Here are some ideas in which we can mark his important day with children:
- Create a Mystery Box:
Possible ideas of items:
- Black cloth – we wear black to mourn during sad occasions
- The # 7 – explain that he’s the 7th Imam
- An Angry Face – Explain how Imam Kazim (as) was the opposite of anger, but was known to be the one who swallowed his anger and was patient/calm.
- A map with Iraq circled – explain how he’s buried in Iraq.
- Picture of the harem of Imam Kazim (as) – explain how we go to Kadhmayn to do his ziyarat where he’s buried.
- Handcuffs/box, bicycle chain or any chain or mini cage – explain how he was put in a prison for most of his life even though he was such a good Muslim and our Imam, but the ones who made bad choices caused him to suffer.
- A bridge (from legos etc) – Explain how the Imam (as) was left by the bridge.
- Toy bread – Explain how he was given very little food while in prison.
- Janemaz or Du’a book: Explain how despite all the difficulties he endured, he never gave up his faith in Allah and in fact thanked Him, and continued to worship Him even in the prison.
- Books on the 7th Imam: Blessed Names and Heavenly children are some suggestions.
- Kisa Kids Spiritual Season pdf – This includes crafts you can do with children.
- Qatima also has some great resources on the 7th Imam.
- This is a memory game you can play about the 7th Imam.
- Videos on the Imam:
- Ahadith by the Imam to share with your chidlren
* Thank you to Masooma Hydery Kalyan for compiling the original post!
There are a growing number of resources out there to help mark this special month, here they are below:
- Kisa Kids have been releasing booklets for the last few years which are FULL of activities to mark the occasions of the months. They are available to download for free here. They also have banners, amal checklists, etc.
- Zair Zabr Play has a few free printables for Rajab, including a booklet on Me’raj.
- Here is one by Lunar Learners on Me’raj (Although there is much debate about Me’raj being on the 27th of Rajab, with the consensus being it’s not – that date is important for Mab’ath), you can use these on the other dates that have given for Me’raj)
- Drawing inspiration from the meme going around on Rajab, Shaban and Ramadan, we recreated this for children.
The children were explained the significance of there being a seed in Rajab and the need to clear the soil of weeds (i.e. do lots of istighfar and clean our souls in this month), a little shoot popping up in Shaban which needs to be tended and watered (i.e. lots of good deeds and salawats in this month) and then finally the flowering in Ramadhan (inshallah the fruits of our efforts in the holy month!).
They were encouraged to go home and stick it on their fridge/boards as a daily reminder 🙂
- Here’s another craft idea sent in:
FZ and mum did an activity on the Tasbih of Bibi Fatema, which was told to the Prophet by Angel Jibrail during his ascension!
Here are the details below:
“In the centre is Bibi Fatema as with her Tasbih, then the rectangle around her represents the Kaaba with its 4 rukn, followed by an outer rectangle representing Bayt ul Ma’mur with its 4 rukn, followed by the ‘Arsh with its 4 rukn and the Dhikr of the Tasbih of Bibi Fatema as holding up the 4 corners…here FZ also added graphics to show how the Dhikr came about…
On the sides she made colourful wings to show that the Tasbih is so powerful that it can take us so close to Allah, even up to the ‘Arsh! At the top is the last bit of the story where the Prophet saw, during Mi’raj, is riding on Buraq where Angel Jibraeel tells him how the Tasbih came about and the Dhikr to complete it. She also added a 3D star to show that Bibi Fatema is Az Zahra, the Shining Star and the Lady of Light.
It’s the birthday of Imam Ali (pbuh)!
Below is a compilation of some ideas by amazing mums from around the world, on how you can mark it with your children/classes:
- Have younger children research and present one hadith by Imam Ali (as)
- Older children can do a short skit/play on his birth/life
- Have a gameshow with questions on Imam Ali (as)
- Have a poem writing competition with the subject being Imam Ali (as)
- Make Father’s Day cards with a hadith inside
- Make bookmarks and write Ali on top and decorate them
- Try this craft: https://www.buzzideazz.com/craft-on-imam-ali-as/
- This Nahjul Balagha Mini-Book by Towards Jannah is great to do
- Here is a Nahjul Balagha reflection journal for older children
- Read ‘The Secret Jar’ (By Kisa Kids) and then have a honey tasting session
- This links to a story on Imam Ali’s birth in the Kaaba (slides)
- Read this jellybean poem on Imam Ali (as) and have the children colour it in, and then finish off with some jellybeans for them to eat as a wiladat treat! Alternatively, one mum used M&M’s instead:
- Create Imam Ali (AS) bags for the less fortunate: “We first explained how Imam Ali always helped people. We then went to the store and she picked items she thought everyone would need on a daily basis – comb, toothbrush, snacks. We came home and she packed everything into ziplock bags and asked the grandparents to come home to help write Hadith from Imam Ali (as) on the hearts which we put in the bags. Inshallah we will be distributing them to the people we came across on the street.”
- Or why not follow in his footsteps and take some food with your children to a food bank near you. Imam used to make every effort to feed those who had no food, often giving away the little he and his family had!
