Hazrat Hur (AS) and Forgiveness

One of the lessons we can learn from Hazrat Hur (AS) is that it’s never too late to ask Allah (SWT) for forgiveness. Even if you’ve done something that seems unerasable, asking Allah (SWT) for forgiveness can still erase our sins.

To demonstrate this, we used a dry erase board. One the board, we thought of various sins, things that Allah (SWT) does not like for us to do. Every time we thought of one, we colored a little bit of the dry erase board.

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When the board was covered, we asked Allah (SWT) for forgiveness and promised Him that we would never do that thing again. We asked Allah (SWT) for forgiveness for each sin that we had colored for, and as we did, we erased a little bit of the board. Soon, the board was clean again.

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Alternatively, we also did this activity by writing down each sin that we came up with, rather than coloring – basically, we made a list of sins. Then, we asked Allah (SWT) for forgiveness in the same way, and promised that we would never do each sin again.

We discussed how Hazrat Hur (AS) had committed some sins and was hurting Imam Hussain (AS) and his family and friends. However, he realized that he had done something wrong and asked for forgiveness. When he was forgiven, his sins were “erased,” and he became a helper of Imam Hussain (AS).

 

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Find Your Way to the Holy Kabah

Today’s activity is a MAZE. My daughter is obsessed with mazes, and she’s going to be very excited about this one!

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In this maze, you have to find a way to reach the Holy Kabah. Everyone is performing Tawaf around the Kabah, but that’s not why you’re here today. In this maze, you have to pass through all the obstacles in order to arrive at the Holy Kabah.

Bonus points to you if you can make your way to specifically Hajr-e-Aswad, The Black Stone.

Click here to download the maze.

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Imagine Yourself at Hajj – A Diary

During these days, many of our fellow Muslims are blessed to experience the journey of their lifetime, the Hajj. The rest of us are at home, wishing and praying that we get a chance to go as well, inshaAllah.

We can’t be there ourselves this year. We can, however, follow the journey of the pilgrims and imagine how we would feel every step of the way.

Today’s activity is a book, aimed for older kids, to challenge their imagination.

In each page of this book, there is a prompt that places us at each step of the journey of Hajj.  We can imagine that we are experiencing each part, and we can imagine what might be going through our heads every day that we are there.

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The book starts with the plane ride, and first goes to Madinah. After that, we perform Hajj, and end with the plane ride back home. Of course, everyone has a different trip schedule, and you can fill the book out in any order that you wish. There are certain pages that have to be filled out on certain days, like Arafah for example, and Eid. Other pages can be filled out on any day, and multiple pages can be filled out on the same day.

This activity is intended to inspire us to imagine ourselves at Hajj. May Allah (SWT) grant us all the opportunity to experience all of this ourselves soon.

Click here to download this activity. Make sure to choose the option to print it out as a booklet.

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Prophet Ibrahim’s Footprints

When Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his son Prophet Isma’il (AS) were building the Holy Kabah, he stood on a rock to aid him in the construction. It is known as Maqam-e-Ibrahim and it still holds his footprints to this day.

To discuss Maqam-e-Ibrahim, we used Play Doh. We rolled it out, then I had my daughter step on it to leave her footprints. We discussed how Prophet Ibrahim (AS) left his footprints near the Holy Kabah, and we can still see those footprints.

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To take it one step further, you can try to leave footprints on a rock. We would not be able to leave our footprints in the rock. We can only leave our footprints on something soft like Play Doh. In this way, we can discuss the miraculous nature of the fact that Prophet Ibrahim (AS) left his footprints in the rock.

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Holy Kabah Model

After being inspired by Oh Happy Day to create a crescent pinata for Eid-ul-Fitr, I loved the method so much that I decided to make something for Zil Hajj and Eid-ul-Adha too!

I decided to make a mini-Holy Kabah for our decorations this year using the method for the piñatas. However, I couldn’t quite imagine treating it like a piñata, filling it with candy and breaking it apart for joy, so I decided to use it as a model to discuss our activities for this month and as a decoration piece. (Which is perfect, because I loved the crescent so much that I left it up on the highest shelf even after it was ripped apart for the candy. This way, I don’t have to keep the pieces – I can keep it whole, for as long as I like!)

 

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To assemble, I first set up the four sides of the Kabah, and secured them with tape. I then covered the top and the sides with black tissue paper. For the piñata effect, I used strips of black tissue paper, and cut a fringe on one side. I started gluing the fringe up each wall, starting at the bottom. After all the sides were covered with fringes, I wrapped a golden ribbon around towards the top of the model. Ta-da!

One thing that I learned from the crescent was that the cardboard box I used was WAY too thick. It took forever to cut, and our hands were hurting until the next day. This time, I used much thinner cardboard, which was easier to cut and easier to assemble.

