Ramadhan Acrostics

I love acrostic poems! They are so versatile, and they are a fun way to end our series of Ramadhan activities.

In an acrostic poem, you choose a main word and write it vertically, with one letter on each line. Each line of the poem then has to start with the letter that is on that line. For example, if we use the word Ramadhan, we would have each line of the poem starting with the letters R, A, M, A, D, H, A, and N.

Yes, this is considered a poem, but no, it does not have to rhyme! Each line can be a word, a sentence, a phrase, or any combination thereof.

For your end-of-Ramadhan acrostic poems, you can have each kid write a poem about what they have learned this month, or what they have accomplished, or what they hope to remember from this month. They can also choose any word that they like. I love the creativity that this format allows! Every poem will be different.

For my sample poem, I decided to choose the word FAST.

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Using the word RAMADHAN to reflect on our accomplishments this month could sound something like this:

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P.S. I would LOVE to see what poems you and your kiddos come up with! Please share them with me, either in the comments section below or on the facebook page!

P.P.S. I love the way Islam from the Start used an acrostic poem to reflect on what they learned from Surah Ankaboot.

Questions for Imam Ali (AS)

Before the shahadat of Imam Ali (AS), he told the people to ask him whatever they wanted to ask him, before they would lose their access to him.

“Ask me before you lose me. By Allah, if you ask me about anything that could happen up to the Day of Judgment, I will tell you about it. Ask me, for, by Allah, you will not be able to ask me a question about anything without my informing you. Ask me about the Book of Allah, for by Allah, there is no verse about which I do not know whether it was sent down at night or during the day, or whether it was revealed on a plain or in a mountain.” (Tarikh al-Khulafa) [SOURCE]

This sentiment is so powerful. Whenever I think of this, I wonder what questions the companions must have asked. I wonder what I would have asked the Imam (AS) if I had this opportunity. Sadly, we do not have this opportunity, not with Imam Ali (AS), and not with our 12th Imam (AS) right now either.

It echoes what we recite in Dua Iftitah every day this month, complaining to Allah (SWT) about our separation from our Imam (AS).

“Oh Allah, we complain to You of the absence of our Prophet, Your blessings be on him and his family, and the concealment of our leader…” (Dua Iftitah)

question (1)As we discuss the shahadat of Imam Ali (AS) and ponder his infinite knowledge and wisdom, have a discussion with your kids. What questions would we have asked the Imams (AS)? What questions do our kids want to ask the Imams (AS)? What are they curious about, that we do not have an answer to, that Imam Ali (AS) would have definitely been able to answer? Keep a running list of their curiosities, and remember the deep sadness we have that we cannot access our Imams (AS).

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Reflections on Laylatul Qadr

As we approach the most blessed nights of the holy month of Ramadhan, we are preparing ourselves to spend these nights in prayer and supplication. We want to maximize the blessings we receive during these nights, inshaAllah!

For these nights, you can download a worksheet that will help our kids reflect on Laylatul Qadr. You can print out a separate worksheet for each night. Each worksheet has a couple of prompts to reflect on BEFORE each blessed night, and a couple of prompts to reflect on AFTER each blessed night.

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CLICK HERE to download the worksheet on letter size paper.

CLICK HERE to download the worksheet on A4 size paper.

InshaAllah these worksheets will help guide our preparations for Laylatul Qadr and will allow us and our kids to reap the benefits of this night.

Iltemas-e-dua!

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Battle of Badr

At the Battle of Badr, the Muslims were outnumbered, 313 ill-equipped men to 900 Makkan soldiers. However, the Muslims were victorious on the 17th of Ramadhan, and this was a major victory by the Muslims in their first battle against the Makkans in their first battle.

In the Holy Quran (3:123-124), Allah (SWT) tells us that He sent down 3,000 angels to assist the Muslims in the Battle of Badr. Thus, the faithful were able to overcome insurmountable odds to lead them to this victory.

This teaches us that no matter how daunting the odds may seem, if we are with Allah (SWT) and Allah (SWT) is with us, we can overcome anything.

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To illustrate this, I decided to build a scale. I taped together an empty paper tower roll, a ruler, and two plastic cups, as pictured. To start, put something light in one cup to represent the small Muslim army. Then, on the other side, put to represent the large Makkan army. Obviously, the scale will tip to the side of the Makkan army. However, the Muslims had something that the Makkans did not have – their faith and prayers. To represent the power of that, use something super-heavy, and as soon as we added that vital ingredient, the scales tipped to favor the Muslim army.

