The lost art of being helpful: Ramadan lessons

Today I want to talk about a Ramadan lesson that’s a little bit different. I’m not talking about the Qur’an today, or making du’a, or learning about the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) or about salah. I’m talking about basic life skills — in particular, I’m talking about being helpful.

But the beauty of Islam is that it includes basic life skills, and being helpful is in fact a form of worship, if done with the right intentions.

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The power of du’a: more Ramadan lessons

فَتَقَبَّلَهَا رَبُّهَا بِقَبُولٍ حَسَنٍ وَأَنبَتَهَا نَبَاتًا حَسَنًا وَكَفَّلَهَا زَكَرِيَّا ۖ كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا زَكَرِيَّا الْمِحْرَابَ وَجَدَ عِندَهَا رِزْقًا ۖ قَالَ يَا مَرْيَمُ أَنَّىٰ لَكِ هَٰذَا ۖ قَالَتْ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

So her Lord accepted her with good acceptance and caused her to grow in a good manner and put her in the care of Zakariyyah (Zachariah). Every time Zakariyyah entered upon her in the prayer chamber, he found with her provision. He said, “O Maryam (Mary), from where is this [coming] to you?” She said, “It is from Allah. Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without account.”

هُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَكَرِيَّا رَبَّهُ ۖ قَالَ رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ

At that, Zakariyyah called upon his Lord, saying, “My Lord, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication.”

فَنَادَتْهُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَهُوَ قَائِمٌ يُصَلِّي فِي الْمِحْرَابِ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُبَشِّرُكَ بِيَحْيَىٰ مُصَدِّقًا بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَسَيِّدًا وَحَصُورًا وَنَبِيًّا مِّنَ الصَّالِحِينَ

So the angels called him while he was standing in prayer in the chamber, “Indeed, Allah gives you good tidings of Yahya (John), confirming a word from Allah and [who will be] honorable, abstaining [from women], and a prophet from among the righteous.”

قَالَ رَبِّ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِي غُلَامٌ وَقَدْ بَلَغَنِيَ الْكِبَرُ وَامْرَأَتِي عَاقِرٌ ۖ قَالَ كَذَٰلِكَ اللَّهُ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاءُ

He said, “My Lord, how will I have a boy when I have reached old age and my wife is barren?” The angel said, “Such is Allah; He does what He wills.”

Aali-‘Imraan: 37-40

This passage in my daily portion of Qur’an today holds a very special place in my heart.

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Our Ramadan lessons: the month of Qur’an

Ramadan mubaarak everyone! The month of Qur’an has officially begun and today is our first day of fasting. I’m not fasting this year due to being pregnant and breastfeeding, but I’m doing my best to feel the Ramadan spirit anyway. There’s definitely something in the air whenever Ramadan arrives. We went out for a walk around the block last night at sunset, and the air smelled so fresh and crisp — Ramadan had just been announced an hour earlier, but even if it hadn’t, I think I would have known it just by that beautiful feeling.

As I mentioned in my last post, my main goal for Pippin this Ramadan is that she learns exactly what Ramadan is — and it is first and foremost the month of the Qur’an. Here are a few of the things we’re doing as a family this month to emphasize the Qur’an:

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Ramadan lessons for toddlers + make your own pocket du’a list

As Ramadan is quickly approaching, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the lessons I want to impart to my children this month, especially Pippin who’s getting old enough to really start comprehending higher level concepts like fasting and sacrifice.

There are several articles floating around the internet on activities for kids during Ramadan, but to be honest none of them really apply to what I envision for my family. This Ramadan I really want to teach Pippin what Ramadan actually is, and that’s the main reason I’m avoiding the majority of the activities I’ve come across.

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A (not so typical) day in our lives

A few people have asked me to write a post about a typical day in our life. What our routine is like, how we manage our household chores and still give the kids some new experiences, and so on. So I actually started out the day today planning to document a typical routine. It didn’t quite work out that way, but i have realised that there really is no such thing as a typical day. Every day is an adventure if you let yourself really experience it and see where it takes you.

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