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!

Quran Tracker & Surah Ar-Rahman Memorization Printables

Assalamualaikum Wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatahu,

Ramadan Mubarak!!!! 🙂 May Allah make this Ramadan a month for us to wipe out all our sins, putting in all the effort we can to multiply our reward and above all to get much much closer to Al-wadood! :’)

So here’s your Ramadan treat … free Ramadan printables –  A Quran tracker, for you to schedule the amount of quran you read per day to be able to complete it during this month, inshaAllah! 🙂

And a Surah Memorization tracker for Surah Ar-Rahman,that is a suggestive schedule to memorize this amazing surah during this blessed month, inshaAllah. 🙂

Feel free, download them, print and 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

How to be a better muslim?

Source: I want to be a better muslim – nonchalante.tumblr.com

What is stopping you? Wanting to be something has never made anyone anything. It’s your drive, motivation, focus, and what you do that makes you what you want to be. If you want to be a better Muslim, do it.

  • Write a list of what you want to change. Choose 3 things every month. Do them. It takes a person approximately 21 days to develop a habit. If you start something at the beginning of the month and stick to it for at least 21 days, it should become second nature.
  • Get off the Internet and learn from hard cover books. If you don’t have them, then check your local Masjid. If they don’t, then get some e-books. Get a paper and pen and learn. Study the deen.
  • Don’t overburden yourself, but don’t underestimate yourself either. If you know you are capable of something, do it. Allaah will help you along the way. ‘Allaah will not change the condition of a people until they first change it themselves.’
  • Read. Read. Read. The more you read, the more likely you are to change.
  • Listen to Islamic lectures/audios/videos.
  • Talk less. It might sound simple, but the less you talk, the more you listen. The more you listen the more you are observing. The more you are observing, the clearer it becomes to what exactly you need to change and how to change it.
  • Lower your gaze. Sound silly? Lowering the gaze prevents you from extracurricular thoughts that may fog the mind. The purer the vision, the purer the mind, the cleaner the heart.
  • Don’t tell anyone about changing, just keep it to yourself. Be sincere. Don’t even tell yourself you’re changing, just change some bad habits.
  • Stop complaining about how changing is hard. Nothing is hard, it’s all about how much you let it overburden you and how much you’re willing to work on it.
  • Pray the night prayers. If you’re awake at 3 in the morning and on tumblr, the least you could do is offer 2 raka’t. Allaah descends in that portion of the night and asks His slaves for anything they want. If you want to change, ask for the strength necessary to change.
  • Focus on you. Are YOU changing your bad habits? Don’t think about what Clarese or Amina is doing. Do YOU first.
  • Take it one day at a time. Don’t think ‘oh, I’ll change forever and I’ll never do this again!’ that alone makes the shaytaan work that much harder against your weak nafs. Just think about not doing it for that day. You’re not even guaranteed a tomorrow so focus on the now. Go to bed and ask yourself: Did I accomplish my goal today? If not, intend on doing it tomorrow and accomplish it.
  • Make repentance your everything. Always always always repent. Never lose faith. Never lose heart. Shaytaan wants you to feel so ashamed that you don’t repent, when Allaah loves those who turn to Him in repentance.
  • Walking around? Seek forgiveness. Cooking? Seek forgiveness. Whatever you do, make it a habit to always seek forgiveness anytime and everywhere. You never know when Allaah will accept it from you.
  • & never say to yourself “I wish I was a better Muslim” no. Become it. Do it. Plus, have wishes ever come true? No. Make duaa that you become so.

That is all.

Source:nonchalante.tumblr.com

Even small things matter

We are always reminding ourselves and others of the things that are forbidden(haraam) in Islam. “Don’t do this.. It’s Haraam!!!”..”Oh my God, that is H-A-R-A-A-M!”.  As much as important it is to know what is haram, it’s also important to not make it sound like everything in Islam is Haraam. I mean, Alhumdulillah, Allah has bestowed his mercy on so many tiny things that we could do everyday and grab the reward for it. These are the things that we can constantly keep a check of in every work we do, so that we could increase our good deeds and rewards. After all, little drops make a mighty ocean,isn’t it?

Let’s not forget Prophet Muhammad(saw) said that the deed most beloved to Allah are the regular constant deeds even though they may be few.[Bukhari]

We say a simple Salaam to anyone, we’re rewarded..

