Monday, April 26, 2010

Reading Project Coming Soon Insha'Allah!

Assalamu aliakum,

Insha'Allah, on May 15, 2010, 'A Muslim Child is Born' will launch a new reading project; one I hope that you will all participate in insha'Allah. This is a project that I had hoped to begin here in my own community but because I was not able to I decided that I still want to share the joy of reading any way possible insha'Allah. I will insha'Allah tell you the name of the project and the details of participation as we draw closer to the launch date insha'Allah.

The project is simple (and fun) insha'Allah. Every month on the 15th I will post a book on the blog and provide activity ideas/suggestions to be done with the book insha'Allah. I intend to feature books (with activity ideas) to be read with children from birth to 5 year insha'Allah and I'll be on the lookout for Islamic books as a primary focus. All you have to do, if you'd like to participate, is on that day make it a priority to read to your child out loud and do a small activity with him/her insha'Allah. You do not have to use the book that I feature here; of course you can select any book you wish insha'Allah.

As the time to launch the project draws near, insha'Allah I will have a button that you can put on your blog/site and you can (and are encouraged to) write a post about how the experience went and what you and your child(ren) did, what book you read, what activity you did, etc. Do you all also want to do a blog hop? It is where you can leave the link to your post right in the Reading Program Post so others can easily hop over to your blog to see what you read with your little one insha'Allah.

I decided to do this only once a month to make it "do-able" and not overwhelming insha'Allah. The primary goal is to encourage reading aloud to children. It is my hope that insha'Allah, mums, dads, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters will pick up a book and invite a little one to snuggle up with them and read a book. It is a wonderful thing to be read aloud to and this is an experience that I wish all children to have biithnillah.

I even have the ambitious hope that this project will catch on in communities/masaajids across the world insha'Allah. If a sister can arrange to have parents of children birth to 4 years old (I would even suggest putting the 4 and 5 year olds in a different session insha'Allah) come to the masjid once each month for a half of an hour to be read aloud to insha'Allah, that would be amazing. If the sister wishes to print and use the resources/activities posted here (or make her own), she can require that the participants pay a small fee - only enough to cover the cost of printing and buying large ziplock freezer bags to put the activities in for each child. When she has finished the story she can hand out a bag to each child to take home insha'Allah. Then sit back and watch as in each session the children's eyes are expectant and eager as they wait to journey in their imagination yet again insha'Allah. But I must mention this next point as it is critical: If you are participating in this program and you are Muslim (because you don't have to be Muslim to participate), please, please do not read books that contain things that contradict Islamic principles. Commit to excellence in your adherence of the deen insha'Allah. Your Lord is Watching; make it your sole goal to please Him insha'Allah.

If you wish to do this in your community here are some basic principles to adhere to (just to help get you started) insha'Allah:

  1. Always start your program on time insha'Allah.
  2. Prepare your materials ahead of time insha'Allah. If you are going to hand out an activity at the end, prepare them and have them in their bags before you arrive at the location where you will read insha'Allah.
  3. Read the book ahead of time (more than once if needed) to ensure your reading is smooth, fluent and lively insha'Allah.
  4. In your first meeting, clearly define the program for the parents (i.e. bring the children on time and stay with them at all times insha'Allah). Explain to the parents who have signed up to participate that bringing children into the program late is a distraction and takes away from the experience of the other children. In Islam, the rights of all must be protected and not violated.
  5. Briefly discuss behaviours that are expected (and those that will not be tolerated) during the session. Remind the participants that we must not harm with our hands or tongues. If being done in the masjid, remind the participants that we must respect Allah's House and those in it. 
  6. Relax, give the characters in the book personalities, don't be afraid to stumble over a word and correct yourself, have fun, have fun and then...have fun insha'Allah.  
I hope to officially launch the program May 15, 2010 insha'Allah so please check back a few days before then to pick up a button and head to the library to find a good book insha'Allah. From my end, I will need to visit a few Islamic bookstores and find some good reads insha'Allah (smile).

I cannot say how much I hope that children will benefit from this project insha'Allah. I ask Allah to accept it from us and to place it on our scale of good deeds on Yaumul Qiyamah (The Day of Judgment), a Day about which there is no doubt, the day all of the creation will stand before the Lord of all that exists and be held accountable.  There is only one God, He has no partners and no associates. Strive to please Him. Strive with your best striving. This can be a sadaqa jariyyah (continuous charity) on your part - giving a child the gift of words and reading. This is a foundation that you can help to build biithnillah's free. Free is good.

Come back soon, grab a button and get ready to read insha'Allah.

We are seeking Your Noble Face ya Rabbil Alamin...please accept it from us...ameen.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sheikh Al-Albaani on the Impermissibility of Hitting Children

Assalamu aliakum,

This is a fatwaa from our esteemed Sheikh Muhammad Naasir Ad-Deen Al-Albaani  (rahimullah) about the impermissibility of hitting children.

