Posts Tagged With: Quran

Week 2 : Quran and Prayer

On Thursday, I managed to cover the lines Z would read of his ABATA, so he read 6 lines, 2 for each day. I also noticed he had about 2+ pages to finish book 4, and so I told him,

“You’ll finish book 4 soon inshaaAllah!”

I even counted the lines and predicted that he would finish it in two weeks inshaaAllah.

“Then you can go to book 5 and then 6 and then read Quran! S, N and H read Quran when they were your age! You remember the video of N reading Quran?”

His eyes lit up and as the memory of that video clicked in his mind, he nodded enthusiastically. He seemed excited. I even asked him,

“Do you want to read the big Quran or the small one?”

“The small one.”

Hmm…I guess he’s used to using my mushaf when doing his surah. I personally prefer him to use th big ones though, and so I opened the big one and showed it to him, saying,

“See, this is bigger and easier to read!”

“No, I want to read the small one.”

Well, I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

As he is turning 7 soon inshaaAllah, I will ask him to choose between Zuhr and Asr, which one he wants to commit to. This was how I introduced salat to the older kids. When S turned 7, I asked her to choose between zuhr and asr, and whatever she chose, she will have comitted to it even if she is sick, which is a good practical lesson in how to make salat when you are sick and best of all, it teaches them commitment. I like this method so far, because it is gradual and they learn to commit to one salat at a time and not all 5, and they learn to hopefully perfect it, learn what to recite in the different positions, know the details of the salat they are committing to, before adding the next one, in about a few months. By the time they turn 10 inshaaAllah, they would then committed to all 5 salawaat. With the older kids, it worked. While we were traveling, they also still had to pray and so they learned how to pray when traveling.

With Z, I’m focusing or have been focusing on him perfecting each position and he has perfected the iftiraash, and tawarru3, and his sujud and ruku and even getting up from ruku and going into sujud. Soon, I plan to introduce him to what to say in ruku and sujud. Short ones and then hopefully, by April, he would have at least know how to pray with the pillars. Tashahud usually comes in a bit later.

We had gone to Dallas, and I had talked with a sister who took Dream and her two teenagers, age 17 and 15 are now TA for the Dream program mashaaAllah! On the drive home, hubs and I talked about the possibility of signing up S for the sisters public speaking workshop with Qalam Institute, and H for the Dream program, whether we move there or not. I really hope we can attend S’ graduation this June …inshaaAllah!

I also have to start calling the local CC asking about what is needed for S to enroll. She will inshaaAllah finish AlHuda this June and then she will plunge full force into finishing her high school. May Allah make it easy ameen! As for N, it seems that I need to work very closely with her all the way and make sure she’s on top of her work. I don’t like doing this, but what can I do? May Allah make it easy ameen!

I also have full hope that inshaaAllah with our regular post fajr session on Ustadh Nouman’s Tafseer and Arabic with Hosna, that we would really benefit from it. There were times when I was about to give up because I felt like despite us doing it every day and regularly, it wasn’t entering our hearts. But as I asked the kids survey questions, I sensed that those tafseer sessions do help. And it made me feel like haa..shaytaan is working to get us off that track maybe, making me feel hopeless. So the thing to do is to just keep doing it and make crazy dua Allah puts barakah in it. For Hosna, I really do hope we get ouf ot it what he Dream students get out of Dream, except I still do want to attend Dream or the part time one, and send H to the full time one. InshaaAllah.

I wish I can do Arabic with Z. I am VERY poor at doing this with the kids when they’re young. Seriously. If I master Arabic myself, maybe, but the reality is, I don’t. Argh. I’m very bad at trying it since even with Malay, we’ve been very bad with speaking it with the kids, even though we have a second chance with Z since he is still young. My God. May Allah make it easy, Ameen.

I have yet to sit down with N and come up with her hifdh revision schedule. May Allah make it easy ameen!

S is back volunteering teaching at Sunday school. Her horse therapy volunteer sessions hasn’t resumed yet so far. And our girls youth halaqa has been going on strong alhamdulillah. I plan to have S fully handle a few sessions on her own with my supervision inshaaAllah.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Al Huda Institute, Arabic, Bayyinah Institute, Community, High School, Homeschooling, Islamic Studies, Learning Challenges, Living Islam, Prayer/salat, Qalam Institute, Quran, Tafseer, Teaching Challenges, Teaching To Read, Thoughts, Volunteer Masjid, Youth Girls halaqa | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Week 4: Mon – Fri

Last week, Z had an eye exam. Turns out he has astigmatism. But oh boy, did he NOT cooperate during the exam. He only cooperated well when I promised him ice cream at home if he would do what they’re telling him to do. But we didn’t get glasses though. Doc said even if he wears them, he wouldn’t be wearing them all the time. She dilated his eyes and said that it would be make him a bit sleepy but when he was still playing around with the seat, she said to me, “I thought it would make him calmer.” No it didn’t. He did get a kick out of wearing the temporary shades back home though. I did notice him rubbing his eyes a lot though. She did say he has dry eyes, so Flaxseed for all of us I guess.

Monday:-

Monday was Labor Day but we got some work done. We did the Calendar Notebook and then he chose to do his Math workbook. Then, because we were going to the outlet to buy some shoes, I left him to work on it on his own. When we got back home after the outlet, he resumed his workbook again. He seems to enjoy doing the addition. I keep saying to him,

“MashaaAllah, keep working on it and then you’ll be so fast with it!”

That seems to keep him motivated for now.

Tuesday:-

He did the calendar again and then we read 3 books. He was actually the one who specified to me when I told him to get some books for me to read to him. He folded his thumb and pinky finger and showed the three fingers to me and said emphatically, “3 books!” to make sure I’d say yes and agree to finish reading them all. I nodded.

We read Policeman Lou, It’s Snowing! It’s Snowing! and Little Tad Grows Up.

policemanlou

itssnowing

Tad

Then he did his math workbook again while I took a much needed nap. And like on the previous day, he continued working on his workbook on his own even afterwards, alhamdulillah.

Wednesday:-

While doing his calendar notebook, I directed him to write the numeral 9 properly. I guess he’s not really down on the ordinals yet. I’m thinking we might need to work on that separately. He’s also figured out how to write 3-digit numerals correctly now alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah, he also does have enough sense to refer to the K4 writing number booklet I had printed from Confessions of a Homeschooler when he doesn’t know how to spell a number.

We did the Surf’s Up Subtraction file folder game today. He keeps thinking it’s addition, but after I keep pointing out that it’s ‘minus’, not ‘plus’, he got the idea. At first, we subtracted using fingers, but then I took out the Math U See Math Manipulatives and had him just ‘cover’ the subtracted amount and see what’s left showing. He liked using that and quickly got the hang of it even mentally for some of of the equations.

