Sunday, November 21, 2010

MUSLIM'S IDENTITY & WORSHIP

 

  • It has been noticed recently that Muslims, whether living in the East or especially the West are being exposed to Western “culture” and values; thus due to the influence of the media and society in general many Muslims find themselves confused in what kind of social behaviour they should engage.
  • Thus, some of the Muslims erroneously think that they can celebrate the holidays of the kufaar (such as Christmas, Easter, etc.) – while still being Muslims and praying five times a day.
  • However, this kind of thinking is the result of confusion, because Prophet Muhammad (saaw) told us clearly in the hadiths that celebrating the holidays of the kufaar is haraam and those who do so will be raised with them on the day of Qiyamah. Some of the hadeeths clearly explain what that we should not join them in their celebrations.

Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood). This is a serious warning. ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-‘Aas said: Whoever lives in the land of the mushrikeen and celebrates their Nawrooz (New Year) and their Mahrajaan (festivals), and imitates them until he dies, he will be a loser on the Day of Resurrection. (islamqa.com)

“A person will be with the one whom he loved (on the Day of Resurrection).” (sahih Bukhari)

·         Therefore, we must only celebrate our Eids and take Friday as a special day – and we cannot celebrate one time Christmas, one time Eid, one time Haloween ,etc. Switching like this between the festivals is kufr and shirk.

·         However, if by any chance we meet any non-Muslims in their festivals, we can say hi, hello, etc. and not Merry Christmas (shirk?), happy Easter etc.; the salutation has to imply nothing unusual. For example, if you have a non-Muslim colleague, accept their invitation on a regular day, and not one of their festival days.

·         Being Muslims, we have to preserve our identity and know that we are the people of Tawheed (oneness of Allah) – and we cannot be one time on the tawheed and another time in kufr/shirk. The two are fundamentally opposing each other. Also, in the Day of Qiyamah the believers and disbelievers will be separated. Also, we must make sure we teach our children in this way from the very beginning – early life and we do not get them confused as to what they are (Muslims) and whom they worship (Allah T’Ala). And before even teaching them the Arabic alphabet, how to read Qur’an, etc. – we must teach them strong tawheed and reliance upon Allah; we should teach that that Allah is the One who has power over many madrasahs kids are being taught how to read the Qur’an  - while by the time they finish reading the Qur’an (with or without tajweed) they are still confused as to Whom they worship. This is shaitan’s way of tricking people to fall into shirk (making partners to Allah).

·         Ultimately, we have to teach the kids that we should strive only to please Allah and not his creation – and that we are and can be different from every other people because of tawheed; thus, we do not have to follow into the trap of blind following the crowds of people rushing up to the Jahannam (hell –fire). In short, believers have to please Allah and nothing else in the creation.

 

 

May Allah make us successful in  the Day of Qiyamah.

Ameen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

·         For any questions or comments, you can email sister mariam (cristinna7@yahoo.com), www.withkidsinmind.net.

Monday, April 5, 2010

THE MASJID SCHOOL CONCEPT

THE MASJID-SCHOOL Concept

this pamphlet explains the idea of why masjids/Islamic centers should be turned into schools.

THE MASJID SCHOOL CONCEPT

during the early days of Islam – and when Islam started being strong, or “the Golden days of Islam” – the education system of the child was “complete” – right from the beginning.
The role of the masjid was to introduce the kids to Qur’an and Hadith (which is still being maintained in the madrasahs nowadays) – but also to provide necessary education to the potential students (children and adults) with the “dunia education (Math, Arabic, science, medicine, etc.) – therefore, the kids would have strong education in basic Islamic concepts, but could also learn “dunia” material all at the same time. Thus the education was complete and there was no need for “public school” or any other kind of school (dunia school) to complement madrasah education.
When the masjid functioned as a school, the kids would automatically pray the daily prayers and learn everything while developing taqwa(awareness of Allah’s greatness and the fact that our role in life is to worship Allah alone and without any partners). Thus, many of the great and well-known Muslim scientists at the time actually were first and foremost Alims (Muslim scholars), who clearly understood the purpose of life as a Muslim. Such examples are Ibn Battuta (great Muslim traveller), Avicenna(Abū ‘Alī al-Husayn ibn ‘Abd Allāh ibn Sīn- doctore, mathematician, etc), Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Abd al-Malik ibn Muhammad ibn Tufail al-Qaisi al-Andalusi (ibn Tufail – mathematician, scientist) – etc. Many of the alims had great roles in different fields of study- such as Math, science, geography, astronomy, etc. – all at the same time.

