Tag Archives: Islamic Learning

Ramadan Crafts and Activities

By Maryam Kidwai

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Ramadan is right around the corner and I can hardly believe it. The holy month is a time of spirituality, solitude, socialization and a time to feast on savoury delights with friends and family. One of my goals every Ramadan is to indulge a little more in our religious traditions and become a better Muslim in some way. To this end, I also like to involve my kids in the festivities and try to bring them closer to our religion. I find involving them in arts and crafts an excellent way to educate them about the importance of this holy month.

So I have been on a pursuit to identify some fun activities that I can do with my kids this year. Thankfully, there is no dearth of ideas online so the challenge is really to choose the most practical and constructive ones. Below, I have listed some fun crafts and activities that teach something relevant about our beliefs and that are simple enough to do.

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Good deeds: Create a calendar or a jar of good deeds that children can do every day. The deeds can be as simple as being kind, helping out around the house or hugging a sibling. Check out these links for some great ideas:

Baked goodies: Bake cookies in the shape of stars and crescents. You can also bake mini cupcakes and frost them with stars or toppers that read “Ramadan Kareem.” Some people prefer the idea of dates – whatever you choose, put it together in a beautiful package and share the goodies with your neighbors, colleagues, friends etc. You may also attach a note to explain the significance of the month and the reason behind our fasts.

 

Ramadan journal: Keeping a Ramadan journal is a great way to set goals and keep track of achievements each day. You can keep it simple by using a notebook and a pen or feel free to try some options from the list below:

 

Mason jar lanterns: Mason jars are all the rage these days. So why not make lanterns out of them.

Make beautiful mason jar lanterns with glass paint and gold puffy paint. Use glass paint to paint the inside of the jar. For the outside, use gold in whatever design you like. To add decorative details, you can glue pearls or twine. For easy hanging, add loops of fine-gauge wire. Light them up and your candles are ready to enjoy indoors or out.

 

Screen time: Kids these days love their iPads/tablets. So why not incorporate some religious learning during their screen time. There are several child appropriate lectures on YouTube that you can watch together. You may also download some of these apps:

Sadaqah jar: Make a sadaqah jar out of cardboard, an empty pasta sauce jar or a pringles can. Decorate it to give it a holy vibe and encourage your children to donate frequently and also collect from family and friends. I find this a good way to reinforce the importance of giving, sharing and kindness. It will help teach them compassion for the less fortunate, which is an essential component of our religion. The collected donations can then be given away at your local masjid.

 

Quran time: If your kids are old enough, try learning a new surah with them. There are plenty of short surahs to choose from. You can also read stories from the Quran about our prophets, stories of the sahabah and hadith from the prophet’s life.

Prayer rug bookmarks: Make prayer rug bookmarks using simple items like felt fabric, puffy paint and glue. You can go to the moon with ideas on colors and designs.

 

Ramadan calendar: Indeed, one of the joys of Ramadan is the anticipation of Eid. You can create a calendar as a way to keep track of your fasts and also to countdown to Eid. Here is a link with some ideas:

 

Candy balloons: Ask your kids to choose candy and sweet treats and fill the balloons. Blow up 30 balloons for 30 days. Pop a balloon every night after iftar and enjoy the treats. You may want to save the best treats for the last 10 days/balloons.

Ramadan is primarily about prayer and worship. It is perhaps the most sacred month for Muslims and it is our responsibility to make the most of the blessings this month brings and at the same time celebrate in all its glory. As someone who grew up in Saudi Arabia, I definitely miss the atmosphere and the enthusiasm with which we welcome Ramadan in Muslim-majority nations. My daughter loves all the decorations and the general vibe during the Christmas/holiday season. She always asks why we don’t decorate our house and why we don’t put up a Christmas tree. While I am not fundamentally opposed to the idea, I do believe that we should celebrate our festivals with all the excitement and glamour that we can, if not more. So this year, I would like to decorate our house some more and I really want to put up lights outside. Something about lights brings out a festive vibe. There are some great ideas for decorating your home. Check out these for some inspiration:

Back home in the Middle East and in the subcontinent, there is tremendous excitement around Ramadan/Eid and I don’t want my kids to miss out. I have bold ambitions but I sure hope I am able to pass on the excitement and the spark of Ramadan to my kids.

