Rabi al Awwal for Children

The Scholars tells us that the most important action we can do in the month of Rabi’ al Awwal is to show joy and happiness, in gratitude for the birth of Prophet Muhammad .

Our children should feel happier at this time of year than any other time. This can be a challenge for us in modern times – when many of our traditions related to Rabi’ al Awwal have been lost. But each one of us should contribute to reviving traditions and creating new ones for our children to hold onto.

Set yourself a challenge: that your children should be happier at the birthday of Rasul Allah. than they are at their own birthday. The secret: do more to create a celebratory atmosphere for his birthday than you do for theirs. Children are innocent and will easily show excitement and joy if you give them encouragement and support.

Here are some ideas for how to help our children feel true joy at the blessing of being followers of the Final Prophet .

  1. Have a contest (with prizes) to see who can send the most prayers on the Prophet (salawat). You could do a weekly contest, with a prize awarded each week. Or, set a Family goal such as 10,000 for the month, and encourage each other to reach it – or have two teams compete to see who gets there first. Make a posterboard to track everyone’s progress. *One of the simplest forms of salawat that is easy for children to say is: “Allahumma ṣallī ‘alā sayyidinā Muḥammadin wa Aalih”
  2. Participate in a worldwide Salawat drive here.
  3. Read books of the Seerah & Shama’il in your households with your children or in gatherings, even if it is without commentary. Sanad Collective has some wonderful children’s books about the Prophet  – contact us for a list and to purchase via the Lotus Community Corner or Café Floraison.
  4. Decorate the house inside and outside (lights, lanterns, garlands, balloons, and other ornmaents made by your children!)
  5. Learn and sing songs of praise of the Prophet  or which relate aspects of his life. Sing songs daily – song is an important part of children’s lives and this is the opportunity to expose them to meaningful songs that bring them closer to their faith. Make an effort to fill your home with a joyous atmosphere. Here is a great one to start with. Here is a beautiful one for older children.
  6. Re-enact the scene at Madinah when the Companions sang Tala al Badru alayna for the first time. Explain to your children the feelings those Companions (R) had and help them to imagine the day when they too will see the Prophet.
  7. Help your children develop feelings of missing the Prophet . Together, read letters written by other children to the Prophet  – click here.
  8. Prepare story-telling sessions that would be engaging for your children – stories related to the Prophet’s  life, and especially about his loving relationship with his children and grandchildren. The Prophet  instructed us to teach our children love for his Family (peace be upon them). Teach your children about Sayyida Fatima peace be upon her, and her great love for her Father .  Also tell stories about the younger companions such as Umair and his bird Nughair and Sayyidna Anas (R).
  9. Do artwork of the Prophet’s  name and Family Tree.
  10. Introduce reflection and meditation time (e.g. ask each other “If the Prophet  was with us right now, what would we want to say or do?”)
  11. Since this year Rabi’ al Awwal coincides with Christmas season, take the opportunity to explain that Prophet Muhammad  called Prophet Jesus (pbuh) his Brother, and that we love Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and his Mother Sayyida Maryam (pbuh) and praise God for his miraculous birth too.
  12. Make cards for Muslim and Christian friends to greet them on the special occasion of the births of Prophet Muhammad   and Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him).
  13. Bake cookies or cakes and distribute them to neighbours and friends at school
  14. Host a gathering and invite other families to be part of your Salawat competition, your cookie baking, your storytelling.
  15. Share this article with your friends and family. Spread the peace and joy!SEND US YOUR IDEAS AND WE’LL ADD THEM TO THIS LIST! Write us here: info@sanadcollective.org

Rise Above

Transcript of Shaykh Hamdi’s Khuṭbah on ‘Ashura 2014

It is remarkable how our predecessors made sacrifices for our sake. They were not selfish. Every generation stands upon the shoulders of those generations that came before it, who made these sacrifices. We owe it to them to be grateful for what they did, to reflect upon it, and to thank God for them.

Our Master Husayn alayhi salam showed us what it means to gain victory when it looks to your enemy as if he has overcome you. To gain victory without the material appearance of victory. He alayhi salam allowed the Ummah, the world, to understand what it means to lead from behind, to lead without being the “official leader,” and to lead without holding worldly posts and positions that have titles.

He showed that victory is in having integrity with God, being true to one’s values and remaining the more honourable one, even when being wronged and oppressed. He showed us that one does not struggle for temporary achievement of rights or respect from one’s oppressor, but rather, one struggles in order that there be a model to all the world of what sincerity looks like.

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Having your Period: Nothing but a Blessing!

BismIllah

Assalam alaykum dearest Beloved

I write this letter to you, because it breaks my heart that anyone would feel deprived or punished by the loving action of God in their life. It breaks my heart that we could think in such a destructive way of our Lord, laboring under the harmful belief that He would exclude us from good, or strike us with a state that has no spiritual meaning, or decree upon us with a disconnection from Him – and once a month at that! What kind of a view do we have of God if that is the kind of action we ascribe to Him? What kind of a God are we turning Him, Most High, into?

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Allah is Actually Nice

BismIllah

I’m going to start with a grandiose statement, but I stand behind it: The biggest problem in our world today is that Muslims have a warped view of their Creator, Sustainer, and Lord.

Everything to do with God is fraught with feelings of guilt, performance anxiety, and fear. That includes Ramadan. We are true materialists, like everyone else in our time.

We believe in 1 plus 1 equals two, and forget about the role of the One.

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Ramadan: month of happiness

BismIllah irRahman irRaheem

Alhamdulilahi Rabbil Alameen

Our Teachers in Tarim sing, on the first night of Ramadan: “Welcome, O Month of Ramadan! Welcome, O Month of seeking God! Welcome, O Month of happiness.” Wait, happiness? really? in a religious rite?

Yes! happiness. Happiness is an act of worship – it shows appreciation for God’s Blessings, and it spreads happiness and joy to others. Show happiness this month: smile, because you are standing under a shower of blessings, God’s Grace, His Unconditional Love, and His Forgiveness. You don’t even have to work hard for these blessings: He’s giving them out for free.

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