Looks like a great documentary to watch with your teens!
Here are just a few things that Islam has told us to do, which are 1500 years later being proven by Science!
- Drinking while sitting, and not gulping:
2. Taking off shoes in the house:
3. Health benefits of fasting:
A couple of articles on the scientifically proven benefits…
Here’s a good clip for kids:
4. The importance of dates at delivery:
5. Giving dates to newborns:
Check out below, on the sunnah of giving dates to newborn babies, and the recently revealed scientific information to back it up.
From Derya Kucukali:
“Over 1400 years ago, when a child was born, the Prophet (PBUH) made it his sunnah to take a small part of a date and place it in his mouth. He would then chew it until it was soft and then rub it onto the palate of the new born baby. This is called Tahneek.
Today, BBC News has reported that “experts” have said – “A dose of sugar given as a gel rubbed into the inside of the cheek is a cheap and effective way to protect premature babies against brain damage”
This is why Muslims follow the sunnah of the messenger without questioning it. Science is only now discovering a tradition that was introduced 1400 years ago because Islam was and still is the forefront of development.”
Link to the article – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24224206
Here is of increasing evidence for the importance of not only breastfeeding, but for longer…
Allāh (SwT) mentions in Surat al-Baqarah, Verse 233: “Mothers shall suckle their children for two full years, – that for such as desire to complete the suckling.”
And the Prophet has said: “For a child, there is no milk better than the milk of the mother.”
This is of course, only if the mother is able to! If an intention and desire to do so was there, but for whatever reason it was not possible – am sure the niyyat will go a long way. Allah is Al-Alim (The All-Knowing) and Al-Qadir (The All-Powerful) after all. 🙂
And here’s another article on this subject: http://www.thestranger.com/features/feature/2015/08/26/22755273/the-more-i-learn-about-breast-milk-the-more-amazed-i-am
Ooh and this is amazing! http://mom.me/blog/24116-coolest-breast-milk-fact-youve-ever-heard/
On a sidenote, check this out: https://themuslimvibe.com/faith-islam/the-parallels-between-praying-and-breastfeeding
7. Using a miswak to brush, which the Prophet showed us back then but which is coming into age in the Western world now:
8. Sitting while going to the toilet (for men!):
9. And here’s a whole bunch more:
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): 9 Healthy Habits That Science Later Proved –
“Early Riser: Prophet Muhammad slept early and woke up with the Adhan of Fajr each day. Being an early riser has scientifically been correlated with better productivity, as well as better mental health in general. So, waking up early may be hard but with baby steps, even if it’s just waking up 15 minutes earlier to start with, you can begin improving your quality of life.
Eating Less: The practice of eating less to prevent sickness and disease was emphasized by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and now backed heavily by science much later. The Islamic concept ‘1/3 for your food, 1/3 for your liquids, and 1/3 for your breath’ matches very closely to the Japanese ‘hara hachi bu’ concept, which means eat until you are only 80% full. Read more about the health benefits of the ‘hara hachi bu’ practice here.
Eating Slowly: We now know that it takes our body 20 minutes to send signals to our brain that it is full. Slow eating will help you eat less food and improve your digestion, and it is a practice Muhammad (PBUH) did himself and strongly advocated. Read more about slow, mindful eating here.
Mindful Eating: ‘Eat together and not separately, for the blessing is associated with the company’. The prophet stressed this, and today sharing and enjoying food has been proven to reduce stress, improve family and romantic relationships, and build healthy eating habits within children.
Water: ‘Do not drink water in one breath, but drink it in two or three breaths’, is the manner by which Muhammad (PBUH) drank water. Science today proves that when a person drinks too much water in a short period of time they can experience headaches, imbalance in blood electrolyte levels and sometimes dizziness too. Drinking slowly helps you actually absorb the fluid and get the most benefit out of it.
Pomegranates: Pomegranates are thought to have been the prophet’s favorite fruit, and modern scientific research has proven pomegranates to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. They contain manganese, which helps in the formation of bone structures during the metabolic process, and potassium, which aids in maintaining cellular function and keeps a balance in fluid levels. They are also potent in flavonoids and polyphenols, antioxidants which protect our bodies against heart disease.
Fasting: Recent evidence is showing that not just the food we eat, but our eating timings and patterns also have a profound impact on our health. Fasting was a regular practice of Muhammad’s (PBUH) life, not just during Ramadan. He would fast until Maghrib every Monday and Thursday, and also on the 13th, 14th and 15th of each month. This is similar to the intermittent fasting practice, which has been proven to balance hormone levels, prevent oxidative stress, and reduce overall inflammation. When you think about it, the less food you put into your body the less it focuses on digestion and the more it can focus on healing itself from certain ailments!
Dates: Dates are the perfect foods to break your fast as they stabilize your blood sugar levels, rebalance blood electrolyte levels, and help kick start your digestive system in preparation for food. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also recommended dates to be eaten in the lead up to childbirth. Dates are now proven to boost oxytocin production in your body and speed up labor.
Staying Active: Fulfilling three of the five pillars of Islam requires that Muslims be of sound health and fitness; prayer in itself is a form of exercise that requires movement of your body’s muscles and joints. Good health is also necessary if you intend to fast or participate in Hajj. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) strongly encouraged physical exercise and told parents to encourage physical activity in their children too by ‘teaching them swimming, horse riding, and archery’.”
9. And how about life on other planets?!
“Perhaps you think God has not created a humanity other than you. No! I swear to God that He has created thousands upon thousands of mankinds and you are the last among them.…
Like this world there are 70,000 other planets with each of their people believing they are alone in the universe.
I cannot say that there are human beings in other worlds, but I can say that there are living beings, whom we cannot see because of the great distance between us.”
Imam Jafar Al Sadiq (A.S) Circa 750 CE
Alhamdulillah, following on from the success of last year’s Hajj Activity Day, we had the opportunity to go in to our children’s school again – this time to share the month of Ramadan with them!
Each class came into the hall and we had about 35 minutes with them. After a quick introduction to how Muslims greet each other, we introduced the notion of the month of Ramadan being an Islamic month (it’s not one of the 12 months they know about) and that it’s a month of fasting. The children were asked if they knew other religions that fasted (yes, they do!), and were told that they would be learning all about how Muslims fast. The children were divided into groups of five/six and went off to different stations around the hall!
Each one got their Ramadan Activity Day station card represented by the different stages of the moon. Once all stations were stamped, the month would be over and it would be time for Eid!
The stations were as follows:
Lunar Calendar and Moon Phases:
Here the children were first introduced to a calendar which follows the moon rather than the sun, and therefore how it changes over the years. They were introduced to the fact that some other religions also follow the lunar calendar, and then as a group, they went through the moon phases, and then were given the task of arranging pre-cut moon phase shapes into order. An added challenge for Key Stage 2 (but many from Key Stage 1 were also able!) was to label the phases too!
Fasting from dawn till dusk:
Here the children learnt about the timings of the fast, and that no, we don’t starve for 30 days on the trot! The younger began by discussing the times they woke up, went to school, went to bed, etc – and were encouraged to stick relevant pictures on to the clock faces and try to set the clocks themselves if they were able. They then discussed how Muslims don’t eat from sunrise to sunset, and older children were shown how this varies across the globe, and across different years. They had a fact sheet to look at about the different hours of fasting around the world!
At dusk, we break our fast with dates – the children were shown a plate of dates and explained how this was a constant, and why it was recommended. This station had an amazing display of pictures of people in different countries breaking their fast with different spreads – the children then had to go around the spot the dates and circle it in each different picture!
The Holy Qur’an:
At this station, the children learnt that one of the reasons Ramadan is so special is because the Holy Quran was revealed in it! The Holy Quran was likened to the Holy books they may have heard of, such as the Bible. They had an opportunity to look at a Quran and also listen to the recitation on some iPads and then share how they felt – some of the feedback was amazing on this: “When I listen to the Quran it feels like it’s taking all my troubles away.” Many said they found it soothing and calming, and they often didn’t want to stop!
To introduce them to the content of the Quran, we made some simple booklets which they were briefly explained, and then had the opportunity to look into themselves. These were – Science in the Quran, Morals in the Quran (e.g. respecting elders and teachers, being nice, smiling) and Stories of Prophets from the Quran.
We invited a calligraphy artist to come into school for this program! The art of calligraphy was introduced, and the fact that it was most often done from verses in the Holy Quran. Lots of pictures were up on display for them to see the different recognisable shapes that could be made up by calligraphy, such as animals and fruits. The artist then sketched their names in Arabic in pencil, and the children traced over this with calligraphy markers, learning how to manoeuvre the pens, and make the diamond dots. This (and listening to the Quran) was by far one of the most popular activities of the day!
Fasting with the whole body:
There were two parts to this station. Firstly, they looked at how fasting is good for the body and how it affects us positively. Secondly, they looked at how fasting is not just about eating or drinking, but how we need to fast with our whole bodies (e.g. not hitting with hands). On post-it notes, children wrote how they thought fasting was done with a certain part of the body and then stuck it on a life-sized body chart.