Then we did Umm Numaan’s Away We Go InshaaAllah packet, though because I had printed it a while ago, I didn’t remember how I was supposed to put them together. But we went over the Arabic for the vehicles and he did the puzzle. Again, I’m very bad at doing Arabic vocab for some reason. Even now, I don’t really feel enamored to learn or teach Arabic vocab per se even though I know that’s how you start. With Quran though, I’m all for it. I know. Strange.

We also read 3 books today, The Race, Curious George and the Pizza, and Mary and the Mouse, The Mouse and Mary.

therace marymouse

cgpizza

When I was reading The Race, I asked him to tell me what words rhyme, and he had such a hard time doing it. The only aid he has in spotting them is when he reads the words. So I told him to close his eyes and I read the sentences again and again. He was able to tell me but still took a long time doing it. It sounds like he’s listening to all the words rather than listening for the intonation and rhyme scheme. I also asked him which would he rather be, like Hare, who got to have all those hair-raising (no pun intended) adventures, or like Tortoise, who chilled on the ship all the way. He said ‘Tortoise’. As for Mary Mouse, he asked me, “Why did they drop the spoon?”

“Why do you think?”

He replied, “So they can wave at each other.”

For Curious George, he was a little confused in one part where George was delivering the pizza to the factory. He kept asking why that man was there. I had to explain to him again the concept of ordering pizza by phone. Not sure if he got it.

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This MUS manipulatives are very useful. I love it. The only thing about it is that it is a little inconvenient to take, use, and put back.

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From doing his Calendar Notebook everyday (almost everyday that is), we got on to correlating coin values and tens and ones.

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Doing subtraction using the MUS ones ‘rod’.

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I was looking for Reading Rainbow videos for Z, and remembered that I had just read about Mezba’s Teaching Kids the Holy Quran using Legos website this morning in a Productive Muslim email. So I got that and thought I could use that to go over the meaning of the surah with Z. He LOVES it. He kept on browsing through it, going through surahs that are familiar to him, and asking me to explain it to him while he looked at the lego formations. I had to go to a doctor’s appointment and he was still going through it on his own, reading whatever he could.

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He got hooked on this website alhamdulillah.

When I got back home though, he was watching Reading Rainbow. But I can tell he loves that Lego explanation of the surah. I even ended up telling him the story of Surah Yusuf until I said to him, “Z, that surah is a long one. Mama has to go now okay.”

I found this in the kids’ bathroom yesterday and am quite happy that H ended up making it for Z. I have yet to do this activity with Z however. These activities came from the book that we read, Junior Science Time.

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You’re supposed to fill the top cup with water and time how long it takes for all that water to fill the bottom cup (holes are poked at the bottom of the 2 top cups). Then you and your child can do diffeernt things and see what activities take that amount of time to do. Teaches concept of time.

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H did this one with Z. He timed how long it took for the water to fill the jar up to the first line and the subsequent lines. I have yet to use this contraption with Z though.

The older kids have started their Interior Decorating class and next week their schedule will start being more full when Bio and American History and Ancient Egypt starts inshaaAllah. I’m interested to see how the Bio will work out.

Thursday:-

Calendar went faster today as he cooperated. We ended up cutting and gluing some of his file folder stuff that I had printed two weeks ago and I wasn’t too happy about this because that should be done in the weekend, but well, we did it. So we did some vowel activities, and addition and subtraction. And we also did place value activity using the newly assembled file folder games.

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N started her therapy today, and S met with the horse therapy coordinator Sr on campus. Sr asked to see S first and talk to her to see how mature she is to see if she can volunteer with their program. Well, I think she passed the test though Sr did remark that S seems quiet and asked if she would be able to break out of her shell especially with the nature of the volunteer work. I came back with N after the therapy and left S at hubs’ office so he will drop her off at the club meeting they will have at 5:30 pm. Sr is very accommodating. I hope this works out well for them and for S.

For N, hopefully the therapy will help her in organizing a large amount of information, increasing in comprehension in literature readings, and extracting deeper analyses.

Z is working on his addition workbook as I am typing and seems very excited about it. He still seems to be having problems with discerning the vowel sounds.

Friday:-

I started walking in the mornings with S this morning and throughout our walk, she recited Al Kahf and I listened. We didn’t finish it though, stopped just before story of Zulkarnain. Z wanted to much to do his By Gum file folder game, so I did it with him and mashaaAllah, he actually got the hang of it. Though, in the middle, I did wonder if he’s concluding that as long as it has A in it, it means it has the Long A vowel sound. I made a mental note to do the Long and Short vowels so he is aware that there is a difference between the short and long vowel sounds. I also realized that when I break up the phonetic sounds in a word, he is better able to locate the vowel sound (duh!). He’s working on his Math workbook by himself without any push from me. He does need a lot of pushing with his Calendar Notebook though.

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Today will be a busy day towards the end since I will have class and we have a full back to back schedule after Asr.

S just reminded me yesterday that I need to write down what stuff they need to work with Z on while I’m gone. One more thing on my to do list. I have to maybe print out more stuff for Z and pinpoint what areas he needs more work on that the kids can work with him with. I also need to clean up the plan for the youth girls halaqa that we just started last week (well, kind of) so that Wd can continue it while I’m gone with minimal problems. InshaaAllah.

 

Categories: Activity, Animals, Arabic, Books, Cardboard, File Folder Games, Grade 1, Learning Aids, Log, Math, Math U See, Quran, Reading Rainbow, Volunteer, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hifdh-ing

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog. H pointed that out to me yesterday. What I can say is that alhamdulillah, we’re all now doing hifdh, including Z. S is starting with Al kahf, and for her, I want her to focus on her Taleem Quran more, so hifdh is somewhat secondary for her right now.

N is taking tajweed class  online with Sis N from Canada, a 20 min class, once a week on Fridays. When I saw sis N offering her class through email, I thought of enrolling N, but I asked N how interested she is in learning tajweed. At first she said not interested. But she also expressed slight interest. I’ve been encouraging her to pursue tajweed because her recitation and articulation is naturally good already, and I want  her to find her own niche in the field of Quran. S is already taking Taleem Quran, and H is doing hifdh and is pretty good in Arabic grammar (better than me, even though I studied it for years in high school and even now), and I want something for N. One of my homeschooling goals is for the kids to develop a solid foundation in their deen and develop a Quranic perspective, which means, they need to be able to recite with tajweed, understand what they’re reciting, implement and internalize what they are reciting, and develop the wisdom that comes from the Quran and sunnah. The world out there is full of propagandas subtle and obnoxious, and I want them armed with iman and understanding of the deen before they go out there.

