Thankfulness is very much the ‘in’ thing right now, with studies showing how an ‘attitude of gratitude’ has so much benefits to our well being. This is something Islam has told us from the start, and we are encouraged to be thankful 5 times a day after every salaah!
This diary is a great gift to keep encouraging our children to reflect on what they are thankful to Allah for 🙂
Sharing below this unique way of raising funds as well as gratitude in our little ones!
By Islam From The Start:
“To truly appreciate our blessings, we sometimes have to have them taken away. With that in mind, to help the little one understand what real gratitude feels like, we tried to think of ways that he could actually experience giving up some comforts. These are the challenges we came up with for the week ahead. (I’ll do them with him as added motivation.)
To instil a gratitude for:
Food – Try to do a half day fast. It took some persuasion, let’s see how it goes.
Toys – No screen time for a day! That’s no TV/ipad/iphone. (I’m going to find this one hard!)
Speech – Fast of silence for an hour.
Car – Walk a mile to the high street instead of using the car which is what we usually do.
I’m hoping it will provide a memorable experience which he can recall when he next thanks Allah for that particular blessing. At the same time, it will iA give him a small insight into what so many people around the world live without on a daily basis.
We’ve decided to incorporate the experience into a sponsored fundraiser for Gaza. The little one has recorded a short video clip to send out to family, using the challenge to appreciate his blessings, as a way to raise and contribute to those in need.
If you’d like to support him, you can make a donation online at:
Continuing with the theme of gratitude…check out this wonderful video on how being grateful increases our happiness
In terms of being grateful to Allah, i think that’s a series in itself! But here’s a wonderful plate craft done to show all the things they are grateful for! Also check out Busy Mummys for the Being Grateful activities they have done!
The last day of emulating the Prophet…
The Prophet (saw) continually reminded his followers to be ever grateful to their Lord, and the term shakir, meaning “one who is grateful,” is often used in Islam as a name of great honor among Muslims.
There are SO many benefits to gratitude which are shared by Muslims and non-Muslims alike – I recently came along this short Ted talk which really summarizes the beauty and effects of saying thank you to people around us.
Will also be sharing some other clips/activities on being grateful
(P.S. There is a small reference to being gay in the middle – just warning y’all in case you plan on watching with kids)
Sometimes we get so bogged down in the rites of prayer (wudhoo, dhikr, etc) that we forget WHY we are praying. So how do we teach this amazing philosophy of prayer that we have?
- When children are young – and especially if they are reluctant, rather than ‘making’ them pray, why not make them do a sajdah and encourage them to TALK to Allah. Is that not what salaah is all about anyway? A conversation with Him?
- Another idea is to remind them to link salaah to shukr. As someone commented: “…starting from, thanking Allah because of sooooooooo many blessings He has given us (try counting with them all the blessings and then give up saying “I can’t, there are just too many, uncountable”)”. Here again, modelling is essential. Do we only pray out 5 wajib salaah? Why not fall into sajdah when something good happens, and encourage our children to do the same?
- Show the children that salaah is also great for asking Allah for things, as He is the source of it all. When we need something, why not recite a two-rakaat salat for hajaat and let the children know you are doing this so they realise it has so many purposes?
- As they get older, we can try and explain the deeper meanings of remembering Him, being aware of His presence and explaining the philosophy of the different parts of salaah.
- Here are two articles that show how beneficial Salaah is to us PHYSICALLY as well! Here’s the first: Salaah makes your face glow (thanks in part to the blood that rushes to your face when we are in sujood) ?http://ilmfeed.com/this-is-why-praying-makes-your-face-glow/And following on from the previous post on Salaah helping us physically, here’s the second article on how Muslims do yoga five times a day ? A great way to perhaps explain the holistic aspects of salaah and that even when our kids (and us!) may go through a phase when they are not ‘feeling’ salaah, salaah is still always benefitting them!
And you really can’t get clearer than this!:
Hina Khan-Mukhtar says this:
Prayer should not be allowed to become a series of robotic yoga-like motions devoid of meaning or purpose. Zeeshan and I have been forthright with our kids and confessed to them that there will be times when prayer might feel like an inconvenient, rote duty that just needs to be discharged — and they may find themselves feeling disillusioned and disheartened when those thoughts come to them — but, nevertheless, the canonical prayer is never to be abandoned, no matter how ambivalent one might be feeling towards it in that moment.
“We worship Allah with our minds, bodies, and souls,” I remind my children. “If our minds and souls aren’t ‘into’ prayer for some reason, we can at least force our bodies to obey Him. And then we pray that He will eventually lead our minds and souls to follow our bodies in joy and submission as well. Allah is the One Who is in charge of our hearts. He can turn us to Him at any time He wills. We just have to make sure that we’re not the ones who’re turning away first.”
Many mums talk about having a dedicated space or wall area for Ramadan themed books, props and learning ideas. Here are a few ideas:
- Your advent calendar can have prize position 🙂
- A Ramadan banner can liven up the house. There are many free downloadable ones on the internet these days. Simply print on card, cut and hang!
- How about a bucket list for what they are going to do during the month? Eg. memorise a sura, give food to the neighbours, etc. Here is a great example!
- Why not have your Ramadan books/activity books out for easy access?
- A charity box is a good idea to have out, to encourage daily giving.
- A good deed jar may also help encourage them to give in another ways!
- Why not have a theme? Here is what one mum said: “This year our theme was the Quran. The hadith about the homes in which the Quran is recited shining bright for the angels to see if the main focus, and around it there are stars which Inshallah we all will fill with ayahs from the Quran that we come across, like and want to focus on. Quran City (Q-City) has been a focus of study for us for the last few months and so a poster of the city is up there are a reminder – thank you MUCH, QFatima! Our countdown of 10 clear plastic glasses strung together with numbers written on them have Quran quiz questions from Islam From the Start and some money for them to give sadqa. In the jar next to it are the Quran word cards from the 30 Day Ramadan Activity. I am not going to have the children stick it on a chart after they look the word up in the Quran, but stick it in their Ramadhan scrapbook instead along with their thoughts/notes.Lastly, the Juz Umma sticker charts will help us on the memorisation side of things – this year we will just be focussing on refreshing and retaining the suras we have learnt thus far – and this sticker chart is a great way to make it visual and fun.
- Here is another idea for a Quran wall. This idea was sent in by a mum, and once again allows the children to focus on the deeper understanding of the Quran. She said: “During recitation, they are to retain a word they want to know more about and make a note of it. They then write down which sura it was in and what the verse is referring to.”
- One mum had the theme of gratitude for Ramadan. Check out her wall here.
- On the theme of gratitude, here is what another mum did: