Holiday Time – Six Types of Halal Fun You Can Have with your Family

Originally published on http://www.habibihalaqas.org/2013/01/holiday-time-six-types-of-halal-fun-you.html

Assalamualaikum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatahu,

holiday time

It is holiday time!!! Be it Christmas vacation, summer break or as small as the weekends off, we all love holidays, do we not?! It is those precious few days we get to relax and get away from the everyday hustle-bustle as a student, an employee or a head of a company. The best part about holidays is the time we get to spend with our families. But with the advent of technology and gadgets, we are losing out on those golden hours that should be spent with our family! Holiday time has now become a boon for surfing the net for long hours, watching soccer matches or playing the new PS3 game; in other words, more time to be a couch potato.

Today, holiday time is when kids get crankier because they are “SO bored” at home, so they keep cribbing for what seems like forever asking their parents to take them out, everyday! So what can be done about this: “I have no time for family time.”? What can we do to have some fun, yet utilize our time productively and rekindle the “family-time” spirit again? The cherry on the cake would definitely be learning something new about Islam every day, would it not?

Here are six ways to help you do exactly that –

1. Develop hobbies together
Be it parents with their kids or spouses with one another,  explore new hobbies or an area of interest that both of you would love to do together. It could be gardening, hosting a charity or playing your favourite sport. The possibilities are vast! Find that one hobby which suits you best. This will help you spend time together while having some fun too, inshaAllah.

2. Family Story Time
I know teens dread when their parents start with “You know when I was young this, this and this happened.” But believe me the moment you stop thinking of it as a rant and more as a story, it is bliss! Plus, it really is interesting to know about your parents’ childhood, the things they did… how the culture was back then, what they filled their days doing, their parents, their relatives, their siblings and there is also the story of how they got married! 😀 Moreover, I also realize that much of why my parents do certain things the way they do was linked to some incident in their life that taught them a lesson which they do not want me to repeat! Realizations like these in turn help us to understand them much better, Alhumdulillah!

3. Islamic Story Time
If you have little kids or even otherwise, there could be no story better than the stories from the Quran and those from Islamic history that you could tell them. Buy books, browse them on the net and either discuss them together or read it once and narrate it to them in a story telling fashion.

4. Learning the Fun Way
You are relaxed, no work, no studies to do! But let us not forget that now is the best time to learn more about Islam too. One way to make learning fun is by twisting fun family games in a way that by the end, you have learned something too! For example, ever played Jenga? It is that game in which you build a tower using small rectangular cubes. Next, each person carefully removes one cube at a time making sure that the tower does not collapse. The Islamic learning twist here could be that whoever makes the tower fall needs to answer either a quiz question (you could have quiz cards made in advance) or he or she narrates a hadith that they have learned and share their reflections about it.

5. Read Quran Together
Block out a time of the day to sit and read the Quran. One person could read one verse each with its meaning, or in any way you would like to do it. But whichever way you decide, make sure everyone is involved and listening attentively. One website to consider using for reading the translation of the Quran in a way that is appealing to kids is the blog – “Teaching Kids the Holy Quran”. The brother who runs this website uploads visuals for each verse which makes it fascinating and intriguing at the same time.

6. Outdoor Fun
Go out together on short trips or on one day picnics. Choose places that are more nature oriented, that way you not only enjoy fresh air that is soothing to your lungs but also get the opportunity to reflect on the Creation of Allah subhaanahuwa ta’aala.

Holidays are the only time you get complete 24 hours to bond with your family; do not waste these days by sleeping all day long or indulging in technology ignoring the people around you. Make the best of every moment by spending quality time with people you care about and those who care about you!

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The Timely Reminders

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu,

I wrote this last night but didn’t end up publishing it. Just a reflection on the reminders that Allah sent my way in the last few days.

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This is probably a bad time to blog about this… Since I have college test tmrw for which I have hardly studied and also the fact that it’s one of the blessed night where I need to be searching of Layla-tul-Qadr. But I had to write about this!