I’ve been making dua for the kids and subhanallah so I am overjoyed when N expressed that yes actually, she would be interested in learning tajweed. Sis N also advised me that I should encourage N to memorize. So I talked about this with N and she said yes she would  like to memorize. Initially, I was concerned about her intention, but sis N told me that even for us adults, our intentions will fluctuate and so it’s a lifelong process. So, in February N began her Quran journey, with learning  tajweed and doing hifdh. Alhamdulillah. I had already taught all the kids to read with tajweed through the Malaysian IQRA book series, and I have also taught them the tajweed rules, but I want them to actually learn further with someone who is qualified to teach them. So, I’ve done what I can from my end, and this is the time to outsource now. So, she started from Al Mursalat and is now at Muzammil. We also discussed about their Quran time. We agreed that after fajr, instead of starting right away with Nouman’s tafseer and Arabic with Husna, we would spend 30 min on our own doing our new memorization or revision, and then have breakfast and then do tafseer and Arabic. Thanks to a suggestion by a friend 🙂 May Allah reward her immensely for she is the one who has triggered this move towards hifdh for me and the kids. The girls will have their Quran time twice a day, one after fajr and another one either after asr or before bedtime.

 

For H, he has already been doing this for years, so I  leave him pretty much alone for he has gotten into his own routine. I do still worry about his tajweed though and asks that Allah opens up opportunity for him to learn with someone qualified who can enhance his tajweed. Right now, the brother who is helping him is too busy, so H is working just with hubs for now. He is re memorizing surah As Shuura. This surah has a special story. When H was memorizing this surah, we were in Malaysia, and we enrolled him in darul Huffaz. The ustaadh there told him to memorize the surah backwards and this confused H so much that to this day, his grasp on that surah is almost nil. So he’s rememorizing it now. I still can’t fathom why that ustaadh told him to memorize it backwards.

H is currently taking Sh. Omar Suleiman’s tafseer of Surah Al Ahqaf class every Tuesday for 4 weeks. He doesn’t seem too captivated by it except when it involves stories, but at least I hope it provides him with deeper understanding and internalization of this surah that he has memorized.

Even Z has taken an interest in doing hifdh. Maybe it’s because all of us are doing it now. So, he would come to me and take the Quran, put it on the rihl and open it up to the last page and point to the surah he is working on and signal for me to recite it to him. So far, he just finished An nasr. I started doing this with him before he showed any interest. We listened to Minshaawi for An Naas and I had him recite again and again. I had to resort to recording his voice and letting him listen to it, because he couldn’t sit still for the lesson. Eventually he didn’t want to do it, so I left him alone. Made dua.

Then, all of a sudden, he knew those 3 quls. Apparently H had been practicing it with him at bedtime. So I expressed pleasant surprise that he knew those 3 surah by heart and told him,

‘Z, you memorize 1 whole page!!!!”

You could see he was overjoyed as well, and that motivated him. So we worked on Al Masad. He kept asking for the ‘stowee’ of Al masad. So hubs put on Nouman’s tafseer of the surah and we told him the story of Abu lahab and the surah. One thing about Z is that he is impatient. He kept asking to move forward before memorizing the current ayah properly. So I would tell him,

“Let’s say it 7 times, you can count it on your fingers.”

So he obediently puts out his index finger and starts to keep track of how many times we have to repeat the current ayah together; I would say it first and he would say it after me. I would break up the ayah so he could repeat it in manageable portions. Then, we’d be done for the session. I tell him to listen to his MP3 too and he does mashaaAllah. It is a little hard working with him because he is still young and has his own issues sometimes, but alhamdulillah I also feel like Allah has made it somewhat easy. The fact that he comes on his own and takes the Quran and sits waiting for me to start working with him, and listens to his MP3 on his own, and is willing to recite his surah properly, makes it a lot easier on me. I worried that he wouldn’t enunciate the words properly, and I would disapprove it when he rushes through it, I would emphasize that he needs to really enunciate it and not just say the surah. Alhamdulillah he does and he does try hard mashaaAllah. He is also doing great with his IQRA.

At one point, he was watching Arabic with Husna with us and we were covering the sarf table. At this time, Z was a bit obsessed with ana anta and started to write it in Arabic and in English, and kept asking us,

“Are you anta?” “Are you anti?”

And now he keeps asking, “What is …. in Arabic?”

I wish my grasp of Arabic is stronger to be able to feed his thirst for it. It’s a bit difficult having to juggle the older kids and Z and my own learning.

Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah.

Categories: Al Huda Institute, Living Islam, Memorizing, Outsourcing, Quran, Tafseer, Teaching Challenges, Time Management, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book 4

I gave Z a preview of IQRA book 4 the other day as he is finishing up Book s, and since then, he has been super excited to finish book 3 (skip what is remaining even!) and jump to Book 4. Today, as we were about to start reading it, he flipped the page to Book4, and I had to firmly tell him we have to finish book 3 first, We only have 1 more page of book 3 and so hopefully inshaaAllah, on Thursday, he can start Book 4.

I tried doing hifdh with him, but he has this voice issue. His pronunciation of the Arabic letters is becoming much better, I think because we now read it everyday, whereas before, he has no practice with it. He used to be able to pronounce them well but due to lack of practice and usage, he lost the ability but now Alhamdulillah hopefully we’re back on track. His voice though; he can’t yell. Same issue with N. Both of them will not yell to ask for help. They can scream when startled but they can’t shout at will. So, with Z, I have trouble getting him to utter the surah with a strong and clear voice. I honestly don’t know how to help him get his voice out. So help me Allah.

With N and H, we just finished tafseer of Surah Abasa this morning, and I have been rather slacking in the area of making up a test for them for Naaziat and Abasa, and I was just thinking about it today, and I just have to get to it soon inshaaAllah. But we were praying one time and I read Naaziat, and after salah, H said,

“You read Naaziat and I understood!”

Alhamdulillah.

We’ve been contemplating and looking into something for H recently, something major, but just today, I have been feeling somewhat uneasy with the idea. So, we just  have to really buckle down and really work hard on our daily routine of Tafseer and Arabic with Husna in our journey of Quran and Arabic. I’ve never actually felt better about our daily routine. May Allah preserve this good and increase us in it and keep us istiqaamah on it, Ameen!

 

 

Categories: Living Islam, Quran, Tafseer, Teaching Challenges, Teaching To Read, Z's learning | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Traveler With Quran 1: Sincerity

A friend and fellow homeschooler sent an email recommending watching this series Traveler With The Quran (Musaafir Bil Quran) as she watches it with her 6 year old and that it’s a great motivational factor for him to continue with his hifdh. I have heard about this before but never really looked into it. Last weekend, I did, and I am hooked. Suffice it to say, it motivated me as well!

In the series, Qurra Sheikh Fahad Al Kandari travels and meets with various huffadh, interviews them, and he also shares memorizing tips/advice. So far, I noticed that he travels to nearby Turkey, Egypt, North Africa, Chechnya, and I hope he gets to travel farther to Malaysia, Indonesia, West Africa, South Africa, Pakistan, India, for there are a lot more huffaadh all over the world  mashaaAllah.

