RSS Feed

Tag Archives: kids

“Mommy Special”- Crafting with Kids in Ramadan!

[Guest Post for YC Blog – by a mother for parents looking for ideas on keeping their kids busy and excited during Ramadan, specially the last 10 days]

With the dawn of Ramadan, I thought about a bit older kids, The ones who have started fasting last year or who will be fasting this year or the next. I sat down to do my research and allowed my creative juices to flow so that I could come up with fun crafts for them, crafts that are more age appropriate and a bit challenging than simple cutting/pasting or colouring pages.

My justification being: the best way to teach and engage a kid is by letting them ‘do’ something. Living in the West I noticed that even months before the start of December, kids are inundated by all the activities and shows and events relating to Christmas, I feel there is a stark lack of the same when it comes to Ramadan, specially for the kids aged 6-7 and above.

Following are 6 fun Ramadan crafts older kids will love to do:

1) Calligraphy Wall Art

This is a very simple project, you trace/print the calligraphy picture and color it with sharpie. Kids of 5 years and above should be able to do it with parental help.

01

 

2) Masjid Sun Catcher using Beads

This project is good for 6 years and older, because it is a little trickier and requires parental supervision while using the oven. But again even younger kids can make their own random patterns (in a cupcake tray) and bake it to reveal awesome patterns of a sun catcher.

02

3) Masjid Puffy Paint

This had been such a fun craft and my toddlers loved helping me with it. With help of a parent, kids above 3 years can do this craft. Younger  kids can still get to mix the batter which is the favourite part of my 2 year old. And older kids can do this craft from start till end.

03

4)  Painted Rocks

Again, both my toddlers loved colouring on the rock, though they needed parental supervision, because the rocks were hot and then I just finished the rocks, writing ‘Alhamdulillah’ and ‘Muhammad Rasool Allah’ (SAW). 3 year olds and above should be able to do it easily.

04

5) Lantern Shrinky Dink

This craft is for older kids, with Parental supervision 5 year olds and above should be able to trace and colour the pattern and might be able to cut it as well, and the parent will get to help and bake.

05

6) Foil Art Wall Decor

4 year olds and above should be able to pull this craft, while their parent will need to help them with the glue gun part.

06

 

I have been so obsessed with crafting that I undertook a 15 day craft challenge here. And I am hoping to add more crafts there as well.

Hopefully they will inspire you enough to gather your supplies and give it a shot.

 

 

Advertisements

19 Lessons Fatherhood Taught Me

19 Lessons Fatherhood Taught Me

im-the-daddy-hat

By Zaki Imtiaz

 As Muslims, we often hear the virtues of motherhood and the benefits that kids bring to their mothers. However, it seems that fatherhood and its joy and importance often get ignored in the process. So, I decided to compile a list of some things that I’ve learnt and experienced from being a father. All the fathers-to-be and new fathers will find it beneficial inshaAllah.

 So once you’re a father, you’ll find that the following things have happened:

  1. Your love for your spouse deepens.
  2. You have to take responsibility not only of your own actions but also of your family’s.
  3. You have to try and adapt yourself to you baby’s sleep time to get some rest. He is too small to follow your routine.
  4. Even if you start following your infant’s sleep cycle, you still have to strive hard to get a good, refreshing sleep. 😛
  5. All of a sudden, you start feeling much older.
  6. You have multiple jobs now. One that is outside your house, earning money for the family, and the other with your cute little angel at home.
  7. The unique feeling you get when your baby looks at you and smiles is priceless.
  8. You start to acutely realize the hardships that your parents have gone through: skipped sleep, suffered cramps in their biceps rocking you at night, declining all the fun with friends because they were busy with you.
  9. Time passes too quickly. You angel’s birth feels moments ago, as new milestones are achieved one after the other.
  10. Technically, you have lesser time to spend with you spouse, but your bond and the quality of that time improves.
  11. Most of the time you’re busy in nurturing your kid, either physically or spiritually, or discussing with your wife about his upbringing, values and character.
  12. You become more future oriented. You start to think proactively.
  13. Your mind works on over-drive as you plan your child’s schooling according to Islamic values and plan for him to become a Hafiz and Qari.
  14. You start seeing life as a grand opportunity to shape up a human being, to inspire a complete nation (through his progeny) to become Allah’s slaves, and for you and your wife to becoming the leaders of Muttaqoon (pious people) yourself.
  15. You sometimes find it difficult to manage your relationship with your wife, because now she has two babies to handle: you and your baby! She’s fragile, so handle with care 😉
  16. Your wife loves you even more, for helping her out in the baby chores, makes du’aa for you, and prays for you to stay with your family till the end.
  17. All your childish, immature and irresponsible behavior is gone. You have to be a DAD now and you need to be responsible. Expect your kid to be exactly like you.
  18. You are more concerned about savings now, because living in an expensive era, it’s important when it comes to good education and Islamic nurturing of your kids.
  19. Now you’re remembering Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala and his commandments more. You have a journey to walk together with you family. Your journey back to home, to Jannah!