 About the Author

Maryam Kidwai is a mother to two beautiful girls. She works as a Marketing Communications professional in the financial services sector. Maryam is passionate about women’s rights and empowerment and volunteers at several organizations across GTA. She loves to travel fearlessly, meet new people and entertain. She has entrepreneurial ambitions and wild ideas. Maryam wants to be a renowned author of many books and dreams of building a little she-shed in her backyard where she can curl up with a book to enjoy the gorgeous sun and the short-lived Toronto summers.

Ibn Sina: Life And Contributions To Learning

By Fariha Asif

Ibn Sina

Muslims have made a significant contribution to the world’s knowledge bank. They have made many discoveries and written countless books about medicine,surgery, physics, chemistry, philosophy, mathematics, astronomy and geometry, to name a few.

One of the most famous exponents of Muslim Universalism and an eminent figure in Islamic learning was Ibn Sina, known as Avicenna in west .

Early life 

Ibn Sina was born in Bukhara (in modern day Uzbekistan) then a leading city in Persia. His youth was spent in company of the most learned men of his times and he became accomplished in all sciences and arts. Avicenna had memorized the Quran by the age of 10. He learned Indian arithmetic from an Indian green grocer. He also studied Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence).

Teenage and Adult life 

As a teenager, he was greatly troubled by the theory of metaphysics of Aristotle which he could not understand  until he read AlFarabi’s commentary on the work. For next few years he studied philosophy in which he encountered greater obstacles. In such moments of confusion, he would leave his books,perform ablution and go to the mosque and continue praying till light broke on his difficulties.

He turned to medicine at 16 and not only learned medical theory but, also by gratuitous attendance of sick, had discovered new methods of treatment. The teenager achieved full status as a qualified physician at age of 18.

Contributions and Discoveries  

Medicine

He spent last years of his life in Hamadan where he composed ‘The Canon Of Medicine’ which is among the most famous books in the history of medicine.

Mathematics

He divided Maths into branches such as geometry, astronomy, arithmetic and music. Then he further subdivided each of these topics. Geometry, for instance, he categorized into geodesy, statics, kinematic, hydrostatic and optics. Astronomy he subdivided into astronomical and geographical tables and calendars. Arithmetic he subdivided into algebra and Indian addition and subtraction.

Science and Philosophy 

Ibn Sina discussed reason and reality claiming God is pure intellect and that knowledge consists of mind grasping intelligible. To grasp intelligible, both logic and reason are required. Ibn Sina gives the theory of knowledge describing the abstraction in perceiving an object rather than concrete form of object itself. The major work  of Ibn Sina in philosophy and science is his famous book ‘Kitab Al Shifa’ (The book of Healing). Despite the book’s title, it is not concerned with medicine rather it is intended to cure or heal ignorance of the soul .

Metaphysics

He examined existence. He considers the scientific and mathematical theory of world and it’s ultimate causation by God.

Astronomy 

He made astronomical observations and made several correct deductions from these. For example,  he observed Venus as a spot against the surface of sun and correctly deducted that Venus must be closer to Earth than the Sun. He invented an instrument for observing the coordinates of a star. The instrument had two legs pivoted at one end, lower leg rotated about a horizontal protractor, thus showing  azimuth, while the upper leg, marked with a scale and having observing sights ,was raised in plane vertical to lower leg to give the star’s altitude .

Mechanics 

It was a topic that Ibn Sina classified under mathematics. He defined simple machines and their combinations which involve rollers, levers, windlasses, pulleys and many others.

Ibn Sina is rarely remembered in the West today and his fundamental contributions to Medicine and the European Reawakening goes largely unrecognized. However, in the museum at Bukhara, there are displays showing many of his writings, surgical instruments from the period and paintings of patients undergoing treatment. An impressive monument to the life and works of the man who became known as the ‘doctor of doctors’ still stands outside Bukhara museum and his portrait hangs in the Hall of the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Paris.

 

Jumuah Journals is a weekly series on MuslimMoms.ca where we will be focusing on inspirations, significance of days, events and history of Islam, as well as profiling notable Muslim thinkers, scholars and heroes.

About the author:

Mother to three wonderful energetic boys,  Fariha Asif is a doctor by profession. She is also a dedicated student of Deen. She loves reading, writing, making new friends and strengthening ties with old friends.

Biography sourced from: Mac Tutor History
Image: Wikimedia Commons