Last few days haven’t been easy.. and as I fact I am not expecting anything different from the days that follow. I wont lie but my Ramadan hasn’t been as good as it could have. The only thing I am glad I have done this month is attend the Taraweeh prayers. Other than that there is nothing much that I am happy about and can say I have put an effort to work for to make best use of this blessed month. May Allah forgive me and accept the little efforts that I could put in. May He accept my night prayers and grant me forgiveness atleast because of it!

Back to what I wanted to share. Like I said I have tests tmrw and I have loads to study still! In the midst of studying from notes which are on my laptop, I have a habit of taking breaks and surfing net in the middle. While I am doing that and while at the same time my mind is actually messed up about this xyz matter… I get a new msg notification. I check to see it’s one from my dear friend Nasmira .. She sent a msg which reads — Continue reading

Ramadan – The Rain of Mercy and Forgiveness is upon us

Assalamualaikum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatahu,

My recent article Originally Published on http://www.habibihalaqas.org/2012/08/ramadan-rain-of-mercy-and-forgiveness.html

Bismillah

It is human psychology that we love anything extra that has been given to us. A child is happier when he/she gets not one, but two chocolates. A teenager is happier when he/she gets extra pocket money for the month. Likewise an adult is happier when they get a bonus in their salary.

I’ve never been fond of summer. The scorching heat always gets a frown from me. A few days back on one such summer day, the weather turned its course. As I sat on my college stairs talking to my friend, lost in words, the sound of water drops brings my attention to the change. It’s pouring! It’s raining! I rush to watch one of Allah’s delightful blessings.

There’s something about rain that makes me happy; and rain during summer is an added bonus to the year. The rain drops bring with them a sign. When Allah cools the heated ground by the coolness of the droplets – His mercy pours. When He wets the dry earth by the rain – His mercy pours.

For a believer, the month of Ramadan is like that rain during summer time. For 11 months the believer struggles fighting the shaytan, works hard toward pleasing Allah(swt) and as a bonus Allah blesses his year with the pleasure of Ramadan – when it rains of Allah(swt) mercy and forgiveness for not one, two or three days but Continue reading

Ramadan activities for the little Ummah – Resources, Tips and more…

Assalamualaikum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatahu,

Ramadan is just a day or 2 ahead, with preparations in swing I am sure all of you are as excited as I am to make the best use of this month, inshaAllah! 🙂

While we have our preparations and goals set, those of us who have kids in the family let’s not forget to take out time to educate the little Ummah about what Ramadan is all about.

Image source: Google.com

A few activities for them can be:

  • Talk to them about Allah (swt), Jannah and everything that He has blessed us with.
  • Take out few mins in a day to read the Quran together with translation and discuss about it. “Teaching Kids the holy Quran” should be a great site to make them understand better, inshaAllah.
  • Educate them about why we fast. Sister Yasmin Mogahed adviced in a webinar to not reward the child with gifts such as money, toys etc since this makes them associate fasting just for temporary rewards and if you take the reward away from them they may lose interest. So, instead tell them about the rewards of fasting and how Allah loves them more and will bless them with better things in Jannah as a gift for fasting for His sake, inshaAllah.
  • Allot a certain time during the day or a day during the week to tell them stories of Prophets(peace be upon them all).  If you do not have any book from which you can read it out to them then read the story on net and narrate it to them in your own words.
  • Make a Ramadan fun pack –  this can contain coloring pages, books to read, and some Ramadan craft work materials and ideas. (Useful resources to get these linked below).

I was looking out for some fun things for Ramadan through which kids might learn something good about Ramadan and also be able to spend their time well rather than watching TV. I found some wonderful sites and suggestions for the same. Here’s a list of the sites: Continue reading

8 ways to make Ramadan a month of change in your life

Assalamaualaikum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatahu,

With just a week for Ramadan, I hope all of you have your Ramadan goals set! 🙂 If not, you still have time, alhumdulillah, start brainstorming and decide what is it that you want to do this Ramadan, what do you want to achieve?! InshaAllah if time permits I will be posting Ramadan prepration articles and sources that can be used, until then you can also read the articles I shared last Ramadan – Ramadan 2011.

But to begin with here is an article I wrote for HabibiHalaqas.  Anything good from it is from Allah (swt) and any mistake is from my weakness or shaytaan. May Allah make this article be a source of inspiration to all of us.

8 ways to make Ramadan a month of change

Originally published at http://www.habibihalaqas.org/2012/07/8-ways-to-make-ramadan-month-of-change.html

Bismillah

I always believe change is good. It’s a part of our life. If everything in life was stagnant, life would cripple us. Thus, all that we feel or experience is a blessing in disguise from Allah subhaana wa ta’aala and so is change.

We all know the change that comes with the month of Ramadan. Our entire day-to-day routine is changed- While we were struggling to wake up for fajr throughout the year, we see ourselves up an hour before fajr during Ramadan. While we are disconnected from the Quran throughout the year, we try hard to complete the entire Quran during Ramadan be it by reading it on your own or in tarawaeeh prayers. But have you ever sat back and thought that why this change is only temporary in most our lives? We do see these changes as something positive, right? We all know how important it is for us to establish our Salah on time, how important it is to stay connected to Quran but yet we let these actions fade away so easily once Ramadan is over! Some of us even go a step further and give up our bad habits like listening to music this month, but just the day after Eid we are back to square one watching TV, listening to music and what not! Makes me question – Are we just Muslims during Ramadan? Surely not we might say, but our actions definitely depict that, astaghfirullah!

Did you know that it is a scientifically proven fact that Continue reading

I dream a dream…

“Dreaming to live the dream,
that is to be a part of the Dream.
Is that too big a dream?
Well only time will tell! InshaAllah! :)”

I have never had any big dreams or goals when it came to my education. I have been a very non-fussy person and was ok with any university/college I got into, alhumdulillah. I remember when I was in 10th grade and my classmates would wish to be in the best college in the city, while I just studied and passed with good marks(alhumdulillah) least interested about which college I would be able to get into.

But that was a long time back.

The first time I saw the video of this particular university, I fell in love with it.

It’s definitely the first time I am wishing to be in some university. It’s my dream to be a part it someday. It all seems very unrealistic and illogical to wish for it, considering the distance of this place from where I live. But … there’s hope. Someday I will be there… sitting amongst the other muslimahs in class, listening to the first lecture of my dream course – THE DREAM intensive course, inshaAllah!

May Allah open our hearts and bless it with love and understanding of the Quran. May Allah grant us the ability and means to be a part of this course and benefit ourselves and others around us through it. May Allah help us in our effort to make our dreams a reality. Ameen.

-Potential Hijabi

P.S. @ Nasmira and x@hu .. Someday we will be a part of it.. inshaAllah!  🙂

The Uncertainties of Future

Uncertainties of future are many,

My anxious mind doesn’t stop at any.

Life I wish would come at a standstill,

because thinking of what tomorrow awaits makes my heart ill.

It’s tawakkul in Him that keeps me going…

Who knows about tomorrow but Al-Alim(All knowing),

Al-Hakeem(The Perfectly Wise) who has wisdom that none posses.

So it is in His court that I leave the matter,

Because it is in Him I put my trust, for the better.

What is meant to be has already been decreed,

the pen has been lifted and the pages have dried

Long before I came into being.

So, I’ll let the Al-Wakeel(The Ultimate Trustee) do His work

while I deviate my thoughts in building a better today,

knowing that tomorrow is in safe hands of  Al-Wadood(All-Loving).

-Potential Hijabi

Yaa Hayyu Ya Qayyoom bi Ramatika astagheeth
(O Ever-living, O Sustainer, by Your mercy, I seek your help – Ameen)

P.S. That was absolutely random.. I just had to let my thoughts out. Wanted to write an article but my ‘writers block’ didn’t let me and with all the random thoughts running in my head, this was the the final result! Well, atleast I feel better now, Alhumdulillah, what a blessing writing is! 🙂