It would be interesting to see the other methods of memorizing. I was watching the series last weekend and in Turkey, the method of memorizing was from the back. When we were in Malaysia in 2010, at darul Huffazh, the ustaaz did this with H with surah Shuura, and it was so confusing to him that even to this day, his grasp on that surah is weak.

One advice given by Sh. Fahad is to read the tafseer of what the child is memorizing so he understands what he is memorizing, yes even for an Arab speaking child. I find this advice precious, because so often you hear of many people memorizing the Quran, but not necessarily with understanding. I personally take this advice to heart and told H that now that we have finished listening to Al Kahf on Nouman’s Quran Cover to Cover, we will move on to the surah he is currently working on, Ankaboot. So, so far, everyday we are listening to tafseer of juz Amma, right now on surah Abasa, and then we do Arabic With Husna, and on Fridays we listen to Quran Cover to Cover, particualrly Al kahf. but we finished listening to Al kahf last week, so this week, inshaaAllah we will listen to Al Ankaboot. Quran Cover to Cover is not as in depth as tafseer, so it’s perfect to listen to for brief yet meaningful understanding of the surah inshaaAllah.

H did a wonderful job of revising on his own when we were all sick with the flu and I was thinking subhanallah maybe that was what protected him from getting sick with the flu. We were all sick except him. Subhanallah.

Hubs said that he was revising huge portions by himself and that AW said he did very well mashaaAllah. He has now memorized about 10 juz, and I have recently made a revision schedule for myself, to revise 1 juz per day, as so far, I have memorized the amount of 5 juz, and so this is the beginning of something of a struggle for me as I realize that I tend to do ‘avoidance’ of reviewing long surah because I find it intimidating and time consuming, but I just have to push myself to do it inshaaAllah. For H, since he has memorized 10 juz, the ideal thing would be for him to revise 2 juz per day so that every week, he would have revised everything he has memorized. But what is most important is developing a stamina for this, so we should start small and build up rather than plunging straight into something big.

The girls so far are not interested in memorizing as they view it as being too hard. I don’t want to force them but I ask Allah that He puts this desire in them and give them the taufeeq to, because I once, aso viewed it as hard and unnecessary. But with good company who kind of gently pushed me towards it, I began to develop an ardent love for it, and it was funny, because when I was making dua about it, I was kind of want-to but don’t really want to, and so when I asked Allah, it was somewhat halfhearted but for Him to lead me to that whcih is good for me.  Now, I hope I’m on this journey for good inshaaAllah.

Only Allah knows how bad I want this for myself and my husband and children, families and descendants. May He make us of ahlul Quran. Ameen.

Another thing I’ve started to develop a love for, is Arabic language. I intend to inshaaaAllah listen and relisten to these series, just to increase myself to listening to Fushah Arabic and familiarize myself with it, along with learning the grammar through Arabic With Husna everyday. H said that watching the Omar series actually helped him with the Arabic too, and so we may all watch Saladin again for the Arabic.

In this episode, Sh. Fahad meets with a young hafidh who is autistic yet like many autistic person, has photographic memory of the Quran, down to the ayah number, page, section of the Quran mashaaAllah. He also meets with a child prodigy with amazing memory capability who not only memorizes the Quran but also other books including Sahih Bukhari.

Categories: Living Islam, Memorizing, Quran, Tafseer | Tags: | Leave a comment

Tafseer An Nabaa Project

The due date for this project was last Friday(this was written a long time ago and I don’t remember which Friday it was anymore). H finished it on time. N didn’t. But inshaaAllah, I hope that they benefited from working on this project.

Ayat 1-5 – scene of the disbelievers asking each other (mockingly) about the ‘great news’

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

78:1
Sahih International

About what are they asking one another?

78:2
Sahih International

About the great news –

78:3
Sahih International

That over which they are in disagreement.

78:4
Sahih International

No! They are going to know.

78:5
Sahih International

Then, no! They are going to know.

2nd set of scenes representation

78:6
Sahih International

Have We not made the earth a resting place?

78:7
Sahih International

And the mountains as stakes?

78:8
Sahih International

And We created you in pairs

78:9
Sahih International

And made your sleep [a means for] rest

78:10
Sahih International

And made the night as clothing

78:11
Sahih International

And made the day for livelihood

78:12
Sahih International

And constructed above you seven strong [heavens]

78:13
Sahih International

And made [therein] a burning lamp

78:14
Sahih International

And sent down, from the rain clouds, pouring water

78:15
Sahih International

That We may bring forth thereby grain and vegetation

78:16
Sahih International

And gardens of entwined growth.

inside the ‘cradle’ (which is earth)

siraaja wahhaaja – actually lit up with one of his contraptions.

how he lit it up

he had put the wheat and lush garden behind the mountain and so we can’t see it after the put the ‘seven strong’ over the head side of the cradle.

3rd set of scenes

78:17
Sahih International

Indeed, the Day of Judgement is an appointed time –

78:18
Sahih International

The Day the Horn is blown and you will come forth in multitudes

78:19
Sahih International

And the heaven is opened and will become gateways

78:20
Sahih International

And the mountains are removed and will be [but] a mirage.

78:21
Sahih International

Indeed, Hell has been lying in wait

78:22
Sahih International

For the transgressors, a place of return,

78:23
Sahih International

In which they will remain for ages [unending].

78:24
Sahih International

They will not taste therein [any] coolness or drink

78:25
Sahih International

Except scalding water and [foul] purulence –

78:26
Sahih International

An appropriate recompense.

78:27
Sahih International

Indeed, they were not expecting an account

78:28
Sahih International

And denied Our verses with [emphatic] denial.

78:29
Sahih International

But all things We have enumerated in writing.

78:30
Sahih International

“So taste [the penalty], and never will We increase you except in torment.”

the sky opening up as if they were doors

H’s blueprint of the 4th scene set that he showed me before he started on it

the 4th scene set representation

78:31
Sahih International

Indeed, for the righteous is attainment –

78:32
Sahih International

Gardens and grapevines

78:33
Sahih International

And full-breasted [companions] of equal age

78:34
Sahih International

And a full cup.

78:35
Sahih International

No ill speech will they hear therein or any falsehood –

78:36
Sahih International

[As] reward from your Lord, [a generous] gift [made due by] account,

78:37
Sahih International

[From] the Lord of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them, the Most Merciful. They possess not from Him [authority for] speech.

78:38
Sahih International

The Day that the Spirit and the angels will stand in rows, they will not speak except for one whom the Most Merciful permits, and he will say what is correct.

78:39
Sahih International

That is the True Day; so he who wills may take to his Lord a [way of] return.

78:40
Sahih International

Indeed, We have warned you of a near punishment on the Day when a man will observe what his hands have put forth and the disbeliever will say, “Oh, I wish that I were dust!”