- This is a simple rhyme that goes to the tune of Barney’s I Love You song. These posters (Allah loves Imam Ali!_Rhyme) can be used alongside the relevant lines:
- Here are some more rhymes:
Props like laminated picture of number “1”, a small cube painted like Kaaba, a toy lion from a dollar store, a ring, and the picture of a sword or a toy sword can be used when singing the rhymes, to help visual learning.
- Mystery box: Usually used during circle time, you (or ask a child to) pull out items one by one that related to the theme or special person. As you take them out you explain the meaning or significance, and help deepen and broaden the children’s understanding of the theme or special person by attaching a visual and/tangible object to represent the different attributes of said theme/person. To make it more exciting, even with very young kids (2-5), you can put all items back in box and at the end of your session you can ask them to remember what items were in box. It’s a good way of seeing how much they picked up as well 🙂
The items mentioned above and others below can be used for the mystery box idea:
- No. 1 – to represent him being the first Imam
- A small Kaaba – to represent where he was born
- A toy lion – he was known as Asad-ullah
- A ring – for when he gave charity while in ruku
- A sword – to represent his sword of Zulfiqar
- A door – to represent Khaybar/city of knowledge
- A prayer mat, bread/rice – as he used to feed the poor at night
- A bed – as he slept in the Prophet’s bed on the night of Hijra)
- A spool of thread – to show how he used to mend his own clothes
- A pen – because he transcribed/compiled the Quran
- Scales – for his sense of justice
- A small book – to symbolise Nahjul Balagha/Dua Kumail
- A picture of his shrine in Najaf
- The letter ‘ayn’ for his name
- This short document on Imam Ali (as) might be useful:
- Read ‘Isa Climbs Mt Mushkil’ and watch the corresponding nasheed:
A craft to go with this is making a shield with Naade Ali on it:
- Here are some video resources on Imam Ali (as)
- Here are some more nasheeds reflecting his qualities:
- And here’s a movie on Imam Ali (as):
- This is a craft one mum and daughter worked on. This is what mum said:
“FZ and I made a luminarium (paper lantern) using waxed paper that we normally use for baking, crayon shavings, oil pastels and sharpies, to celebrate the birthday of the Prince of Believers, Imam Ali as! We used a candle in a glass holder on the inside to ‘light’ it up, and the overall effect was pretty awesome. Luminarium tutorial here.
Over the past week, we had discussed various aspects of Imam Ali’s life and teachings through stories and activities…his miraculous birth, devotion to Rasulullah and Islam, steadfastness in belief, compassion and charity towards those less fortunate, love of children, and his bravery, strength and courage. To culminate our activities, we talked about Sermon 187 from Nahjul Balagha, where Imam Ali as says: ‘Amongst you, I am like a lamp in the darkness. Make your way through Life by my Light…’ (paraphrased)
FZ used sharpies and oil pastels to draw her designs onto the front and back of the luminarium. She wrote ‘Ya Ali’ on the front and the drawing on the back is ‘a beautiful palace in Jannah for the Shia of Ali as’. Insha’Allah we shall be lighting up our luminarium often as a visual reminder to always hold on to the Rope of Allah swt (Qur’an 3:103) through His Chosen Ones.
Idea 6: Have a Sufro for children!
Check out this great idea sent in by someone
“This is the month of duas…how about having a sufro with kheer and puri. I remember we used to get all excited at the thought of finding a ring in our kheer bowl, wearing white and green, making all our duas in this month and reciting Imam Jaffer Sadiq’s (as) munajat.”
* Note: These days, putting rings in the kheer may be a health and safety risk, but why not give them rings as fatiha later?
For more information on sufro/nazr, check out the following sites:
I came across this idea some time ago on a blog, and filed it away as a cool thing to do. Then with Rajab approaching, I thought it might be a great way to encourage my kiddos (and ourselves!) to make the most of this month in terms of doing as much good as we can, as the 7th Imam has said: “Rajab is a glorious month. Allah doubles good deeds…”
When I went online to look it up, I actually found that lots of people have used these – with a great deal of success! Initially I wanted to make a separate jar for each of us, as the Quran says: “so compete with each other in good action” (2:148). However, my son reminded me that actually Islam encourages us to do good in secret and to not show off to each other, and so if we were all to use one big jar, no one would know who had contributed what. So in the end, that’s what we did.
We took a jar, and decorated it. When any of us have done something good, we simply write it on a piece of paper and pop it in. (Younger kids could simply take a pom pom or something similar and put one in). When it is full, we have promised the children that we will have a treat, whether it is going bowling, picnic, out for ice-cream, etc – we are focusing on the reward being spending time together as opposed to a purely material treat.
