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Different Types of Salawat

Different Types of Salawat

One of the beautiful ways to being and end the group recitation of Quran is with a Salawat – sending blessings on the Prophet and his family.

Here are a few:

 

Here are the wordings to go with the above Salawat: Qur’anic Salawat

Marking Important Events at Home – Majlis Ideas

Marking Important Events at Home – Majlis Ideas

In this time of Corona, with our mosques being closed, many of us may have tuned into majlis online. However, the act of doing a majlis in your living room and with all your family members is so beautiful and powerful. It establishes the importance for our children, invites blessings into the home, and shows Allah (swt) that even during these times of hardship when masjids are closed down, we continue to keep the tradition of majlis alive. Many families at times hesitate to do this because they don’t know where to start or what to do. Here is a list of ideas that people have shared which you can do with your children!

  • The atmosphere (optional): bring in the atmosphere of a majlis by dressing in the appropriate clothes (whether black for wafat or bright for wiladat), decorating the house with balloons/lights for wiladats, spreading a white sheet, wearing ithar perfume, bringing out your alams (if you have), and keeping a small tray of fruit for nazr/niyaz. Get your kids involved in this as much as possible, e.g. have them help you in the kitchen as you cut up fruit (apples, oranges, banana etc) and tell them this is our niyaz for after the majlis in which we serve in the name of our Imam and recite surahs on it.
  • After everything is set up, call all family to sit down together.
  • Qur’an: Begin with asking your children to recite the Holy Qur’an even if it’s one of the small surahs. If one of you kids can read, have them read the translation as well.
  • Meditation: One lovely idea shared was to start off with some Muslim meditation, such as through www.muslimmeditation.net/zikr-for-kids.
  • Hadith-e-Kisa – there are different options depending on the age of your children:

Option a) Recite Hadith-e-Kisa by watching this video or sing/recite it yourself using the lyrics under the video.

Option b): There are several books on Hadith-e-Kisa book on amazon, and since it may be short notice to order, you can download the kindle version and read it by printing or on a screen. Here is one of the books.

Option c): Recite Hadith-e-Kisa in Arabic yourself or have one of the kids recite it. Or read the translation.

Option 4: Listen to Hadith-e-Kisa

  • Mystery Box: In a small box or a bag, have items related to the topic of today. Have your kids come and take out items from the bag and have them guess what today’s topic is, or if they already know who it is, have them explain how that item is related to him. If you have a younger crowd, explain to them the significance of each item.
  • Books: Read stories about the holy personality/event that you are marking.
  • Videos: Show videos on the holy personality/event that you are marking
  • Hadith: Have you children research and share hadiths on the holy personality/event that you are marking, if they are old enough. Otherwise choose one or two and explain it to them.
  • Lecture/Speech: Older children can prepare a talk, or a parent can give a small speech. You could also listen to a majlis online.
  • Other methods: Maybe the children can think of how to creatively share the information they have prepared for the occasion, such as through a puppet show, or an interactive quiz.
  • Arts and Crafts: Do an art or craft on the holy personality/event that you are marking. It could also be based on the hadith shared above. Or it could be doing some creative writing/drawing based on the lecture just heard.
  • Munajaat/Nawhas – Have children and family recite a munajaat/nawha on the occasion, whether in English or any other. Or why not ask older children to write a poem/munajaat/nawha of their own and recite that.
  • End with Ziyarah: Recite ziyarah with children. Younger children can say “Salaam alayka ya Rasoolallah and go down the list of the 14 masoomeen.
  • Recite Dua Faraj together
  • Then sit for niyaz and tea/juice. For wiladats, why not bake and decorate a cake for this occasion, then cut it just now while singing Happy Birthday to the holy personality!

* Thank you to Masooma Hydery Kalyan for compiling the original post!

Making Gatherings Meaningful in Ramadan

Making Gatherings Meaningful in Ramadan

We are reminded all the time that Ramadan is a month like no other… and therefore, should not be treated like a normal month. It’s hours, minutes and seconds are precious… and yet, with Ramadan traditionally comes iftar invites, sehri gatherings, sports events and the like. And with that, potentially, the usual chit chat, time-passing and other things that are often not so fruitful.

So how can we marry the two? I have put together a list of ways we can change this gatherings into ibadah, Inshallah, if we do it right! Some are the usual ones, and hopefully some may be some new ideas for you 🙂

  • Clarify your niyyah

It is highly recommend to feed others during this month, and so inviting people over for Iftar is a great way to fulfil this. But whether you are inviting others, or going somewhere yourself, ensuring that your intention is to do it because it is an act that pleases Allah will hopefully bring blessings into your evening. Even if you go to play sports, clarifying your intention that you are doing it to keep your body healthy during this month, so that you can serve Allah in other ways, will allow you to transform that sport into worship.

  • Don’t overdo it

Now that your intention is sorted, it is important to remember that balance is important. Moderation is the way in Islam, and this is the same. There is no need to attend every event that is going on, or accept every invite. It is OK to be choosy and attend a select few which you think will be beneficial for you

  • Have a talk

Last night I attended a wonderful family gathering where we got together to celebrate the birthday of Imam Hasan (as), as well as enjoy some quality time together with cousins. The highlight of the evening was a short talk by a cousin, which was simple, practical and very effective. Adding meaning to a gathering by a short talk is a wonderful way to bless the occasion!

  • Share goals for the month

One lovely thing to do – especially closer to the beginning of the Holy month – is to identify and share at least one goal for yourself for Ramadan. We did this in a friend’s group one year, and found that hearing other’s goals not only inspired us but helped us clarify our own, and motivated us to see it through! To top it all off, the hostess gifted us a little notebook for penning down these goals and other reflections during the month, and had blessed it with a personalised message for each of us!

  • Share a hadith each

If you feel a talk is too formal, or perhaps no one attending can give a talk, then another great way to get everyone learning as well is to ask all coming to bring a hadith to share. When we did this at a gathering of friends recently, we found that the hadith that everyone chose to bring really inspiring and led to some great discussions!

Here is one of the hadith shared – very aptly 😉

  • Share any other info – a favourite verse, a favourite line of a dua, a new Quranic dua you want to learn, one thing they have learnt so far, etc!

In the same vein, why not branch out and give guests a little fun homework! So they can bring a favourite verse that they like, or their favourite line of dua, a new Quranic dua they want to learn to recite in their Qunoots, or even one thing they have learnt so far in the Holy month.

Somebody hosted a themed iftar last year – the theme was ‘His Love is in the Air’ 🙂 All the friends were actually asked to do all four of the suggestions above! Furthermore, they were asked to present it nicely, but were not told why. When everyone had eaten, they began sharing their four things and showing what they had put together. Once each person shared what they had chosen and why it was meaningful to them (which was beautiful in itself!), they picked a name out of a hat and in line with the verse, “You will not attain piety until you spend of what you love; and whatever thing you spend, Allah knows of it.” (3:92), they then were asked to gift their presentation of their favourite verse/dua etc, to that person whom they picked.

Then in line with Allah’s promise of giving us more when we give something, they each got a little something as a gift. The gifts were little things to do with the kitchen and home, such as a cake tin, worktop saver, etc, but each item had a small dua to go with it! So for example, with a tray, the message read: “A tray can hold so many things and requires a balancing act to carry! This Ramadan, may you put all of your prayers and problems on Allah’s tray and leave the balancing to Him!” and so on…

Alhamd it was a lovely evening filled with the remembrance of Allah in the most beautiful, personal way.

P.S. Here is the poster I got! It was so cleverly done, with pictures to symbolise each of the four things, and the text behind.

  • Discuss a good book

Last year we started a book club, and held our first sehri during the month of Ramadan. The book was secular, but had lots of links to Islam and as we all shared our thoughts and relevant hadith on the topic, it felt like a beautiful session with God at it’s center. Why not choose a book a month in advance, and set a date to discuss it during a gathering?

(P.S. This wasn’t the book we read for Ramadan, this came later… but you get the gist ;))

  • Hold an event for a greater cause

There is a group in our community who host a beautiful iftar every Ramadan, and it’s ultimate goal is to raise money for charity. We pay tickets to the event, and there are raffles sold with lots of people donating their services as prizes; lots of money is raised, and an evening of community building and fun is had in the process!

  • Top it all off with Sadaqah!

And lastly, a lovely way to top it all off is to encourage giving when people attend a gathering. For younger children, inviting them to bring in food to donate to a food bank, or new gifts to give to refugees or the sick, is a lovely way to incorporate charity into an event. For adults, having a sadaqah box present on the table alongside the food, and inviting people to donate to a cause is also a lovely idea.

Have you had any meaningful gatherings during Ramadan? Please do share!