A wonderful idea implemented in our Madressa program today throughout the day was Show and Tell. The children brought in little bits and bobs about the Imam and shared them with the whole class.
Another idea using a similar concept of items is a Mystery Box. This can be done during circle time for bigger groups or just with your own children. You (or ask a child to) pull out items one by one that related to the theme or special person. As you take them out you explain the meaning or significance, and help deepen and broaden the children’s understanding of the theme or special person by attaching a visual and/tangible object to represent the different attributes of said theme/person. To make it more exciting, even with very young kids (2-5), you can put all items back in box and at the end of your session you can ask them to remember what items were in box. It’s a good way of seeing how much they picked up as well ?
Here are some ideas for items:
- A newspaper – to signify that Imam will come when there are lots of problems in the world and he will eliminate all of them.
- An Iranian coin/note (or picture) with Masjid-e-Jamkaran on it, where people gather on Tuesdays to try and meet the Imam.
- An Ariza and/or envelope – for us to write to him.
- A Zulfiqar necklace – as a reminder that when Imam comes, he will have different things belonging to Prophets/Imams of the past, including the sword of Imam Ali (as).
- Cut-out sun and cloud – to signify that although we can’t see him, just like the sun behind the cloud still gives us light and warmth, so the Imam still provides guidance and help.
- Tasbih – lots of Tasbihs recommended to be recited during this month
- A small Quran – place over our heads during the amaal
- Dua hands/dua book – as it’s the night of the duas/seeking forgiveness
- A small sleeping bag or pillow – We spend all night in duas and prayers til dawn
- A small telephone or cellphone – for calling friends or relatives to ask for forgiveness on this night
- A small cake – to represent a birthday
- A compass – for the “guided one”
- The number 12 – for the 12th Imam
- A little boy – how how old he was when going into occultation clouds
- Picture of someone standing up with head bowed – to represent how we bow out of respect for him