Alhamdulillah I have found my experience to be life changing. Do you find yours? Please share more lessons with me so that I can learn even more 🙂

draft_lens19474422module159168565photo_1337212786a_

_____________________________________________________

The writer is a software engineer and can be contacted at zakiimtiaz1@gmail.com

Top 7 things I like about Pakistani Weddings

Top 7 things I like about Pakistani Weddings

By Umm Ibrahim

Here are the top 7 reasons that make me smile at the start of the wedding season.  These are the things that make attending a wedding worthwhile.  Yes, they actually make all the preparation and dressing up in chiffon and georgettes (in chilly December nights) and the travelling worth it.

1- Nikah in the Masjid

8429005191_e51a8c7a6b_z

There is something very serene about attending a Nikah in a Masjid. It makes you reflect on the sacredness of the bond and the beauty of the relationship.  Alhamdolillah, more and more young people are opting to tie the knot in the Masjid.

2- The awesome Khutbah

Inside_Shah_Faisal_Mosque

‘Awesome’ is the last word that I’d use for most of the Nikah khutbahs that I’ve heard.  But, then there is that rare Nikah khutbah which is enlightening and Iman-boosting at the same time.  Instead of some rehearsed mumbo-jumbo, it is real life advice that you can comprehend and apply.  It is a power-packed sermon that reminds you of your duties to Allah and to your fellow human beings.  You come back from such a wedding feeling that, for a change, your soul has had its wedding feast too, and not just your body.

3- The cute kids in ghararas, lehangas and three-piece suits

ZHL4i41794

Don’t you just love them?  They are cuteness personified; and the way they pop out from underneath the tables is just adorable.  Any wedding is incomplete without the toddlers running around dressed up as little men and women.  Their spontaneity and innocence is actually refreshing in a surrounding where most of the adults appear to be fake: painted in make-up, plastering false smiles and visibly uncomfortable in ridiculous hair-dos and stiletto heels.

4- Bumping into a long-lost friend or acquaintance

its-a-small-world

It’s a small world, they say.  And a wedding is a perfect place to prove this true.  You are bound to run into that classmate you haven’t been in contact with since Grade 4.  Or that Aunty who was your neighbor 10 years ago.  If you’ve been invited from the bride’s side, this person will most probably be invited from the groom’s.  In most cases, these run-ins are very pleasant and nostalgic.  Old friendships get rekindled.  You catch up on everything, exchange phone numbers and marvel over the wonderful chance encounter.

5- The Rukhsati

We, Pakistanis, are very emotional beings.  Our family bonds are very strong.  Yet, paradoxically, we don’t openly express our love and affection for our families, except at the hour of rukhsati!  There is something so genuinely sentimental about a rukhsati that it can melt the heart of anyone present.  The beauty of the father-daughter, brother-sister, sister-sister and mother-daughter bonds are all beautifully portrayed in these few minutes.  Yes, seeing the rukhsati is worth the 5-hour wait!  (By the way, holding a Mushaf over the bride’s head at the time of Rukhsati is not from the Sunnah, nor is it reported to have any benefits.  So, brothers of brides, you can safely ditch this practice.)

 6- The Mehndi

latest_girls_mehndi

No, I don’t mean the Mehndi functions.  I mean the Henna.  What a wonderful thing it is!  The colour, the smell, the designs!  I love to apply it on others’ hands (though my attempts often end up in a mess and fervent apologies on my part) and I absolutely love to get it applied on my hands.  After Eid, a wedding is the second-best excuse to apply Mehndi.  It also makes the memory of the event last for a good ten days.

7- The Food

gajar_ka_halwa5

Last but not the least, the delicious food. Isn’t this the reason why most people attend weddings in the first place? What can beat gajar ka halwa and kashmiri chai in the cold December nights?  Tantalizing, eh?

So, all hail the wedding season. Viva la wedding season!

Read “Top 7 things I dislike about Pakistani weddings” here: https://youthclubblog.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/top-7-things-i-dislike-about-pakistani-weddings/

Work Hard For The Rest Of Your Life

Posted on

The Life Expectancy of males in Pakistan is 64 and a half years. Assuming that is how long I would live, I have already spent more than 1/3rd of my life. How much time in these years have I spent working and worrying for the life that’s NEVER GOING TO END? And how much have I worked for the few more scores of my life left in more than 22 years I have been breathing?

We are told by our parents and relatives “Beta, bas matric he sab kuch hai. Iskay marks sari zindagi sath chalnay hain. Achay college main chalay gaye tou agay asanian hongi (Son, Matric is everything. These marks will be with you all your life. You would have ease ahead if you get into a good college).”

When you get in a good college this statement changes to “Beta, bas FSc main achay marks le lo. Entry test k liye achi achi tayyari karlo. Aik baar achi university chalay gaye tou kuch ban k he niklo ge (Son, just take good marks in FSc. Prepare well for the entry test. Once you get into a good university you’ll come out as something at least).”

After you’re in a good university they tell you to work hard since your job depends on GPA. Be presentable in the interview. Don’t keep your pants above your ankles it won’t look good. Do anything you can but just get a job. You won’t get married without it of course.

Once you have a job it’s still not over. You have to keep working hard and harder. This is the age. You’re young and can work hard. This is the age. Do something for your wife and kids. Make the rest of your life easy for you.

Rest of my life? That’s a joke right? Because I’m 40 and my body has started to become weak now. I get tired easily. I can’t do the things that I “dreamed” of doing. What was the ease that I was looking for? Where is the “whole life ahead of me” that I was promised I would be able to enjoy?

Oh but wait, I’ve made a lot of money. I have a good name among people. They respect me because of my status – my worldly status. Now I can use this status to trap other youngsters into this game. I’ll do that because I lived my life this way and now this world is all I see. I’ve been institutionalized. It all makes sense to me. This is all that matters. Dying is easy now, since I’ve achieved my purpose in life. This is how our lives are supposed to go. This is how our lives do go….

It’s sad. It really is. This is what happens to most of us. This is what is happening to most of us.

Sweet Slavery

I graduate in 2 months, if Allah wills. I’ve gone through all of this and still going through it. There are times when you just stop and think what are you doing? How many books have you read, yet not read the Quran with understanding? How you’ve stayed up all nights to prepare for your exam tomorrow, yet not stayed up even part of a night to prepare for the exam in the hereafter. How you’ve felt your nerves stretch for the fear of your result, yet you feel ease about the only result that would really matter. You get headaches thinking about what you would say in the interview, yet you do not get headaches thinking how you would answer the Lord of the Worlds.

It almost drives you crazy sometimes. Just look at the sky, and imagine these stars falling over you. Put your hand on the fire and imagine yourself burning, your whole body, for about 10 minutes? You can’t even imagine to bear the pain. Gives you the chills.

Or feel the gentle breeze touching your skin, the peace and calm you feel inside by it. Then imagine Jannah, the rewards Allah has promised. It leaves you immovable for a while.

We’re all in this mess. And I won’t tell you how to “escape” from this, for we all have different problems and you’ll have to find your way out of yours. Just remember if you’re sincere about your Akhirah and you rely on Allah then HE WILL get you through this. You’ll find a way out of it if you truly rely on Allah.

That is what the messengers did when they were threatened by their people.

“And why should we not rely upon Allah while He has guided us to our [good] ways. And we will surely be patient against whatever harm you should cause us. And upon Allah let those who would rely [indeed] rely.”
[14:12]

There are a million things one can keep writing, but the crux of it all is this: WE NEED TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT OUR LIVES. We need to stop worrying so much about our worldly life and start worrying more about our AFTERLIFE! The Quran is full of examples. We might read the translation but we seldom think upon it. I know I don’t. Because when you start contemplating upon the words of Allah then you start seeing how wrong you are living your life they way you’re living. We are lying to ourselves, all of us to some extent, and we need to stop that. We need to wake up before it’s too late and when there’s nothing left but regret. This is a reminder to myself first and foremost…
And Allah is the source of all strength. May He grant us enough to wake up to the reality of this world and do more for our hereafter than we do for this world. All good is from Allah and only the mistakes are mine.

%d bloggers like this: