Monday, April 11, 2016

The Season of Worship: Rajab, Sha'ban and Ramadhan!

Salam Alaykum!

It's been a long time since I've updated this blog, but here I am with an update for my favorite season: The Spiritual Season AKA The Season of Worship! This special season consists of three of my favorite months: Rajab, Sha'ban, and Ramadhan. It is these special months where Allah's mercy is raining down upon us, and it is upto us how much we will take advantage of this mercy through our deeds and actions.

As we tell the kids, imagine that you are invited as a guest to the house of someone very special! You look down and see that you're all dirty and smelly. What are you going to do? Well, you're going to take a shower and clean yourself, of course! Once you're all clean, you're going to put on your nicest clothes and perfume; you'll comb your hair and make sure you look your best. It is only then that you can arrive at the home of your guest, ready to have a great time.

Well, the months of Rajab, Sha'ban and Ramadhan are just like this. During the month of Ramadhan, we are the special guests of none other than Allah. So, to prepare for this special occasion, we must use the two months before. During the month of Rajab, we must cleanse of our souls from the filth of sins. How do we do this? Through istighfar, as well as other actions, such as fasting, reciting Du'a, etc. Once we have cleansed our souls in Rajab, we are ready to adorn them in Sha'ban. The best adornment is that of Salawaat and other good deeds, such as fasting. Finally, once our soul is purified and beautified, it is only then that we are able to enter the month of Ramadhan, ready to benefit from Allah's mercy and special blessings in this month.

In order to create the atmosphere of the Season of Worship in our school, we have a special bulletin board:
The board will be updated for each month. Currently, it's set for Rajab (I will post updates for Sha'ban and Shahr Ramadhan iA). The board is divided into three main sections:

Rajab Information
1. General information about the Spiritual Season
2. A hadith about the greatness of this season and especially Rajab
3. A simplified list of recommended am'aal for this month
4. Rajab A'maal cards - students are encouraged to take one and use it when completing their am's this month
5. Rajab Self-Assessment Sheets - students can keep track of their a'maal and award themselves points with these sheets

Event cards tell students about the special occasions that take place this month

The trivia section is a fun, interactive way for students to learn some fun facts about Rajab. Students are invited to write their name on a piece of paper and put it in the envelope that contains the correct answer. For each question, we will pick one winner from the winning envelope to receive a special prize!

Click here to download all the printables needed to put this bulletin board together.

Another activity for this month is the Season of Worship Plants activity.

This project uses the metaphor of a plant to explain this season. In the month of Rajab, we plant the seed of istighfar that will help our soul bloom. In the month of Sha'ban, we nourish this seed with Salawaat, and it begins to sprout. Finally, we find that in Shahr Ramadhan, our soul is in full bloom, but only so long as we took proper care of it in the previous two months!

Click here to download the lesson plan and templates for this activity

Stay tuned for more projects coming up soon! I have a great Me'raj project that I will be posting up soon, inshAllah. If you use any of these, we'd love to see pictures! 

Iltemase Dua!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Muharram Children's Activities

Salam Alaykum!

I apologize for being so MIA and not updating the blog! I have many great activities to post, inshAllah, but with Muharram coming up, I wanted to first share activities for Muharram. At our Masjid (SABA), we have special children's programs for the first 10 days of the month. Boys and girls are in separate rooms where they each listen to a short speech, and then complete Muharram-themed crafts.

The children thoroughly enjoyed these programs last year and learned a lot! It was a great way for them to connect with the events of Karbala and learn relevant lessons at the same time. If you would like to do similar programs at your Masjid, our lesson plans for this year and last year can be found at the links below. Please visit and pass it along to other Masaajid that you feel may benefit from these lessons. Please share your feedback and send pictures if you do decide to use any of the activities!

Muharram 2014/1436 Lessonplans

Muharram 2015/1437 Lessonplans

*Please note that these lesson plans are still a work in progress. Please forgive us for any errors or shortcomings.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Imam of the Month Bonfire

In our Islamic Studies classes, we have an "Imam of the Month" board. Every month, we let an Imam pick us. We have all the Imams on slips of paper. As a group, we recite a Surah Ikhlas and gift it to all 12 Imams. We then ask one of the Imams to pick us so that we can better get to know him, and we choose one of the papers.

During the month of Muharram, we just happened to pick Imam Husayn (a), or rather, Imam Husayn (a) chose us. This was very exciting for the students.

To help us better get to know Imam Husayn (a), we had a bonfire. Each student had to come prepared with something to share about Imam Husayn (a): a story, a hadith, facts, a poem, a latmiyya, etc. We also prepared a story of why Imam Husayn (a) was named Husayn. In addition, we had materials for s'mores that students could make.

We turned off the lights and lit the candles. Students sat around and shared their contribution to the campfire as we roasted s'mores. It was a great activity that helped us get to know our Imam better in a fun way.

Kalimah: The Flag of Islam

Salam Alaykum!

It's been a while since I've posted, but I have some great new projects we've done recently!

In Kindergarten, we spent the past couple weeks on a very important topic: the Kalimah. We talked about how the Kalimah is like the flag of Islam because it represents our beliefs and compared it to other flags - like the US flag. We went line-by-line, learning the Arabic as well as the English and what it really means. Once all the students memorized the Kalimah in both Arabic and English, we made our own Kalimah Flags as a cumulative activity. Instead of words, we used pictures to represent each line.

These were very simple to make.

1. Use a sheet of construction paper to cut out a flag.

2. Print out the template for the Kalimah pictures here.

3. Students must cut out the pictures and glue them on the flag in order.

4. Tape on sticks or straws as the flagpole.

We also talked about how each picture represents each line:

1. La Ilaha ilAllah - There is no god except for Allah
We used the number 1 to show that there is only 1 God.

2. Muhammadur RasulAllah - Prophet Muhammad (S) is the Messenger of Allah
We used a messenger bird because these birds bring messages to people. Similarly, the Prophet (S) was a Messenger who brought the message of Allah (the Qur'an) to people.

3. Aliyun Waliyullah - Imam Ali (as) is the friend or chosen one of Allah
We use a picture of people holding hands because Allah (swt) chose Imam Ali (as), his trusted friend, to be the Prophet's successor

4. Wasiyu RasulAllah - Imam Ali (as) is the leader after Prophet Muhammad (s)
Here, I told them the story of Ghadir, and how the Prophet (S) chose Imam Ali (as), by the command of Allah, to lead the Muslims after him.

5. Wa Khalifatahu bila Fasl - Imam Ali (as) is the first khalifa
I explained how a Khalifa is like a King, and Imam Ali (As) was the first king, so we used a crown.

The first graders also reviewed the Kalimah and completed a Kalimah mobile project.

Similar to the Kindergarteners, they also went through the Kalimah, but since they had learned it last year, we quickly reviewed the Kalimah and what it means.

They made mobiles as their cumulative project. I gave each of them a CD disk. They tied a piece of string through the CD. I then gave them the template with the pictures (download here). They colored and cut out the pictures. They then spread rubber cement on the CDs and glued the pictures on in order.

They really enjoyed these projects, and it was a fun way for them to learn/review the foundation of their beliefs!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Du'a Before Starting Class

Salam Alaykum!

The way you start class is really important since it sets the tone for the rest of the day. I always try to begin the first class by having one of the students recite the Du'a for starting class from Mafatihul Jinan, but sometimes I forget. I've noticed that on the days where we do remember to recite the du'a, the class as a whole is a lot more beneficial. We tend to get more work then and have more fruitful discussions. It only takes 30 seconds, but it makes a big difference! You can download this du'a with the meanings from and post it up in your class to help you remember!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Muharram Jeopardy

Which child doesn't love Jeopardy? As an adult, I still love a good game of Jeopardy. This is why Jeopardy is an awesome way for children to learn and have fun at the same time. If you throw in a competitive element, like a prize, that motivates them even more.

Jeopardy in teams is sometimes tricky with kids, since it's always one person who seems to give all the answers. Therefore, individual Jeopardy is a better alternative for children.

We played  Muharram Jeopardy during one of the children's programs during the first 10 nights of Muharram. We said we would give prizes to the winners, but we decided that everyone is a winner, and everyone received a great prize: Ya Husayn/Ya Abbas/Ya Zaynab pins. They wore their pins with pride for the rest of the 10 days!

You can download the PPT for the Jeopardy over here. You can download the template for individual answer sheets here. Remember to have enough pencils for each child!

Happy learning! :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Salah Sequence Game

Games are a fun way to teach students different concepts, especially for those concepts that are essential, such as salah.

For the 2nd and 3rd graders, a great way to help them learn the names of the actions of salah, as well as the order, we created a salah sequence game.

We created cards with the different actions of salah and students had to put them in order. To add in a competitive element, students competed to see who could do it the quickest. You can download the template for the cards here.

You will need to print out the cards, laminate them, and then cut them so they are all the same size. As an option, you could put magnets on the back of each card so that students can put them in order on the whiteboard.

  • Salah action cards (template here)
  • 8.5x11" Laminating pouches
  • Laminator
  • Magnet tape (optional)