A letter to the parents had gone out, requesting certain food items to be brought in for this day. When the children came to this station, they discussed the concept of charity and that so many in this world don’t have enough, even in the UK today. They talked about food banks and what they do, and how fasting helps us empathise more with those that don’t have enough food. They were also made to think about the fact that as well as handouts, many people who are suffering also just want to know that people remember them and are thinking about them, and so they wrote out little messages to the recipients of the food and stuck these on to the food items.
Once all the stations were completed, it was time for EID:
At this station, they talked about how Eid is a celebration – not because we don’t have to fast anymore, but because of the fact that after this month, we are hopefully better people! They discussed what people wear and do on this day, such as visit the mosque, visit family and exchange presents, and then were given a treat that they got to pick out from a Lucky Dip box.
Once this was all done, they had an opportunity to write their thoughts down. It was amazing to read their reflections!
We finally gathered them together and left them with this thought – once the month is over, it doesn’t mean we go back to all of our bad habits. Ramadan is like intense training that we go through, to serve us for the year ahead. Just like when people want to be a fire-fighter, police, etc – they go through such intense training to make sure that when a real fire/situation arises, they are ready to deal with it. With that final thought, we got a resounding THANK YOU before they went back to their classes with their hands full 🙂
Alhamdulillah, the staff were really appreciative of this day – they felt like they learnt a lot too, and that the children could relate so well to all of the activities. Parents were also invited in at one point to have a look which they enjoyed also. Inshallah with steps like these, we can try to prevent the prejudices that arise in society today due to lack of knowledge!
To download all the resources to do with this activity day, click here.
A recent conversation with my son about fasting sports people made me want to share this here… Maybe it will be a source of inspiration for your kids too!
- England’s Moeen Ali: Ramadan fast makes me feel sharper: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-33479503
- And how about this:
‘“The first five days are difficult,” Kolo Touré, a Liverpool defender, told the club’s website last year. “After that, the body just starts to” adapt, he added, “and you feel really happy. You clean your body as well, and you feel even stronger after Ramadan.”’
- An interesting article for the young world cup/footie fans in the house! May lead to a good discussion on “what would you do?”!
- This is a great documentary to watch with older ones.
And how about these great articles for us parents? From not ‘feeling’ Ramadhan and remembering what worship really means, to suggestions to use our time well, here is a round up of my favourite articles for US!
- And this one by – Umm Anissa, Admin of Muslim Kid Genius:
For parents who spend time doing Ramadan crafts with kids and decorate the house. Good job to you for putting in the efforts to make Ramadan kid-friendly and attractive.
For parents who don’t do Ramadan crafts or decorate the house. Good job to you too for sparing time for more Quran, conversations and prayer reflections with kids, which don’t need any photo uploads at all.
For parents who bring children to masjid for teraweeh. Good job for your courage and introducing the masjid to your children.
For parents who don’t go masjid but perform teraweeh at home. Good job for showing your children that teraweeh can also be done at home at your own time, and that reflection of Allah can be done anywhere.
For parents who encourage your children to fast all day. Good job to you for educating your children about the merits of fasting.
For parents whose children can’t fast all day, but only half or quarter days. Good job to you because you know it’s not wajib at their age, and you’ve shown your patience and compassion towards the kids’ growing physical needs.
For parents who continue with their usual kids’ outings, playdates, activities in Ramadan, good job to you for this effort to show that Ramadan does not mean life stops, but carry on as usual.
For parents who slow down in kids’ activities. Good job to you as you understand kids need rest while fasting. You too need a rest.
For parents who cook special food specially for Ramadan. Good job to you as your kids will remember Ramadan as special because of yummy and nutritious iftar. Serving your family earns great rewards from Allah.
For parents who cook the usual daily menu which you normally cook outside Ramadan, good job to you too. You don’t spend too much time in the kitchen and instead, spend more time to dzikir, read Quran and du’a for the family.
For parents who can perform charity and donate to masjid and guide your children to do the same, good job to you for showing that in Ramadan, we can be extra generous to earn His Blessings.
For parents who cannot give much to charity as you’re already struggling to pay your children’s medical bills, basic needs and bills. Good job to you too because your children learn that charity begins at home, for family first and that paying for your children’s basic needs is already a charitable act with great rewards from Allah.
Every family is different, unique and have different needs. Do not compare one family’s Ramadan experiences with another. Do not feel bad if you perceive the other family is “doing more”. What you see on social media is not the same as what Allah sees. Whatever we do, do it with the right intention to please Allah. May Allah ease our affairs, accept the good from us and forgive our sins in this blessed month.