If you can’t think of what to add, here are some ideas: rocks, magnets, toy cars, any little toys, dry rice (or any other similar dry food).

To apply this in our lives, we can have a discussion about having faith in Allah (SWT), believing in Allah (SWT), and trusting Him. This also illustrates the power of praying to Allah (SWT). If we are facing something that feels like it is too much for us, we should not panic – pray to Allah (SWT), and with Him, we can overcome anything!

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[Source: Here on page 6.59-61]

Generosity with Food!

Imam Hassan (AS) is another extraordinary example of generosity for us. In fact, it is said that our 2nd Imam (AS) gave his entire wealth as charity and started over TWICE.

Imam Hassan (AS) ran a guest house in which he would serve food to the hungry. Go HERE (page 8.37) to read the story.

To imitate the example of Imam Hassan (AS) on his birthday, we can serve food to those who might be hungry around us. Especially since it is Ramadhan, we can give Iftar to those fasting around us, our neighbors, or our friends and family. This is a good way to think about the generosity of serving food to others. In serving others, we can see how happy it makes them, and how much they appreciate a meal from you. Finding a place that serves the poor of your community and volunteering there is another way of practicing the generosity of Imam Hassan (AS).

To simplify this activity even further, for the purposes of my three year old, we used her toys. We served “food” to her furry friends, and discussed the generosity of Imam Hassan (AS) as we did so.

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Daily Ramadhan Dua

During the Holy Month of Ramadhan, one of the Duas that we recite daily after Salaat is a prayer for other people. We remember the sick, the poor, the hungry, even the dead. Remembering and praying for the struggles of people around the world is an important part of our day, and it also leads us to be more grateful for our own blessings.

To interact with this dua, I created a table with a line of the Dua in each box. On top of each box, there is a space to glue the blank paper (which is cut out from the final two pages in the download below). The blank paper will flip up to reveal each line of the dua below. The paper is a space to react to each line of dua – perhaps an illustration or a word to help prompt each line of the dua, or a response to the dua as a diary of sorts.

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We recite this Dua daily during Ramadhan, and inshaAllah this activity will foster a greater interaction with this Dua.

Click here to download the Dua table for letter size paper.

Click here to download the Dua table for A4 size paper.

P.S. Each table is on two pages, so I cut the margin off the second page and glued it to the bottom of the first page to create a large table rather than two separate tables.

P.P.S. The dua goes right to left, following the Arabic, rather than the English, so I found it helpful to number each box to make it easier to follow the dua.

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[Arabic text from duas.org & translation from A Manual of Ramadhan Devotions by Tayyiba Publishers]

 

As Generous as the Sun

Bibi Khadija (SA) was one of the biggest supporters of Prophet Mohammed (SAW) in the early days of Islam. She was a very wealthy woman, and she gave her wealth to help the religion. She was extremely generous!

For this reason, as we remember the shahadat of Bibi Khadija (SA), we are discussing GENEROSITY.

In order to simplify this as much as possible, we discussed how the SUN is very generous, because it shares its light with everyone.

In order to shine bright like the sun, we should be as generous as the sun.

For our activity, we painted a bright yellow sun, and for each ray of sunshine, we discussed an act of generosity. Our particular sun had 11 rays of sunshine coming out of it, so in order to be as generous as the sun, we brainstormed 11 ways to be generous!

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[We connected our SUN discussion to these Daily Ramadhan Quran cards.]

Also, after we finished this activity, I was reminded of this quote…

And still, after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe Me.”

Look what happens with
A love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.

~Hafez

How generous! 🙂

Let’s all strive to be as generous as the sun, as generous as Bibi Khadija (SA), as generous as we can possibly be during this blessed month of Ramadhan!

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Surah Qadr and the Dua of Iftar

At the end of every fast, we remember Allah (SWT) and remind ourself that our fast is for Allah (SWT) and our food for Iftar is from Allah (SWT). The Dua that we recite at the time of breaking our fast reminds us of that.

Here you can download the Dua of Iftar and its translation. Cut it apart for a matching activity, to learn the Dua of Iftar and its translation.

At the time of iftar, we also recite Surah Qadr – here you can download Surah Qadr and its translation for a matching activity for that as well.

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Both of these activities are great ways to aid our children in learning the Dua and Surah themselves as well as the translations so that they can understand the significance of these recitations.

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