and putting an additional insert that was used for Stanmore (this can be emailed to you – please feel free to get in touch).
Idea No 9: Take part with your family in an Arba’een Procession (Sent in by Nishaat Bhimani)
The arbaeen procession is on the 6th of january. I have attended and volunteered at this event (the photo is of the procession last year). It give me a sense of victory when I see Shias in such great numbers in the heart of london praying in congregation and lamenting for our Imam AS and his family AS.
Remember to wear warm clothes if attending for the whole day and wear comfortable shoes. For families with little ones, carry a stroller. More info available at www.arbaeenuk.com
Idea No 8: Re-create the Caravan of Pride through a collective project. (Sent in by Sameera Yusufali)
This year in the month of Safar, a childrens workshop was held at Hussieni Islamic Center of Orlando. In order for the children to really understand the aftermath of Karbala and how the Ahlulbayt suffered, the workshop decided to engage the children in making a project which allowed each child to participate.
The project shows how the caravan of pride was taken to the palace of Yazid, and how they were made to wait outside Yazids courtyard for three days while the onlookers mocked them. It also shows the palace of Yazid and the dungeon where the Ahlulbayt were kept as prisoners.
The children were divided into groups according to their ages and were assigned to make different parts of the projects, such as flags, the marketplace, Yazid’s mimbar, the dungeon, the onlookers, and the family of the ahlulbayt on camels tied to each other with ropes.
As the children were busy making the project the teachers explained the different aspects to them as they went along; this gave them an insight and a true feeling about the tragedy of Karbala. When each of the groups had finished their assigned task, they came and placed what they made and thus working together, completed the the project. One of the teachers then took each group and explained to them in detail about what happened when the Caravan of Pride reached the courtyard of Yazid.
Creating a project where the kids are able to visualize helps the children better understand the sacrifice of Imam Hussien and his family.
Idea No 7: Re-enact the Story of Karbala through a Play – and make it come alive for both those participating, and those watching. (Sent in by Jawad Yusufali, 13 years old)
The play I acted in was based on the events when Imam Hussain (as) along with family and companions left Medina and started their journey towards Kerbala. Some of the highlights were when Imam Hussain was in the court of Waleed (la), and when Imam gave his last farewells to the graves of his grandfather, mother and brother. The play ended with Imam Hussain (as) asking the tribe of Bani Asad to bury their bodies after the day of Ashura and to treat the Zawaars of Karbala with respect and honour.
In this play I acted as Imam Hussain (as) and being the main character was a big responsibility, but also a blessing, because out of the whole crowd of spectators and other actors behind stage, I was the one who was able to understand the situation Imam Hussain was in the most. Because I had to show different emotions in different parts such as courage and grief, I in turn felt the hardship and burden that Sayyed Shuhada felt when he had to stand up for Islam.
To conclude, the play I acted in was a very unique experience, one that I learned from, and Inshallah, one I hope that many other people will learn from in the future.
Idea No 6: Encourage links between generations as well as learning, through a Mentor Mentee program (Sent in by Swaleha Karim)
An ongoing part of the Karbala Project was a Mentor Mentee program whereby younger participants were able to learn from older youths regarding topics they chose and then present the information at the mosque before the the majalis, Alhamdulillah we had 16 participants and this program is still ongoing.
Idea No 5: Hold an Essay Writing Competition (Sent in by Swaleha Karim)
The Karbala Project in Minnesota also held an ongoing essay writing competition where participants could write on the following topics:
Ages 14-18: If you were to meet the 12th Imam, what would you speak to him about?
All Ages: Is it a birth right to call the 12th Imam or is it something that is earned? How is this earned?
P.S. The questions could be adjusted for younger children age groups too…!
Idea No 4: Hold a Poetry Slam (Sent in by Swaleha Karim)
In Minnesota, this year the Karbala Project’s mission was reflect on our faith from Karbala to Imam Mahdi. This mission was carried out by a combination of events that enabled participants to reflect and serve Allah (s.w.t) through the teachings of the Imams.
Ome of these events was a poetry slam where participants expressed their views on Karbala in the form of Spoken Word Poetry. This event gathered a lot of viewers and many were moved by the words of the speakers; the speakers varied widely in age, as you can see from the pictures!