When looking online, I found lists of ideas that people can do, and decided to share some here. Maybe print it out and stick it up where everyone can see it and be inspired?:
1. Give someone a hug today.
2. Write a thank you note to someone.
3. Hold the door for someone.
4. As an elderly neighbour if they need any help.
5. Pick up a piece of litter.
6. Let someone else go first.
7. Share something that is yours.
8. Help clean up.
9. Clean your room without being asked to.
10. Say something nice to someone.
11. Call your grandparents just to say hello.
12. Give some money to charity.
13. Make mum/dad a cup of tea.
14. Hang your coat up.
15. Vacuum a room.
16. Unpack your lunchbox after school.
17. Help get your lunchbox ready.
18. Get dressed for school without being told to.
19. Take out the rubbish.
20. Play nicely with a younger child.
21. Say a dua for someone.
22. Read a story to someone.
23. Write a letter to a cousin and mail it to them.
24. Help with laundry.
25. Put someone else’s toys away for them.
26. Give someone a compliment.
27. Smile at three people today.
28. Say hello to someone first.
29. Make your neighbours something sweet.
30. Help your friend/sibling if they’re stuck with something.
Happy good-deeding everyone, and Jummah Mubarak!
P.S. This is the final idea for this series – unless you have more that is, then please send them in!
There is a beautiful hadith about anyone who performs the prayers this evening, the first Thursday night of the month of Rajab. It says that anyone who performs the prayers, on the first night in his grave Allah will send down them down as a person with a beautiful and very bright face, who will give that person the good tidings that Allah has given you security from all hardship and sorrows of the grave. The dead person will be amazed and he will ask this person, “Who are you? I have never seen a beautiful face like yours, nor did I ever hear someone speak so softly and sweetly.” The person will answer, “I am the reward of the prayers that you had performed on such year at such place and on such and such night. I have come to give you company in your loneliness and to remove your fear; and on the day of judgement when you will be awakened I will be your shade.”
If our children are young, maybe we can encourage them to simply recite a two rakaat salaat but with the intention of fulfilling the importance of this night? Then followed by either a simple sajda where they just talk to Allah and thank Him for everything, or if they are old enough, do the Sajda part of the prayers – reciting the dhikr once (instead of 70 times).
The aim inshallah is nothing too weighty but just enough to feel like this is a special evening…maybe end with a special treat for having done the above 🙂
Iltemase dua tonight!
There is a short and sweet dua for Rajab, which is recommended to be recited daily, especially after the prayers.
To try and involve the children, why not print it out and stick it on some card, decorate it together, and then place it where they can see it everyday?
Depending on the age of the children, you can help them understand the dua by rephrasing it. I have attempted it here for the little ones, please do use it if you find it useful:
In the Name of Allah, the most Kind, the most Merciful
Oh Allah, bless Muhammad and his family
Oh He, from whom I hope for everything good, and I am safe from His anger at everything bad
Oh He, who gives so much even though we do so little
Oh He, who gives to anyone who asks Him
Oh He, who gives to anyone who doesn’t even ask Him or know Him, out of His kindness and mercy
Please give me, as I am asking only from you, all the good things from this world and all the good things from the hereafter
Please keep away from me, as I am asking only from you, all the bad things from this world and all the bad things from the hereafter
Because what You give does not mean You have less
Please give me lots from your bounty, O The Generous
O The Inspiring and The Distinguished
O The Bountiful and The Magnaminous
O The Gracious and The Mighty
Save me from Jahannam
P.S. Following on from this idea, Busy Mummys had the brainwave of turning it into a poster! So if you don’t think you will get around to decorating it with your children but would still like to have it up for them to read every day, check out our FREE download on the Buzz Ideazz website.
Dhikr is very highly emphasised this month. Why not gift them a tasbeeh if they don’t have one already, and keep it near their bed as a reminder to do dhikr just before they go to sleep.
1. Asking for forgiveness – The older ones can recite Astaghfirullaha wa as-aluhu tawba. (I seek forgiveness from Allah, and I pray He accepts my repentance.) whereas little ones can simply be encouraged to say i’m sorry for every bead, and think about something they may have done wrong.
2. Repeating Laa ilaha illAllah (There is no God but Allah). Share this awesome hadith with them! The Holy Prophet said that if we recite it 1000 times, Allah will grant us 1000 rewards and houses in heaven. Ask them to imagine this as they are reciting!
3. For older children, the following dhikr can be done: The Prophet said that we should recite Astaghfirullahal-ladhee laa ilaaha illaa Huw, wahdahu laa shareeka lah, wa atoobu ilayh (I ask forgiveness from Allah Whom there is no God besides He, and He has no partner, and I repent before Him) 400 times. The reward of that will be the same as 100 martyrs would receive!
And let’s not forget to do these dhikrs ourselves Inshallah!
It’s Rajab! As e-mails are bouncing around on how to make the most of this month in preparation for the holy month of Ramadhan ahead, it might be a good time to think about how we can help convey its importance to our children as well…
So here’s the first of our short series on Rajab, sent in by someone who has loads of other creative ideas!
“Create an easy and effective wall display to emphasise the importance of the months leading up to the holy month and indeed the holy month itself.
There are large bold letters spelling the names of the month – a nice craft activity. We also used a calendar print out from QFatima. Include written or typed important dates in those months, and one Hadith about the month.
It ends up to be a beautiful colourful display and a great source of information for the children.”