Another thing that I learned from the crescent was that having a background of the same color made it a lot easier when adding the fringe, because this way, the fringe doesn’t have to be perfect. So I made sure to wrap my cardboard Holy Kabah with black tissue paper before adding the fringe.

Gluing the fringe is a bit time-consuming, but easy. It’s something that I did while sitting in front of the TV. (My daughter is way too young to be patient enough to help me with something like this – this was a project I chose to do after she was asleep. Older kids would probably be a big help though, especially with cutting the fringe.)

This was SO much easier than last year’s model of the Holy Kabah, for which I used slippery plastic. Never again!

What other methods have you all used to create models of the Holy Kabah? Let me know in the comments section below or by sending me a message!

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The Story of Abraha and the Army of Elephants

When I told my daughter the story of Abraha and the elephants that tried to attack the Holy Kabah, my daughter was enthralled. She retold the story many times in the following days, as she was processing and learning.

When I told her this story, we first went through the story, discussing what happened. After that, she retold the story to me in her own words, explaining what she had understood to me in her own words.

[For a detailed version of the story, you can go here. For my purposes, I told my daughter a very simplified version of the story.]

I wanted to make the story come alive for her, so we used PlayDoh and mini cookie cutters to create the story visually. We made a cube to represent the Holy Kabah, and then used a different color to cut out the elephants that were headed towards the Holy Kabah. Allah (SWT) sent birds to defend against the army, so we used our bird cookie cutter to cut out birds in a different color. We then rolled up tiny “stones” that the birds dropped on the elephants.

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After all the elements were ready, I arranged the PlayDoh creations as a cohesive visual, then I asked my daughter to explain to me what was happening in our picture. She could explain to me that the “bad person” and the elephants were going to try to break the Holy Kabah, but Allah (SWT) was protecting it. Allah (SWT) sent birds with rocks to stop the elephants.

[We did this activity about two months ago, and she still remembers over half the story with no repetition from me since then. When I showed her this picture, she could tell me some of the basic elements of the story. She didn’t remember the name of the “bad person” but she remembered that the elephants were headed to the Holy Kabah to try to break it, and that the birds had rocks in the mouth that they dropped in attack. She did forget that the birds were sent by Allah (SWT) to destroy the elephant army and protect the Holy Kabah, but at her age and the time it has been since we did this activity, I’m impressed by her memory! MashaAllah!]

How have you made historical stories come alive? I’d love to hear – let me know by leaving a comment below or sending me a message!

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Qiblah String

To explore the concept of Qiblah, we discussed how we stand in a specific direction while we pray. We stand with our face toward the Holy Kabah, rather than with our back or side to the Holy Kabah. We talked about how if we stand facing the Kabah, we are standing in a way that if we walked straight, straight, and more straight, we would reach the Holy Kabah right in front of us. If we stood in the wrong direction, we would not be able to find the Holy Kabah.

After that, I introduced the string. The string represents an imaginary string that extends all the way from the Holy Kabah all the way to each of our homes. Whenever we pray facing the Qiblah, we have our own personal string connecting each and every one of us to the Holy Kabah.

What an compelling visual that is to imagine: the Holy Kabah in the middle, with millions of strings extending from there to each of our homes, connecting us all to Allah (SWT), every time we pray.

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For our activity, I taped a piece of string to the wall, representing our connection to the Holy Kabah and Allah (SWT). When we are standing facing the Qiblah, we can hold the string to remind ourselves that whenever we pray, we are standing in front of the Holy Kabah, in front of Allah (SWT), along with millions of Muslims throughout the world.

[Click here to find another activity about the Qiblah – using a map!]

I hope you found this activity helpful to discuss the Qiblah! If you loved this and want to make sure you don’t miss out on any future posts, subscribe to receive all posts by email on the side! You can also like my page on Facebook and Instagram. All the links are on the side!

Moon Piñata

One of my favorite parts of this past Eid was this moon piñata! Inspired by Oh Happy Day, we decided to make a piñata for our Eid party. We used the these instructions for the most part, with only a few modifications. We glued a white piece of poster board on top of the brown cardboard, so that our fringe didn’t have to be as dense – any gaps would only show white poster board. We also used glue rather than tape to hold the moon together. Our cardboard was too thick to bend for the curve of the moon, so we used white poster board there as well. This was definitely easier as a two-person job.

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Making the moon was actually easier than I had anticipated – the hardest part was cutting the cardboard that gave the moon its sturdy shape. I thought that cutting and gluing the fringe would be very tedious, but honestly, it went by a lot quicker than I had expected.

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Due to the number and ages of our kids, we decided to hand the kids the piñata and let them try to break it with their hands, rather than hanging and having them take turns hitting it to break it. It took them a solid two minutes to figure it out, which in my opinion, is a success! Alhamdulillah.

Once the moon broke open, they shared the chocolate with each other, and even made sure that all the grown-ups got some too! Yummy 🙂

I hope you all had a blessed and memorable Eid!!

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