We smile at someone, we’re rewarded..

We treat someone with kindness, we’re rewarded..

We pray in Masjid with Jamu’ah, we are rewarded 27 times more than those who pray alone..

We begin anything with Bismillah, that action of us is rewarded..

We end our activities with Alhamdulillah, we’re also rewarded..

We think of doing a good deed, we’re rewarded..

We control our temper, we’re rewarded..

We eat and drink with our right hand, we’re rewarded..

We pray for forgiveness and health for our fellow Muslims, we’re rewarded..

We forgive, we’re rewarded..

We think positive towards Allah and other people, we’re rewarded..

We keep our promises, we’re rewarded..

We seek knowledge for the benefit of others, we’re rewarded..

We share knowledge to others in need, we’re rewarded..

We walk towards the Jumu’ah prayer, our each step is very greatly rewarded..

We take wudhu’, we are rewarded..

We treat our mothers and fathers with humbleness, kindness and respect, we’re greatly greatly rewarded..

We bring Allah to remembrance, we’re rewarded..

So why do we withhold our reward ?

Source: Splendor of Iman

Exactly the point, why withhold our reward? So, inshaAllah, next time don’t ignore those small things that matter! Be quick to say salaam with a smile and grab your reward!(should I say double reward? 😉 )

Assalamualaikum 🙂 (Peace be upon you!)

10 ways of developing love for Allah

10 ways of developing love for Allah
Adapted from Shaykh Ibn Qayyim’s (rah) Madarij-us-Saalikeen

Shaykh Ibn al-Qayyim (rah) says: “The reason which cause mahabbah (love) of Allaah to develop, are ten:

  • First: Reciting the Qur’aan, reflecting and understanding its meaning and its intent.
  • Second: Drawing closer to Allaah – the Most High – through optional deeds, after fulfilling the obligatory duties.
  • Third: Being continuous in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allaah, with the tongue, the heart and the limbs – under all circumstances. The more continuant the dhikr, the more muhabbah develops and intensifies.
  • Fourth: Giving precedence to what Allaah loves over personal loves, when being overcome by desires.
  • Fifth: Contemplating and deliberating over the Names and Attributes of Allaah.
  • Sixth: Recognizing and remembering the favors and bounties of Allaah – both manifest and hidden.
  • Seventh: To be humble and submissive before Allaah – and this is the greatest matter.
  • Eighth: To be in seclusion reciting the Qur’aan, during that time in which Allaah descends to the lowest heaven (which is the last third of every night), finishing this recitation with seeking Allaah’s forgiveness and repenting to Him.
  • Ninth: To sit in the gatherings of the true and sincere lovers of Allaah, reaping the fruits of their speech, and not to speak except if there is benefit in it and that you know that such talk will increase you in goodness and that it will benefit others as well.
  • Tenth: To stay clear of all those causes which distances the heart from Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic.

So these are the ten reasons which cause the person to develop true love for Allaah and to reach the rank of al-muhabbah, by which he reaches his Beloved.

via Gaurd your heart

21 Productive Muslim Hobbies!

I came across this list on ProductiveMuslim website.

It’s a list of 21 ProductiveMuslim Hobbies. I loved the list and also learnt that that horse-riding and archery is Sunnah. Wow.. Subhanallah.. didn’t know that! 😀

Here’s the list you must check out! Click here, for a detailed description.

21-ProductiveMuslim Hobbies:

  1. Reading
  2. Travelling.
  3. Journal Writing
  4. Blogging/Podcasting
  5. Computer Programming
  6. Graphic/Web Designing
  7. Self-defense classes
  8. Sports
  9. Gardening
  10. Tailoring/Knitting
  11. Geneology Research
  12. Amateur Astronomy
  13. Islamic/Arabic Caligraphy
  14. Islamic Art
  15. Cooking/Bakery
  16. Learn a foreign language (Arabic)
  17. Hiking
  18. Write letters
  19. Archery
  20. Horseback Riding
  21. Swimming/Scuba diving

So, blogging, reading and computer programming are already on my list. I’m planning to work on cooking, tailoring, learning arabic, graphic designing and journal writing! 😉 Oh and home-styling too, though that’s not on the list! 😛

Which hobby do you plan on developing? 🙂