SECULARISM:
· during present day – we have 2 “schools” for our children – the madrasah and the dunia school – this is in fact a result of secularism (separation of religion and state); it is in fact one school based on tawheed (For Allah’s sake) and one school for dunia, practicaly based on kufr (worshipping other than Allah) –especially in countries with non-Islamic governments.
· Therefore, we have confused children – as to what is right and wrong – since the Islamic values and the “public school”/kufr values are in obvious contradiction. Therefore, we see the “ills” of such public education, especially by the time a child reaches high-school – where it is usually all the evils of the “freedom culture” are well-known to all members of society up to the point that even non-Muslims do not like the effects such “education” on their own kids ( drugs being sold in almost any high-school in North America, no respect for parents, sexual freedom outside of marriage, overall lack of morals and manner, etc.)


THE MASJID – SCHOOL:
· the author here proposes to return to the initial type of education Muslims practiced (especially from JK – to end of high-school) – so that we will have good/ strong Muslims, educated citizens which contribute to make the society a better place to live;
· the masjid is not only a pray to come and pray the 5 daily salah – but it should be the center of all Muslim education – which in turn ensures generations of strong Muslims with a sense and understanding of Muslim values and purpose of life.
· in short either we worship Allah alone and without any partners, or we worship His creation – in whatever form or shape and be misguided;
· therefore, these article is addressed to all those reading the articles (whether parents, imams, teachers, etc.) and proposes that each masjid should be turned into a school to ensure a healthy/guided Muslim generation.


Sister Mariam,
www.withkidsinmind.net , www.withkidsinmind.blogspot.com
(for any questions on the article, you can email me at cristinna7@yahoo.com).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

4 in 1 Vaccine Ups Child Seizure Risk!!! - webmd.com

4-in-1 Vaccine Ups Child Seizure Risk
Measles-Mumps-Rubella-Chickenpox Vaccine Doubles Febrile Seizure Risk
By Daniel J. DeNoonWebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
Feb. 26, 2008 -- ProQuad, Merck's 4-in-1 measles- mumps-rubella-chickenpox vaccine, doubles children's seizure risk compared with two separate MMR and chickenpox shots.
Even at twice the risk, 12- to 23-month-old children who get the vaccine have only a 1 in 2,000 higher chance of having a febrile seizure -- convulsions brought on by fever -- than those getting two separate shots.
Moreover, most U.S. children never had a chance to get the new 4-in-1 MMRV (measles-mumps-rubella-varicella) vaccine. Production problems have limited U.S. distribution. ProQuad won't be widely available before 2009, although some clinics may have a supply in hand.
A CDC safety study among children aged 12 to 23 months detected a cluster of cases of febrile seizure seven to 10 days after vaccination. The recommended age for a first dose of MMRV vaccine or for first doses of separate MMR and varicella vaccines is at 12 to 15 months.
Four out of every 10,000 kids who got separate MMR and varicella shots on the same day had a febrile seizure seven to 10 days later. Nearly twice as many kids who got ProQuad -- nine in 10,000 -- had febrile seizures seven to 10 days after vaccination.
Because the 4-in-1 ProQuad vaccine cuts down on the number of shots a child has to get, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices had recommended the vaccine over separate shots.
This changed after ACIP members heard the results of the CDC study, says John Iksander, MD, MPH, acting director of the CDC's Immunization Safety Office.
"The ACIP has now voted that there should not be a preference between choosing the combined vaccine and giving separate MMR and varicella vaccines," Iksander tells WebMD. "Once ProQuad is back in production, the recommendation should be clear that people can continue to use the separate vaccines, which is what I am now doing in my clinic, or to opt to use the combined vaccine."
Febrile Seizures: What to Do
About one in 25 children has at least one febrile seizure. It's a scary moment for parents. Most of these seizures happen on the first few hours of a child's fever.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "The child may look strange for a few moments, then stiffen, twitch, and roll his eyes. He will be unresponsive for a short time, his breathing will be disturbed, and his skin may appear a little darker than usual."
Most of these seizures are over in under a minute, although rare cases may last for up to 15 minutes. Febrile seizures are rare in children younger than age 6 months or older than 3 years.
"The highest incidence is between 14 and 18 months of age," Iksander says. "That's right at the time we give them MMR and varicella vaccinations."
Measles-Mumps-Rubella-Chickenpox Vaccine Doubles Febrile Seizure Risk
(continued)
Febrile Seizures: What to Do continued...
Here's what to do if your child has a febrile seizure, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke:
Stay calm. Watch the child carefully.
Do not try to hold or restrain the child.
Place the child on his or her side or stomach in order to prevent choking.
If possible, gently remove any object the child may have in his or her mouth.
Never put anything in the mouth of a child having a convulsion, as such objects can break and block the airway.
If the seizure lasts more than 10 minutes, take the child to the nearest medical facility.
As soon as the seizure is over, call the child's pediatrician. The seizure is unlikely to have caused any harm, but it's important to rule out or treat dangerous infections that may have caused the fever.
Febrile seizures are not a sign that a child is developing epilepsy. It is very rare for children who have febrile seizures to suffer any lasting physical or mental harm. But febrile seizures are significant health events that require medical attention.
Top Picks

SAY NO TO VACCINES!!! - & HEALTH

ON THE TOPIC OF KIDS HEALTH AND PHARMACEUTICALS
SAVING KIDS LIVES!!!


http://www.freedocumentaries.org/index_cat.php?cat=29
http://www.prisonplanet.com/archives/vaccines/index.htm
http://www.antivacccin.wordpress.com/

~ WHAT YOU DO NOT KNOW CAN HARM & EVEN KILL YOUR KIDS OR YOU?!

SAY NO TO VACCINES & FOOD ADDITIVES (aspartame, MSG)
this is a new topic at www.withkidsinmind.net - which in shallah will be supported by evidence of how certain things we thought to be safe really are not; I still have to work more into publishing and bringing all the new info into the web-site; however, this is the info in short.
it seems that many of the scientists paid to do research are working in the interest of the pharmaceutical companies and very few of them are doing independent studies, which in fact trully hides the risks of a lot of medical products we use and/or food additives.

SAY NO TO VACCINES!
new research studies are showing the connection between vaccines and the possibility of developing autism due to the MMR vaccines, like about 1% of population; and these incidents must be under-reported also.
How about the toxicity of mercury in the vaccines? Mercury is a known neuro-toxin!
other vaccines can increase the risk of seizures/ convulsions in children.
By compromising the immune system at very young age, how can we safely say that we build young strong/ healthy people.
So many symptoms are not even recorded as being connected to vaccinations – could SIDS (Suddent Infant Death Syndrome) be connected to a response to vaccines?
That extracting monkey kidneys for processing the polio vaccine in Zaire between 1957-1960 – which led to a massive vaccination campaign of 1 million children may have led to the apparition of AIDS virus – since the first cases of this virus also appered and are medically documented in this country dating back to exactly the same time period?

FOOD ADDITIVES!
did it ever occur to you that common food additives like MSG or ASPARTAME can cause neurological disorders, even convulsions, brain damage (holes in the brain) and other related diseases?!, etc. - while the FDA and CDC approved them in the US due to manipulation of scientific data? - while the entire report of CDC showed that aspartme is unsafe for human consumption?
CHECK:
http://www.freedocumentaries.org/index_cat.php?cat=29
(healthdocumentaries section)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The World Map - on-line


Assalamu Alaikum:

- here are some world map resources for kids and adults; how beautiful is the world which Allah did create for us; do we take time to contemplate and think about of the beautiful things Allah created?
~ On-line Atlas:

~ Atlas of Canada:

~ Canadian Geographic

- About Geography:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

THE ISSUE OF DISCIPLINE

SALAAM - CHILDREN/TEENAGERS & DISCIPLINE

¨ There were quite a few sisters who had some several questions about what kind of discipline is required or necessary for their children.

Therefore, I am writing this article to respond generally speaking to all those who may have inquiries on this topic.

Discipline forms are different based on different ages.

A - DISCIPLINING THE SMALL CHILDREN
(Ages up to 10)

¨ Discipline issues can arise for the small children – whether Islamic (regarding salah or religious duties) or behavioural.
¨ You have to keep in mind that the small children are still in the process of “understanding how life works” as well as understanding the mandatory duties.
¨ Especially the small children you will find that they tend to drift easily – suppose you ask them to do their salah or homework and, the moment you turn, they start doing something else. This tends to drive parents literally crazy (I also experienced it with my daughter) and due to anger the kids may be spanked, beaten or treated really badly.
¨ DO NOT BEAT YOUR CHILDREN – since they are too small and they will learn that if they do anything wrong, they will get a beating. Although this may work somewhat in the short term, it will not work in the long-term. As they get older, some kids may come to hate you and they may even go into Kufr because of the poisonous relationship that is likely to form using all these methods. Also, for those living in the West you have to think about this even more – because, while the child is small and is still “in your hands” so to speak, when they grow up they realize the Freedom provided by the system and they are likely to leave home early – as this is “the trend” in the West. This also supposes you escape the system – for beating your kids, although spanking may or may not come under another category. And you may end up in an investigation yourself.
¨ We Muslims are really in a deplorable condition – all we do is BEAT, AND BEAT AND BEAT THE KIDS – when they do not listen. While the kufaar have excellent activities for their kids and even for ours (do you recall how excited many of our kids are with school activities, but not with our religious duties?). This is also one reason for which our kids are so attracted by the Kufaar, because they make everything seem so easy and fun and ultimately they go into Kufr!!! (Authu Billah)
¨ Prophet Muhammad(saaw) loved children and was always kind to children. Here’s one Hadith to illustrate this:
¨ Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle kissed Al-Hasan bin Ali while Al-Aqra' bin Habis At-Tamim was sitting beside him. Al-Aqra said, "I have ten children and I have never kissed anyone of them," Allah's Apostle cast a look at him and said, "Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully." (Sahih Bukhari, Book #73, Hadith #26)
¨ In regards to the Hadith of where you can beat your kids after the age of 10 for salah – that means “lightly, without leaving marks on their body” and should be done only in extreme cases. (I heard some scholars talking about this). Now if you beat your child every time for salah (Authu Billah) – what does the child learn? Salah = beating or Beating=Salah and they end up hating the salah and most likely won’t pray.
¨ COMMUNICATION with your children is essential. You need to talk to your kids daily and remind them of their duties:
¨ The solution to these issues is to constantly “remind on your children” –about their duties and make sure they start them. In the beginning especially, they may still not comply easily. They need time to form a routine. However, in time it may become easier as the necessary routines are formed.
¨ I suggest that you (usually the mother has more time, but father also) tell them every single day - salah means worshipping Allah - salah saves the person from the Hell-fire, salah is the best gift which Allah T'Ala bestowed on people; salah is very very important to us and is the best worship to Allah; salah is a way for Allah to forgive our sins; whoever does not pray salah ends up in the Fire of Hell, etc. etc. etc. I also do this with my daughter too.
¨ Whatever you put in your kid's mind will be of benefit later on in sha’Allah when they understand life better as adults. This technique can be used for any other issues or things you try to make them habitual to it.
¨ in sha’Allah by the time they grow up they will understand the significance of all this talk and in sha’Allah they will pray on time and they will want to pray for Allah's sake and get Jannah.
¨ However, if you find that you need to apply some form of discipline, and you cannot get them to do things just by asking them then in sha’Allah try to apply the technique of REWARDS OR PUNISHMENTS. Example, if you do your salah properly this week, you will get so and so (whatever halal that the child desires). And if you do not do your salah properly, then you cannot watch this so on TV, or go to friends’ house, or have ice-cream, etc. etc. (cut their privileges).
¨ There are many other “discipline avenues” so to speak. Only the principles are highlighted here. However, you have to search what motivates your child best and try to influence him/her with Rewards/ Punishments based on his/her likes and dislikes.
¨ Home-schooling is a very good method for providing Tarbiyah/ Islamic education for your child, along with secular education. Also, from an Islamic point of view, public school is the worst place to put your child in. But if you have no other solution, at least go there for your child’s lunch and ask him/her to do salah. And don’t get confused by the administration if they tell you “they have no space for salah” – if you are determined about it, you will find a solution, in sha’Allah.
¨ If you are weak in one subject, you could switch with your friends (example you are good in Math and your friend has excellent English skills; therefore, you will teach Math and your friend English). Home-schooling links are provided in the Links category.
¨ The Islamic School – it is definitely recommended for the parents who can afford the tuition fees, due to the beneficial environment. As always you may notice that usually Muslim schools are not as well funded compared to public schools. However, the quality of teaching is good because many teachers have immigrant roots and high standards of teaching. Also, one great advantage is that salah is offered every day, as well as the fact that they will be around other Muslim children among whom they can find good/religious friends.
¨ Watching your child’s friends, fun activities and home-schooling are discussed in more detail in the disciplining the older children and they all apply to this age group as well.

B - DISCIPLINING THE OLDER CHILDREN/ TEENAGERS!!!

¨ This is “the real headache” – especially for Muslim parents who live in the West. What is the way to deal with the older kids to ensure that they are being given a glimpse of Islamic education.
¨ Usually by this age the child is almost already formed – his/her way of thinking are much more firm than the smaller child. Usually when the parents have (major) problems at this age, it is much more difficult for them to still do something for their child/children, since the kids are much more independent at this age. The problem could be that something was missing in the education at the younger age.
¨ Sometimes the parents do not have major problems while the child is small, but usually because the Islamic Tarbyiah was not insisted much at the younger age, the mindset and/or behaviour of the child can become a major problem.
¨ However, there are still ways of trying to influence your kids positively even though they may be older. All the previous methods specified can be tried.
¨ Communication with your child is extremely important at this age. If they ask you questions that you may find outrageous (girlfriend, boyfriend, drinking, dance parties – watch out they have a lot of those in “school” etc.) – DO NOT GET ANGRY, as this will make the situation even worse.
¨ I know that especially for the parents raised in the East are most likely never any discussions of this sort with their parents, therefore it is very difficult for them to talk about this issues. However, keep in mind that your child is not small anymore and they are being exposed to all these issues. If they do not talk to you they will talk to their friends or teachers, who are usually Kufaar – and what things will they tell them? Their answers are likely to be unislamic and haraam. Therefore, do talk to them and try to make them understand things from an Islamic perspective.
¨ Friends Influence – You should do your best to observe which kind of friends your child has; if some of his/her friends are bad, try your best to explain to them the reason for which they should stop those relationships; also encourage them to keep and strengthen the relationship with their good friends. Friends are one sure way to guide the person towards right or wrong.
¨ Fun-activities – as always kids are kids and they need to have some fun. You would have a pretty good idea what your child’s likes and dislikes are. Therefore, you should schedule time for his/her hobbies (such as sports, certain TV programs, some home-parties for them and their friends, etc.) Once they have the green light, they will at this age do the planning.
¨ Home-schooling – is recommended for any age before university/college; however, if the child was never home-schooled before high-school, it is unlikely that this method will bring much benefit at this age because he/she is used to socializing primarily through school; however, the parents are encouraged to home-school their children, as it may prove beneficial. You should search also for high-school credits which can be obtained through the internet. Certain virtual schools are recognized by the (Canadian) government as well. Home-schooling links are provided also in our links category.
¨ The Islamic School – it is definitely recommended for the parents who can afford the tuition fees, due to the beneficial environment. As always you may notice that usually Muslim schools are not as well funded compared to public schools. However, the quality of teaching is good because many teachers have immigrant roots and high standards of teaching. Also, one great advantage is that salah is offered every day, as well as the fact that they will be around other Muslim children among whom they can find good/religious friends.
¨ Public Speakers/ Councillors / Other Relatives – it is many times effective if other adults talk to your kids, as they me more impressed by their advice, especially if they can present the same information you would like to convey in a more attractive way than you can.
¨ Other Methods – you can try any other methods that you think may be effective with your children, based on their mind-set and personality. C - FEW RELATED HADITH:
(however, here you have to correct yourself first – because if the parents fall into Bidah, so will their kids; this Hadith really deals with Adults)
BEATING FOR BIDDAH:
¨ (3) Narrated Bukair: That Kuraib, the freed slave of Ibn Abbas told him that Ibn Abbas, 'Abdur-Rahman bin Azhar and Al-Miswar bin Makhrama sent him to 'Aisha saying, "Pay her our greetings and ask her about our offering of the two-Rak'at after 'Asr prayer, and tell her that we have been informed that you offer these two Rakat while we have heard that the Prophet had forbidden their offering." Ibn 'Abbas said, "I and 'Umar used to beat the people for their offering them." Kuraib added, "I entered upon her and delivered their message to her.' She said, 'Ask Um Salama.' So, I informed them (of 'Aisha's answer) and they sent me to Um Salama for the same purpose as they sent me to 'Aisha. Um Salama replied, 'I heard the Prophet forbidding the offering of these two Rakat. Once the Prophet offered the 'Asr prayer, and then came to me. And at that time some Ansari women from the Tribe of Banu Haram were with me. Then (the Prophet ) offered those two Rakat, and I sent my (lady) servant to him, saying, 'Stand beside him and say (to him): Um Salama says, 'O Allah's Apostle! Didn't I hear you forbidding the offering of these two Rakat (after the Asr prayer yet I see you offering them?' And if he beckons to you with his hand, then wait behind.' So the lady slave did that and the Prophet beckoned her with his hand, and she stayed behind, and when the Prophet finished his prayer, he said, 'O the daughter of Abu Umaiya (i.e. Um Salama), You were asking me about these two Rakat after the 'Asr prayer. In fact, some people from the tribe of 'Abdul Qais came to me to embrace Islam and busied me so much that I did not offer the two Rakat which were offered after Zuhr compulsory prayer, and these two Rakat (you have seen me offering) make up for those." (Sahih Bukhari, Book #59, Hadith #656)
EVERYONE IS A GUARDIAN
¨ Narrated 'Abdullah: Allah's Apostle said,
"Everyone of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges. The ruler who has authority over people, is a guardian and is responsible for them, a man is a guardian of his family and is responsible for them; a woman is a guardian of her husband's house and children and is responsible for them; a slave ('Abu) is a guardian of his master's property and is responsible for it; so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your charges." (Sahih Bukhari, Book #46, Hadith #730)

WHEN THE NIGHT FALLS
¨ Narrated Jabir: The Prophet said, "When nightfalls, then keep your children close to you, for the devil spread out then. An hour later you can let them free; and close the gates of your house (at night), and mention Allah's Name thereupon, and cover your utensils, and mention Allah's Name thereupon, (and if you don't have something to cover your utensil) you may put across it something (e.g. a piece of wood etc.)." (Book #54, Hadith #500)

REGARDING THE INHERITANCE
¨ Narrated Ibn Abbas: (In the Pre-Islamic Period ) the children used to inherit all the property but the parents used to inherit only through a will. So Allah cancelled that which He liked to cancel and put decreed that the share of a son was to be twice the share of a daughter, and for the parents one-sixth for each one of them, or one third, and for the wife one-eighth or one-fourth, and for the husband one-half, or one-fourth. (Sahih Bukhari, Book #60, Hadith #102)

WHAT SAVES A PERSON IS IMAN/BELIFEF:
(not wealth and or children)
¨ Narrated Khabbab: I came to Al-'Asi bin Wail As-Sahmi and demanded something which he owed me. He said, "I will not give you (your money) till you disbelieve in Muhammad." I said, "No, I shall not disbelieve in Muhammad till you die and then be resurrected." He said, "Will I die and then be resurrected?" I said, 'Yes'. He said', "Then I will have wealth and children there, and I will pay you (there)." So this Verse was revealed:-- 'Have you then seen him who disbelieved in Our Signs and (yet) says: I shall certainly be given wealth and children? (19.77) (Sahih Bukhari, Book #60, Hadith #256)

LOVING CHILDREN
¨ Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle kissed Al-Hasan bin Ali while Al-Aqra' bin Habis At-Tamim was sitting beside him. Al-Aqra said, "I have ten children and I have never kissed anyone of them," Allah's Apostle cast a look at him and said, "Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully." (Sahih Bukhari, Book #73, Hadith #26)

CHILDREN ARE A TRIAL
Your possessions and your children are only a trial, and Allah it is with Whom is a great reward. (The Holy Qur’an, At-Taghabun, Chapter #64, Verse #15)

¨ For any comments on this article, contact sister (Cristina) Mariam Ignat: cristinna7@yahoo.com

TEACHING METHODS & TYPES OF LEARNERS

EDUCATION OF THE MUSLIM CHILD

This page includes discusses perspectives in education of the child; although we may refer to Islamic and secular education, the reality is that Islamic education includes everything, even what we may now call as "secular"; do you relate of the earlier generations who produced Alims at the masjid, who also were pioneers in their different academic fields (explorers such as Ibn-e- Batutta, etc.)?.

Each parent should value his/her child as it is a precious gift from Allah T'Ala. At the same time Allah T'Ala also places the primary responsibility of education on parents, whether Education is done directly (schooling - Islamic and secular) or indirectly (children modelling Parents' Behaviour). As the child grows, the education is passed onto the teachers' shoulders - while the parents feel they have nothing to contribute. The ideal is involving the child, the parent and the teacher in providing Education for the child, in both the Islamic and Secular categories.

The Muslim Ummah is in an Education Crisis, whether the parents live in the East or the West. The primary problem arises from the fact that Islamic Education and Manners are given too little attention while the children are young; when becoming teenagers, many children are clueless about Islam and cannot be even expected to fulfill the basic Islamic requirements (such as praying Salah, practicing the basic pillars of Islam and knowing the Fundamentals of Aqeeda). Although there may be exceptions by the grace of Allah T'Ala, there are numerous examples of children who fit in this previous sad description of lack of knowledge.

Home-schooling is one recommended solution to ensure that the children learn well -in the fields of Islamic as well as Secular Studies. It requires much commitment from the part of the parent(s), especially the mother - but it usually brings excellent results in terms of long-term Education, that is Learning for the sake of Learning, for the sake of Allah, and not for the sake of getting some prize or making a "pile of money" following the "Academic Career".

The parents should take in consideration the inclinations of the child, his/her likes or dislikes. It should be kept in mind that fairness is of extreme necessity when dealing with children. Whenever the parents give a gift to their son, they should give one also to their daughter, etc.

In general, the parent should also observe which ways the child learns best and whether the child is responding well to his/her teachers. It should be kept in mind that not all children learn the same way; therefore there is no one single formula to best educate a child.

Home-schooling is highly recommended as a tool for parents to ensure Islamic education to their children, especially in the West. Generally speaking, whenever a parent feels that their child does not benefit from the local education system or is struggling academically and/or behaviourally home-schooling could constitute a temporary or permanent solution to the problem, based on the evolution of the child.

  • TYPES OF LEARNERS:

    There are many ways to classify the ways children learn. One simple way is to classify the children as visual, auditory, kinaesthetic (learn by doing). While a child will combine all of these styles, one of them may be more preferred by each.
  • VISUAL LEARNERS - make use of TV/videos learning documentaries, movies, pictures when explaining concepts to them
  • AUDITORY LEARNERS - use sounds, songs, rhymes, cassette recordings, ask them to listen to sounds in nature and explain what they understand, etc.
  • KINAESTHETIC LEARNERS - learn by doing things; they like making projects, science experiments, bristle boards, index cards, etc.
SOME APPROACHES TO LEARNING

  • THE USE OF COLOURS - some kids like the simple, organized style; other are very creative and need to learn by using a lot of colourful materials, by drawing or using lots of charts and graphs
  • THE USE OF WORKSHEETS - worksheets are very useful as a learning tool; worksheets can be made by parents or bought as booklets from any bookstore (such as Chapters), according to the subject of study. For the Islamic Studies, The Islamic Teaching Manual is Included in the Downloads Category.
  • BRAINSTORMING - a group of kids get together and explore the main ideas of a topic or the implications of a concept/event (such as - the effects of Global Warming, Discovery of the Internet and Global Village, The Importance of Salah etc.)
  • MIND MAPS - sometimes charts and graphs prove to be very useful in teaching certain concepts; example: how could you teach Geography without Maps? Mind Maps is a concept of using charts and graphs (such as the main idea in the center, other ideas branching off the center; arrows following sets of ideas from the beginning to the conclusion of a concept/ illustrated experiment or time-chart) to teach concepts or illustrate ideas. Very useful in brainstorming.
  • INDEX CARDS - can be used in teaching new ideas and concepts; very useful in reviews for individuals as well as groups.
  • GAMES AND COMPETITIONS - this stimulate the kids to really learn; the competition brings the zest for learning, but some organization in terms of learning materials and team-formation is necessary for a minimal structure. Computer games (home and on-line) are also included her. However, the parent has to ensure the quality of the games in question and the safety of the child.
  • GROUP VERSUS INDIVIDUAL - some kids like to study independently, while others learn best in groups. However, for group learning, they should be at least minimally monitored to ensure that the children actually do study or study effectively. However, most kids will switch between the two kinds of learning.
  • QUESTION AND ANSWER PERIOD - after teaching some material, there should be a Question and Answer Period to ensure that kids learn well and develop a critical mind; while some memorization may be necessary, the focus should be on understanding first
  • REVIEW PERIOD - especially the young children will learn fast, but they also tend to forget fast; therefore, constant review of concepts is necessary to ensure the transition from the short-term to long-term memory.
  • STORY TELLING - KIDS LOVE SHORT STORIES, NOT LECTURES! Story-telling session should be scheduled by parents or a group of parents periodically to ensure the learning-parenting connection between parents and children. Some parents prefer the traditional bed-time story. For the youth, just "having a chat" with your child about the daily events could do wonders in establishing the connection between parent and child.

    TESTS - or THE NECESSARY EVIL (just joking!)

  • INFORMAL LEARNING - Kids Need to Have Some Fun Also!!! Taking them to a family party, one of their favourite games or hobbies, a day spent in the park or visiting their best friends (etc.) is also learning; it provides the opportunity for social learning and bonding between the parents and children, or children and their friends (make sure their friends are good though!) Kids love to see their parents involved in any kind of activities.
  • PATIENCE - usually kids learn fast; however, they may forget as fast or they may have their moments when certain concepts may prove more difficult to grasp than others. The parent/ teacher should be patient and try different teaching strategies - to see how the child may learn best. When tired, the parent should take a break to avoid the Fitnah of Anger, which usually brings nothing but the work of Shaitan - that is bitterness and low/minimal or no learning results on the part of the child. If the parent finds that they really cannot teach a certain concept/ subject to their child, they should seek help from their educated friends or tutors. Most of the time the problem could be solved when patience is exercised.
  • OTHER TEACHING METHODS - there are lots of teaching methods available - most people use a combination of the above; however, fresh ideas develop as the person becomes more experienced in teaching and continuously perceives new angles of teaching the same or new information.
  • HOMESCHOOLING - is a combination of all of the above categories, based on whatever is most suitable to the parents and children. Useful home-schooling links are provided in the Links Category.
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