3 of the 3D rep

 

N made a powerpoint presentation, and it was quite a big file because she drew most of the slides herself. Surah An-Nabaa by NBlog

Categories: Activity, Bayyinah Institute, Cardboard, Living Islam, Project, Quran, Tafseer | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Tafseer An Nabaa

We continued our tafseer of An nabaa this morning, after N’s Mammals class. She came to me and said,

“A girl in the class published a book on Amazon.”

I’ve been telling her about this possibility for years to encourage her. Writing, like anything else, requires hard work and persistence.

Anyway, we continued with the surah, and to save time, I’ll just put this in bullet points, just for us to remember.

  • The surah begins by addressing the disbelievers who were mocking the Day of Judgment
  • it depicts a scene where they were mocking it and the suddenly, Allah interjects
  • Kalla! Saya’lamoon – Stop! Rather, you will come to know
  • He repeats it again for emphasis ;- equivalent to “You’ll find out, you’ll find out”
  • Then begins a passage where Allah talks about the blessings He has given to all mankind;
  • the earth as a comfortable place (the word used for comfortable place is also word used for cradle ; the earth is rotating on its axis but gravity keeps us rooted. We’re able to walk, sleep, jump etc without being thrown off, just like a baby in a cradle
  • the mountains as pegs. Showing how stable and how the mountains are stabilizing and are great structures that are solid
  • And He created you all in pairs – now the focus goes directly to the human beings and living things come into the picture
  • and He Made you sleep as something that cuts you off ; from sleep, day, livelihood, life
  • And He made the night as a covering :- darkness covers you, robberies and bad stuff. private things happen at night, it covers you like a blanket does etc
  • And He made day for you to seek livelihood : lesson – don’t waste your time. Spend your day wisely.
  • And He constructed above you seven strong (heavens understood, but not mentioned). The word shidaadaa used to show that these seven heavens are strong.
  • And He made the blazing sun
  • And He sent down from laden rain clouds abundant water
  • And He takes out with this water, grains and vegetation
  • And lush gardens
  • the sceneries are alive, you have the earth, imagine you’re viewing from space, then you zoom in, you see the mountains, the living things, and their life, and then back at nature, the skies , seven heavens, you pierce through the earth’s atmosphere, reach the sun, it’s blazing fiery, and back down to earth in the atmosphere, the clouds, chock full with water, water comes down, waters the earth, the earth absorbs it, and living things come forth, lush
  • This is how Allah leaves that scene before moving on to another set of scenes ; the Day of Judgment
  • Imagine you’re visualizing all this and the Quran is very descriptive in its description
  • And suddenly your vision is channeled to:
  • Indeed the Day of Separation is already fixed – you can’t escape it, no matter how hard you try
  • The day on which the horn will be blown and people will submit willingly or unwillingly in massive crowds ;- in this dunya, you can control your limbs, but on that day, you cannot. You don’t want to go but your limbs will take you to that gathering place
  • And the skies will be opened like doors :- doors are the loosest construction in a building as it’s used most of the time and those seven strong skies that was mentioned before is now opened up. How scary it would be to see the skies rip apart and you can see the space through it. The listeners’ attention is now directed to the horrors on this Day
  • And the mountains will move easily and it will be like a mirage : previously, the mountains are described as pegs, solid, stable but now, these stable solid structures that we know so well are moving so easily and will disappear as if like a mirage. Everything you know is changing
  • Now the talk moves on to hellfire : The hellfire will be lying in ambush
  • Both the disbelievers and believers are listening now and they are being told that the hellfire is lying in ambush, like a wild beast, ready to devour its prey
  • Allah specifies who it’s lying in ambush for ; for the rebellious :- Allah would have mentioned it’s for the disbeleivers, but He doesn’t. Implication : believers who don’t obey Him and are also rebellious will be included in this
  • They will remain it for periods of time :- the use of ah7qaaba denotes psychological torture. Allah could have said abada (forever) but the usage of ah7qaaba is explained as such:
  • you are imprisoned for 5 years and you look forward to the end of your term, and when you reach 5 years, suddenly you are told you will remain another 5 years. It’s more torturous this way
  • They will not taste in it any coolness of any drink :- hellfire is hot. Now it’s talk of physical torture
  • People in the desert will appreciate this more and so this should send some shockwaves through the listeners at that time and at anytime (no one likes heat)
  • Except boiling water and pus ;- whoa!!!! hold on there! this is too much! PUS??!! Someone might react this way, saying “Hey, okay I did bad but eating pus?! That’s just way too much bro!”
  • Allah says ; An exact recompense :- No, it’s not too much, it’s tit for tat, no more no less
  • Indeed they hoped they won’t be accountable for their deeds :- people were living in dream land, telling and convincing themselves that they can do all they like and not be held accountable for it, or nahhh it’s ok, I’ll worry about that later. Even Muslims may respond when someone talks about death etc “Oh, that’s depressing, let’s not talk about that.”
  • They denied, belied Our signs with vehement denial :- Allah has laid out signs for us, the Quran, scriptures and the creations. Simply looking at the sky, clouds should bring one to realize there is a Creator, and that we owe everything to this Creator, so worship Him, obey Him. But instead, we use our God-given intellect to dispute, argue, bring us to the height of arrogance and disobey Him, even denying Him outright
  • And everything, We recorded and tabulated in a protected book ;- all this is recorded. This should benefit listeners in that it makes them more aware of their speech and actions and thoughts, it’s all on ‘camera!’
  • Then Allah leaves us with the last scene in this passage : They will taste and not it will be increased anything for them except torment
  • Now Allah moves on to happier sceneries : Indeed those who are righteous will have a place, time of success and success
  • the believers who have been listening now are addressed, and the word muttaqeen is used to signify that only those who have this taqwa will carry their feelings into action
  • There are many people who say “Oh I don’t want to go to hell, I’m scared, ‘ but their actions don’t show it.
  • Then there are people who are really touched by it and actually change their bad behaviors to good ones. Which one are you going to be?
  • The word mafaaza used has 3 meanings grammatically : place of success, time of success and succes for sure
  • place of success implies : don’t worry, there will be a place where you will be eternally happy. This dunya is temporary. Sometimes being a Muslim can be restrictive.
  • Analogy I gave to the kids : An adult brings a kid to an amazing park while telling this kid they will go to an even more amazing amusement park later on. The kid sees this park and LOVEs it, and wants to stay there forever. The adult tells the kid, “But, we’re going to the amusement park remember?” “No! I want to stay here and play all day!”
  • The adult tells the kid, “Don’t play in that corner over there.”
  • Kid asks, “Why not? I like it there!”
  • Adult replies, “There is a bush nearby, there might be snakes.”
  • Adult says, “Don’t climb past the second rung of that ladder.”
  • Kid asks “Why?” Adult replies “Because I told you so”
  • The prohibitions that Allah put on us are the same, for some, we know the reason, for others we don’t know, but we are obliged to accept and believe because this is the essence of faith itself
  • Out of His mercy, He makes this world beautiful, but He also puts restrictions so we don’t get too attached to it, because He has prepared Paradise, whcih is even more beautiful and enjoyable than this world
  • The adult tells the kid, “In the amusement park we’re going to go to, there will be slides like these ones, but they’re higher and has water. They have swings too but they spin too.”
  • Kid says, ‘oooh!! I want to go now!’
  • Adult says, “No, not yet. We’ll go but not now.’
  • Kid starts to look forward to the amusement park. He enjoys the current park but knows that there are restrictions and knows there is a better one he is promised and looks forward to go there.
  • As Muslims, especially women and girls, we have to worry about hijab. You can’t just go swim in a pool or the beach, if the place is populated. Life can be hard sometimes as a Muslim, but there is wisdom behind this.
  • If you’re allowed to do everything on this earth and they’re all good things even, you will be attached to it
  • Even if you’re told about Jannah, you think, ahh I’m already enjoying life here, that can wait
  • It is out of Allah’s wisdom and mercy that He has laid things out as they are, and placed prohibitions and commands on us because this life is a test, a transitory place
  • Then, Allah talks about the jannah : private gardens and grapevines
  • Gorgeous women of compatibility :- when you go to a beautiful place, you might enjoy it, but without humans, it can get lonely
  • In ads/marketing they always put beautiful women or men to beautify the place/product etc. Why? There is a psychological effect of that.
  • So, you’re in this beautiful awesome place, and you good looking company, and what’s more, they are compatible with you, maybe same age and same interests
  • You can go to a place and have a nice looking friend but she likes sweet potatoes and you like mangoes – ehh…but in jannah, you both like the same thing and you are just…compatible! cool!
  • And splashing exotic drinks! – not only company, now you have a spread too! Contrast this to the description of no drink and no coolness in hellfire.
  • They won’t hear in it any idle useless talks not any lies/blasphemy/slander etc :- believers in this world have to endure all the lies that are being said or thrown at them by disbelievers or even some believers who choose to mock the religion. Even the prophet saw was told to have beautiful patience. It hurts to hear and see these lies, but we have to endure it. In jannah, you won’t hear anything like this
  • as for idle and useless talk, the analogy of : you go on a wonderful vacation and then suddenly, as you’re lying there joyfully under the sun, someone in your company starts to talk vulgar or just do some nasty convo. Your whole vacation is ruined!
  • In jannah -> utter peace and beauty. None of those bad speech that you had to endure in this world
  • Next ayat : a recompense from your Rabb , a generous gift to the point where you may say “I don’t need anymore”
  • Subhanallah, when Allah talks about the recompense in hellfire, it’s tit for tat, but in Jannah, He gives as H said, “Infinity for tat.” He gives more, so much more.
  • Allah is just and merciful