Ruling on Hitting Children

Author: Sheikh Muhammad Naasir Ad-Deen Al-Albaani

Is it permissible to hit children as a form of discipline?

Question: "The teacher may sometimes turn to hitting in order to discipline is student. Firstly, is it permissible to hit the student? Secondly, is it permissible to hit him in the face?"

Answer: "As far as hitting in the face, this is not permissible due to the statement of the Prophet, may peace and blessings be upon him, "Do not hit the face and do not disfigure." Regarding the second part, is it permissible to hit the student in general as a means of discipline; the answer must make mention of the statement of the Prophet, "Command your children to pray when they reach the age of seven and hit them if they leave it off when they reach the age of ten and separate them from each other in the beds."

"In this hadith is a proof that for the student, rather the child, whether he is a student or not, it is not permissible for the one in charge of him to hit him due to his deficiency in obeying the commands until he reaches the age of ten. Command your children to pray when they reach the age of seven and hit them if they leave it off when they reach the age of ten and separate them from each other in the beds. Without a doubt, the Hukm (ruling) or Ahimiyah (importance) of whatever knowledge any teacher wants to present to his students will not be equal to the importance of prayer. Therefore, if the Prophet himself prohibits the father from hitting his child due to not praying, until he reaches the age of ten, then with all the more reason, it is not permissible for other than the father (from those in charge) to hit the children for something other than leaving off the salah until he reaches the age of ten. Thus, it is not permissible for the teacher to hit the child even if he did not obey him regarding the salah. What else exists from the other affairs that are as important as the Salah. "In this connection, I would like to also add that the age of puberty for girls and boys differs tremendously from country to country. I know that in general, in countries of warm climate, the hormones may mature at a faster rate; thus the age of takleef (duty: obligation to observe precepts of religion) would be reached at an earlier age than it would in a colder climate. Then this rule should not be taken in a general way but rather each country should study the children or it should be done in a more detailed way. For example one would find out whether this particular child reached the age of puberty or is he still in childhood? So whatever seems to predominate from this study, the hukm (ruling) would be decided."

He was then asked: "With regards to hitting, if the child had bad banners and hit.." Sheikh Al-Albaani began saying: "There is no hitting, no hitting at all. Rather there is directing, advising and speech. Sometimes words have a greater affect on people than hitting. In addition, hitting with some people does not help at all, rather it makes them continue on what their upon more and more. What is important is that the best of all guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him. Thus the child is not to be hit so long that he did not reach the age of puberty. "On this note, I understand from the gradual teaching of the Prophet
that was previously mentioned in the hadith, 'Command your children to pray ... ' to the end of the hadith, I understand from this hadith that it is wrong what I see take place with many fathers. He commands his child to pray before reaching the age of seven. This is opposition to the commandment of the Prophet, may peace and blessings be upon him. 'Command your children to pray when they reach the age of seven.' That is why it is not appropriate for the Muslim to put the commandment in effect before what the Prophet defined initially. It is ok for the father to permit his child to come along with him to pray with him in the masjid. But as far as him telling him, "Come here, get up, go make wudoo' and pray." and the child has not yet reached the age of seven, this is opposition to this hadith, so I just wanted to remind you all of that."

He was also asked: "Sheikh, regarding hitting, sometimes you find students leave their houses and have no manners, even good advice does not benefit them, so does hitting them fall into necessity?"
Sheikh Al-Albaani replied: "There is no necessity, where is the necessity here. Can you comprehend that hitting would benefit when the One who created him said, do not hit him until he reaches the age of seven."

Excerpt taken from an audio cassette lecture titled: "La Qushoor fil Islam." by: Sheikh Al-Albaani

Monday, April 19, 2010

Food Theme: Guest Post

Assalamu aliakum,

Alhamduillah, Umm Maimoonah has a treat for us once again! She documented her daughter's learning the fruits in Arabic from this post. Jazakillahu Khayr sis Umm Maimoonah for agreeing to once again share Maimoonah's learning adventure.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Alhamdulillaah for Food!
by guest blogger: Umm Maimoonah

Alhamdulillaah, we had great fun doing this theme Masha Allaah, and sis Umm Nu’man invited me to share our experience once again. So here we go…

We began by reading the book “Eating and Drinking” by Daarul Kitaab.

I explained to her that we need food to get strong so that we can worship Allaah and I reminded her that Allaah has created us only to worship Him alone. This book has the etiquettes of eating and drinking and masha'Allaah, she already knew the duas and was familiar with the contents of the book as we read this very often.

Then we read a little more about food in the encyclopedia and learnt that food consists of nutrients. We wrote the 6 kinds of nutrients on our white board so that we remember throughout the lesson Insha'Allaah. She learnt this so soon Masha'Allaah!

