Below is a compilation of some ideas by amazing mums from around the world, on how you can mark it with your children/classes:
Mark it as Mother’s Day – make some cards to gift to mums *some nasheeds are shared at the end to go with Mother’s Day theme!
Hold a Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea in her honour, and the children get to serve their mothers
Have a puppet show
Have a Mystery Box with items representing Bibi Fatima (as):
A mini Quran
A mini blanket representing the story of hadith kisa
A tasbeeh representing the story of when she asked the Prophet for help
Bread to represent the story of how Hazrat Fatima (as) gave away her food to someone poor after a long day of fasting
A doll’s dress to represent her wedding dress that she gave away
A band-aid/plaster because she used to take care of the Prophet’s wounds when he was hurt by people
The impact of these mystery boxes are amazing! Here is what one mum said: “I thought my daughter Fatima wasn’t paying that much attention during the Hazrat Fatima (as) mystery box, but when I was driving back home from somewhere, the kids were hungry and the only food I had was a piece of pita bread! I passed it to Fatima and my son said I’m hungry too; Fatima passed the bread to him and goes “Mama, I shared my bread with him just like how Hazrat Fatima (as) shared her bread with the hungry ones!”
Craft ideas can include making tasbeehs, or decorating candles (Lady of Light), or crafts around her titles (such as Umme Abiha)
A lovely craft idea is a Prayer Tree, inspired by Bibi Fatima praying for all those around her (as in the story when asked by Imam Hassan (as) – related book is ‘Pray for Others’ by Kisa Kids. Each child wrote who they would make a special prayer for on a heart (leaf).
Here are some rhymes:
Start a yearly tradition:
“In anticipation of my little girl growing into a young lady quicker than I can keep up with (!), I decided to start a yearly ritual at the time of the wiladat of Sayyada Fatema Zahra (sa) in the hope that she and her friends can begin cultivating a love for the lady who will be their guide and role model through life. We kept it a small gathering this year as it was our first one. We started with a story about a Princess who makes a sacrifice to help her mother get over an illness, out of love for her. We then talked about parents, how much we love and respect them and the things we can do to show them this. We talked about how special our mothers are in particular and how the most amazing mother was Sayyada Fatema Zahra (sa) and some of her amazing qualities that we all aspire to have. We ended with learning the du’a for parents “rabbir ham huma kama rabba yaanee sagheera.”
We all then got stuck into three fun activities! Decorating cupcakes and making paper tissue flowers as special treats for the mummies and also making a du’a card to display at home reminding the girls to recite the du’a that they had learned. The girls then chatted and enjoyed some snacks before going home with their girly pink bags filled with tabarruk and their activities, to present to their mummies :)”
Sil-e-Rahm is a key part of Islam, as maintaining relationships with family is essential to unity. However, with our busy lifestyles, it may not be so easy to keep in touch with our extended families, aunts and uncles, etc. One good way is to keep a note of important birthdays, and at least make the effort to call them on that day.
Another idea, which is especially useful to teach the importance of this concept to children, is a Sil-e-Rahm Jar. Cut out strips of paper and write the names of people your children want to/should keep in touch with – cousins, friends, etc. Then choose a day, a day that you know you will have some time to make calls and that time-difference won’t be an issue, and on that day every week, pick a name out of the jar and skype/facetime/call away!
Alhamdulillah, my kids loved the concept so much they didn’t want to wait a week and decided to pick several names out of the jar at once, and for several days thereafter! I’m actually thinking of making my own personal jar to help me stay on top of my own personal responsibilities of Sil-e-Rahm 🙂
This Sil-e-Rahm jar may be ideal for those returning from ziyarats as well. One of the beautiful aspects of ziyarat is getting to know and forming ties with the people in the group, as well as coming across long-lost friends and acquaintances of other groups. Although initially upon return, efforts are made to keep in touch regularly, unfortunately this inevitably dwindles… Why not make your own Sil-e-Rahm jars and see how that works?
On a final note, just wanted to share the importance of Sil-e-Rahm: Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) says, regarding the rewards for Sil-e-Rahm – “The reward for Sadaqah in the way of Allah (SWT) is ten times, whereas the reward for giving a loan is twelve times (because in giving a loan the dignity of the loaned is maintained). The reward for the good behavior to the believing brothers is twelve times and the reward for Sil-e-Rahm is twenty four times.”
Last but not least, one of the customs for zawwaar is to buy things from this holy trip for family and friends back home who were not lucky enough to be there!
Why not include your children in this process of choosing the right things for the right person, including their friends. Then once home, make it extra-special by encouraging/helping them to write a little note to go with it, explaining why they are giving those things and the significance behind the items.
Inshallah, it will give it that personal touch, as well as making it very meaningful for both, giver and recipient.
It may also reinforce the importance of giving gifts in Islam, for the Prophet (saw) has said: “A gift brings about affection, reinforces brotherhood, and removes grudges. Give gifts to each other and you will love each other.” (Bihar al-Anwar, v. 77, p. 166, no. 2)
* That concludes this series for now! Would love to know of any other ideas that anyone going to ziyarat this year had, once you get back Inshallah…
* And on the off-chance that anyone is reading this while there, Iltemase Dua!