 

That was where we stopped this morning. I had recorded our discussion yesterday with Sound Recorder but because I had to keep pressing record each time it reaches the max, it was just a hassle so today, we didn’t record our discussion, so I thought I’d just write it up ASAP before I forget.

InshaaAllah, tomorrow we will finish surah Nabaa and I can give them the test. Though, from our discussion just now, it seems like they need more reinforcement and studying to do so they really get and can internalize this surah with new understanding. Dua time!

 

Categories: Bayyinah Institute, Discussion, Living Islam, Quran, Tafseer | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

A Learning Moment

It’s amazing how learning can occur in such a simple act as watching Afasy on Youtube. N is crazy over Dawud Wharnsby’s anaasheed. Z is closest to her and would follow her every act. At one point, I saw N at the computer, and Z by her side, standing, with the headphones on and I guessed what he was listening to.

“N, let him listen to Afasy. Not too much nasheed.”

Z used to watch a lot of Afasy on Youtube. At one point he was just fixed to it watching it again and again.

I reminded him of this.

“Z, you used to watch Afasy a lot remember? ”

Last night, he asked to watch Afasy, but he especially likes the one where people are praying on the street. When we looked for it, I clicked on the Fussilat video, but apparently I got the wrong one. He pointed to the correct one:

He started asking question as we watched it:

“Why is he crying?”

When he asked this question, I told him about the ayah he was crying about, that it talks about hellfire and how one’s face will be burned and that he is afraid of that happening to him, that’s why he’s crying. I balanced this with telling him that Allah loves us so much that He has prepared Jannah for us, but we have to work for it, and then we can see Allah. We have to listen to Allah.

“Why are they praying on the street?”

Because it’s Ramadan and they go for taraweeh, and there is no space in the masjid because so many people want to go.

“Why do men and women pray?”

Everyone has to pray.

“Why do they go to the masjid?”

Because Allah likes it. The masjid is Allah’s house. So we need to keep it clean, don’t fight in it, don’t say bad stuff in it. We should pray and read Quran in the masjid.

I also started telling him about the crowd at hajj. As we were watching this, I told him that at hajj there are more people than this.

I also pointed out at the straight rows and how everyone moved together and how it looks so organized and neat.

As I’m typing this, he’s asking me

“Why does Allah put the people in the fire?”

Because the people didn’t listen to Allah. These people did bad things, they hurt other people, they even killed some people, and Allah already told them not to do this, but they didn’t listen, they still did it. Allah already told them that if they don’t listen, He will put them in the fire, and they still didn’t listen. So it’s their fault, not Allah’s because Allah already warned them.

At one point before this, he had declared that he wants to see Allah. He had been talking to the girls about Jannah and he asked to see Allah. They told him he will see Allah in Jannah.

Subhanallah. This is learning in context. This is a teaching moment. Sometimes, you don’t need worksheets, activities to teach something. You just need to live life. Allah has created children with innate curiosity that makes them avid observers and question-askers. Sometimes, the best learning comes from unplanned activities/teaching moments. Especially in teaching Islam, which is not just a religion, but a way of life, learning comes from living it. That was how the prophet saw taught the companions, though they would also have formal learning sessions. It’s always about balance. Not being extreme.

In education, there are many schools of thoughts. In homeschooling, there are also many methods and schools of thoughts. Sometimes, we waste our energy debating with each other over why our method is the most correct, when there may be more than one way, or there may be a middle, balanced way.

When we started homeschooling, we started with the school-at-home with OHVA. Then I tried unschooling. Finally, we ended up eclectic. I have leaned to one side too much at one time or another, but it always felt somewhat wrong, and so I would pull myself back up to the middle. At times it’s a constant yo-yo, at times, the pendulum remains still.

Alhamdulillah. Sometimes you really just have to pay attention to things. Allah talks to you through the Quran and in other ways. He is Al Lateef (subtle, gentle, caring) and He is al Aleem (all knowing) and He is al Hakeem(All wise). You just need to use the intellect you’ve been blessed with and reflect, take note of even little things, and you will realize this precious connection subhaanallah.

Sometimes you know something, but in the course of life, you forget that you know this, or you start to worry. Allah reminds you what you know. The Quran is also called zhikr, a reminder. That is why there is a lot of repetition in it, because human beings forget a lot. The root of the word for human means to forget. Go figure.

Categories: Homeschooling, Learning in Context, Living Islam, Quran, Thoughts, Youtube, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Quran Journey

As non-Arabs, our Quran journey begins with learning to read the Arabic. This is the very first thing I taught my kids to do with regards to Quran. With reading Quran, comes Tajweed, the rules of recitation. ‘Reading’ Quranic Arabic is not like what we think of as reading, but it’s more like reciting. Since Arabic is not our native tongue (though I also have come to know that even for Arabs, classical Arabic is not necessarily completely comprehensible since their version of Arabic has evolved since then), we may be able to recite with perfect tajweed, but we may not necessarily understand it.

But, because the Quran, when recited with proper tajweed, has an effect on people, one who can recite it will good tajweed is marveled at by the average Muslim. He doesn’t necessarily have to understand it, but if he can recite well, wow.

We are striving to move beyond that. Because the Quran is not a piece of entertainment, but it is the last scripture sent in a series of scriptures sent through human messengers throughout history. All those scriptures came from the same god, and these are what actually unifies Muslims, Christians, and Jews, whether we realize it or not.

As non Arabs, we have to embark on a journey to truly understand it. Before that though, there is another aspect in the journey of Quran; memorization. Many Muslims, Arabic speaking or not, memorize the Quran. One of the most obvious ways the Quran is preserved is through oral memorization. If anyone tries to change anything in the Quran, these memorizers (huffaadh) would catch it right away. No doubt about it. The Quran is memorized in its original actual form, in Arabic, whether the memorizer understands it or not. The vowelization, lengthening, meanings are generally consistent, albeit with differences in different schools of recitation.

So, as non Arabic-speaking Muslims, we have also embarked on that journey of memorizing. H, at age 7, after listening to a lecture by Safi Khan on Imam Ahmad Hambal, and how Imam Ahmad finished memorizing Quran at age 10, declared that he wants to memorize Quran by age 10 too. That was how it started with H. To this day, he is still doing his hifdh.

There was a time, when he was younger, he fell asleep on the couch after working on his memorization. He talked in his sleep, and his ‘talk’ was a recitation of a portion of the surah he was working on. Amazing. It has been about 5 years since he started this journey, and he is progressing alhamdulillah. He has changed teachers, and I fear that this may pose as a drawback. In our locality, he is the only one of two who is working on hifdh. For a child, competition in this arena may be a good thing. So, him doing it alone all these years, most of the years, may have been a damper. We are restricted by our situation thus far. I ask that Allah make this easier, but so far, we’re still in the same situation. His decision is based on His wisdom, so I’m sure there is good in this. I know it’s a test, and I fear that we may not pass this test.

I am worried about his review process. He is memorizing new portions with the brother who is working with him right now. Since this brother is also a students, there are limitations. We the parents, are the ones revising with him. This is getting harder. H doesn’t work well with me. Ever since he was young, he hasn’t listened to me well enough. Not enough to take me that seriously. I remember teaching him tajweed. Because I’m his mother, he didn’t take me seriously. Once he started going to AM at the masjid, his tajweed improved a lot. I taught him the same things, but he obviously learns better with a stranger. My girls aren’t like that. They take me seriously. This is a huge challenge for me. Especially since I am the only one who is inclined to working regularly with him. Hubs is too busy to be able to do this with him regularly. He said he can only do it on the weekends. Actually he can do it, between maghrib Isha, because they’re usually at the masjid anyway at that time, but sometimes it doesn’t happen. I can’t control that, so I strive to work on things that I can control, which basically translates to “I’m doing this even if it’s very very hard to do because the boy doesn’t listen to me and my time is limited too”. Subhaanallah. May Allah make it easy. Ameen.

What I find challenging is not only his attitude towards me, but also my own temper and level of patience. Only Allah knows how much I do slips up everyday.

At the same time, I’m also working on the understanding Quran journey with them. We listen to Nouman’s Tafseer podcast everyday after fajr for about 20 minutes and then we discuss it. We just decided to start at An Nabaa instead of from the back and after a while, I noticed them sliding down, not paying attention. I decided to test them on the material. After our session this morning, I came up with the test. I am excited over it, but I worry. Only Allah can guide the hearts. Only with Allah’s blessings will anything be effective. No matter how great my questions are for them, it won’t lay any imprint in their hearts without Allah’s blessings. This makes me scared. It makes me hopeful, and it makes me even more dependent on Allah.

Oh, I’ve realized how dependent I’ve become on Allah all these years, especially as my kids grew older and I realize there is only so much I can do. But, seriously, being a parent is a huge lesson in developing tawakkul (utter and complete reliance on Allah while putting in one’s effort to the max). My goal in us listening to this tafseer is for us to really understand the Quran, internalize it and embrace it, truly embrace it as we should. When we listen to it, when we recite it, it should touch our hearts because we understand it, because Allah has made our hearts open to receive it. That’s how we should interact with the Quran.

In the Quran, Allah mentions that He sends messengers to

  1. recite
  2. purify
  3. teach them the book
  4. teach them the wisdom/sunnah

upon the people.

The first step is reciting. The heart has to be pure in order to receive teachings of the book. This is why we start young. This doesn’t mean an older person doesn’t have a chance, for guidance after all, is in the hands of Allah regardless of age. This purification is very important. Very important. Can’t be emphasized enough. Teaching them the book and the wisdom (application/sunnah) will round them up into hopefully good and contributing Muslims.

S is on her own Quran journey right now. Alhamdulillah, she is on her own, with Al Huda. N and H, I’m handling. Z, is at the recitation stage, and this is hard too. Subhanallah, everytime I have to work with Z, I’m reminded of how old I really am.

I’m on my own Quran journey too. Better late than never, right?

Subhanallah…there are just days where you feel really depleted, really wrung out with no ounce of energy left. It’s only the belief and certainty in Allah that pulls you back up. He’s there, watching you. He knows what you’re going through. He knows whether you’re trying your best or not. He knows what you’re thinking even before you think it. He knows what you really want. And He’s there to help you out, on His own time, in His own way. You just have to believe, ask, wait. Continue loop (hey, I was a computer science major after all, even though I loathe the subject). So…continue loop, till death do us part.

 

Categories: Juggling Multiple Kids, Living Islam, Memorizing, Quran, Tafseer, Teaching Challenges, Teaching To Read, Thoughts | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

About Hajj & Life…

I gave the older kids assignments on Zulhijjah and Hajj.

  • N – virtues of 10 days of Zulhijjah
  • S- find ayaat in Quran related to hajj
  • H- research the rites of Hajj

After Fajr, we did our Friday routine, we listened to Nouman Khan’s Quran Cover to Cover of Surah Kahf. Then S had make up group bec she missed it on the PSAT day.

H’s Hajj rites infographic

 

Ayaat from Quran related to Hajj:

I did some explanation on these ayaat though I added some that S didn’t find here.

Al Baqarah 125

2:125
Sahih International

And [mention] when We made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security. And take, [O believers], from the standing place of Abraham a place of prayer. And We charged Abraham and Ishmael, [saying], “Purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who are staying [there] for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer].”

Al Baqarah 127
2:127
And [mention] when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Ishmael, [saying], “Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing.

Al Baqarah 128

2:128
Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.

Al Baqarah  158

2:158
Sahih International

Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allah . So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘umrah – there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing.

Al Baqarah 189

2:189
They ask you, [O Muhammad], about the new moons. Say, “They are measurements of time for the people and for Hajj.” And it is not righteousness to enter houses from the back, but righteousness is [in] one who fears Allah. And enter houses from their doors. And fear Allah that you may succeed.
Al Baqarah 196-203
2:196
Sahih International

And complete the Hajj and ‘umrah for Allah . But if you are prevented, then [offer] what can be obtained with ease of sacrificial animals. And do not shave your heads until the sacrificial animal has reached its place of slaughter. And whoever among you is ill or has an ailment of the head [making shaving necessary must offer] a ransom of fasting [three days] or charity or sacrifice. And when you are secure, then whoever performs ‘umrah [during the Hajj months] followed by Hajj [offers] what can be obtained with ease of sacrificial animals. And whoever cannot find [or afford such an animal] – then a fast of three days during Hajj and of seven when you have returned [home]. Those are ten complete [days]. This is for those whose family is not in the area of al-Masjid al-Haram. And fear Allah and know that Allah is severe in penalty.

2:197
Sahih International

Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do – Allah knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah . And fear Me, O you of understanding.

2:198
Sahih International

There is no blame upon you for seeking bounty from your Lord [during Hajj]. But when you depart from ‘Arafat, remember Allah at al- Mash’ar al-Haram. And remember Him, as He has guided you, for indeed, you were before that among those astray.

2:199
Sahih International

Then depart from the place from where [all] the people depart and ask forgiveness of Allah . Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

2:200
Sahih International

And when you have completed your rites, remember Allah like your [previous] remembrance of your fathers or with [much] greater remembrance. And among the people is he who says, “Our Lord, give us in this world,” and he will have in the Hereafter no share.

2:201
Sahih International

But among them is he who says, “Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”

2:202
Sahih International

Those will have a share of what they have earned, and Allah is swift in account.

2:203
Sahih International

And remember Allah during [specific] numbered days. Then whoever hastens [his departure] in two days – there is no sin upon him; and whoever delays [until the third] – there is no sin upon him – for him who fears Allah . And fear Allah and know that unto Him you will be gathered.

On the virtues of the first 10 days of Zulhijjah, we had a discussion on reflections:
Q: What did you notice about our two Eids?
A: it is after hardship. Like in Ramadan, we fast.
Q:  Okay, but what about Eid Al Adha then?

A: Hajj!, Hajj is difficult.

Q: But what about the rest of us who are not doing Hajj?

A: Day of Arafah, fasting on that day, and the 10 days.

Q: Ok, I want you to look for a pattern in this. What do you notice about the last part of the days just before Eid?

A: Last 10 nights in Ramadan and first 10 days of Zulhijjah

Q: What about them? What do we do in the last 10 nights of Ramadan?

A: Lailatul Qadr.

Q: How about first 10 days of Zulhijjah?

A: fasting and zhikr

Q: So we increase more in worship in these last/first 10 days and then we have eid. [they didn’t get to the point I was trying to get them to]. Give me an analogy of this in real life.

A: [H] It’s like when Nadal plays tennis, and he messes up his leg in the process and then he wins

A: [S] It’s like studying for a test. You study and then close to the day of the test you study really hard

Q: Yeah, so it’s like a race, right? Long distance running. You can ask Abi, he did this. I did it too, once and the only one time.

A: You lost right?

Q: Yeah, but Abi won. He was first. So, a lap is I think about 400 meters, so an 800 meters race is two laps. When they shoot the gun, how do the runners run?

A: They jog, like this [H demonstrates]

Q: Yeah, and then once they finish going around the lap, they start to speed up to take their place, and when they are close to the finish line, they sprint.

A: That’s like horse races too [S]

A: [S] When I race, I run just behind the first place and then I sprint to the finish line.

Q: So there is that intense increase towards the end, right? That’s what we do before both Eids.

As I am typing this, I just remembered why I began this discussion. Because there were too many little distractions from Z and I was rushing to finish up because I had class (which I was late for because I thought it started at 9:30!), I forgot the point of asking them this. My point is that, Allah has made our two annual celebrations, our major celebration as a celebration that has a purpose. They celebrate struggle, struggle in obeying Him. Just like He has not created anything in this world without a purpose, He has also prescribed our yearly celebrations with solid purposes.

And it is based on this also that I have established celebrations in our family. We don’t do birthdays. But I would make and decorate cakes for events of accomplishments and motivation, or just a surprise. It feels more…purposeful that way. And it doesn’t happen too often, so one doesn’t begin to expect it. When one begins to expect a celebration in which gifts will be given to him, it has the potential of creating an attitude of ingratitude, self pity, ill feelings when he doesn’t get it for whatever reason. When treats or gifts are not expected, it makes it more precious.

We don’t do fast food and we don’t eat out much. So when hubs actually offers to have us eat out, like in Dallas, when he offered ice cream or something for me after I was done with my workshop, it felt like a real special treat. Every day, after picking me up, we would go to the McDonalds and get some dessert, either the Frappe or the hot chocolate. Only the two of us went, but we would go back to the hotel and share with the kids. It’s not a regular thing that we do, for if it becomes regular, I guess it might lose its once-in-a-blue-moon value. In moderation is always the best way to go. In our case, it’s more like a 9:1 ratio. It’s all good alhamdulillah. This life is temporary, it’s not our permanent home. We have permanent homes waiting for us, and we get to work for which one we want to go to. So, while it’s permissible and even to some point encouraged to enjoy this life, there should be a limit and there should be moderation. It’s easy to get carried away with ‘fun’, so keeping a tab on it can be pretty important. Though of course, moderation means that we don’t limit ourselves too much that we are too heavily leaning to the All work and no play side of the see saw. Balance.

Hajj – May Allah enable us to go soon. Ameen.

 

 

Categories: Family, hajj, Islamic Studies, Quran, Tafseer, Zulhijjah | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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