Then we made the Qaamoos and she started colouring the pictures and pasted and made the Colour and Learn Book.

And this is how the books look Masha'Allaah. We read and she learnt all the Arabic terms too.
Now it was time to have fun with real food! I taught her how to lay the table and here she goes…

  The next day she did this on her own Masha'Allaah!

Then she started matching the real food ! While doing this I mentioned the nutrients found in each food item. And now whenever she eats she asks what do you get in this food?

After matching she wanted to go shopping to buy food and she did her pretend play by putting the fruits and vegetables into a bag at the supermarket! Lol!

She liked matching real food and was not interested in the matching activity so I thought of something else and made a small environmental studies book and we began with the theme “Food”. This way, I thought each theme we will do something so that she can refer back altogether at the same time and this will be a good revision Insha'Allaah. This is what I did!
I took a botany exercise book and pasted the matching activity materials on to the book . We divided the food items according to the nutrients and pasted theme on each page. I introduced sight words to her and she tries to read Masha'Allaah, so I included matching activities too. When she learns the words she can match them with the pictures Insha'Allaah. Then we read the book. As we read she started running to the table to bring real food to match with the pictures again.. She loves this book and keeps reading it all the time Masha'Allaah. This is how it looks and you can see her in action!

Finally, we thought we would do something yummy! We made a chocolate biscuit pudding! For those of you who want to try it out here is the recipe Insha'Allaah!

Icing sugar 500g

cocoa powder 60-70 g

Butter (the regular size anchor butter, not the small one)

4 eggs

4-5 packets of marie biscuits

Cashew nuts

Milk (to soak biscuits)

Vanilla to taste.

Beat the egg whites separately until fluffy. Set aside.

Beat the butter, egg yolks, cocoa powder and icing sugar in another bowl (add sugar little by little).

Fold it with the beaten egg whites.

Add vanilla and mix.

Arrange the milk soaked biscuits and then a layer of pudding, biscuits again and then pudding, make as many layers as you like. Chop the cashew nuts very finely and you can put it in every layer with pudding, or just on the top for decoration and you can also add chocolate syrup.

That’s it! Enjoy! I'd love to read your comments... :)
Alhamdulillaah, once again we had a joyful learning session throughout the week and may Allaah reward sis Umm Nu’man for all her hard work. Hope you enjoyed this long post (smile) !

Until next time Assalaamu Alaikum!

Umm Maimoonah

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Books to support the Transportation Theme Activities

Assalamu alaikum,

This is a bit late but I thought it still may be helpful insha'Allah. Here are several books that support the transportation theme activities from this post insha'Allah. Right now, we're enjoying Red Truck:

Red Truck

and these other books too!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Clothes Theme Activities (Arabic/English) - Part 1

Assalamu alaikum,

Alhamdulillah, here is the next theme: Clothes.

This theme has some math activities included. There are two file folder games:

The child matches the shirt with the Arabic number on it to the shirt with the corresponding number of buttons.

The Second File Folder Game: 

The child matches the shirt with the Arabic number on it to the corresponding hanger with the matching Arabic number on it. There are also black and white shirts for this file folder game as well alhamdulillah.

In this picture, you see that you can use the pieces from the first file folder game in both games insha'Allah!

Next in the theme is a puzzle (I was thinking of sister Fateema's little boy *smile*):

I mounted the full shirt and the pieces on sturdy cardboard for durability. There is also a black and white version of this puzzle in the file alhamdulillah.

Next, is a little cut and paste storybook that has story time pieces to go with it:

(all story time pieces not shown)
When the piece of clothing that a child is holding comes up in the story, he/she lifts his/her stick. These can also be used to invite children to make up stories about the piece of clothing he/she has. In the file you will notice that there are extra pieces of clothing. After your child chooses which clothes he/she wishes to glue into the story you can use the remaining clothing to make the story book pieces insha'Allah.

To get this text on left side, picture on right, you have to glue the opposing pages together (i.e. the back of the cover of the book with the back of the first page and so on). Otherwise, you will have a blank page in between each page which looks strange (smile).

The text is repetitive to help with fluency and word recognition. The only word that changes is the word that matches the piece of clothing on the left page.

The dua' for getting dressed is the last page of the book

**And a really important thing that I forgot! (sis Umm Maimoonah pointed this out...hehe), I didn't include the English words for the pieces of clothing!**

Here's a quick reference for the cut and paste book (until I upload a file for it insha'Allah):

- Qamees - shirt
- Sirwal - pants
- Fustaan - dress
- Jawaarib - Socks
- Hidha' - Shoes
- Mi'taf - Coat/Jacket

Here are the files for this theme:

In part two of this post, I think I will try to do a clothing tot book insha'Allah along with some other activities and different clothing too insha'Allah. Check back insha'Allah!


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