10 tips for the 10 blessed days…

The pilgrims have arrived in the Holy cities and will soon embark of the life-changing experience that is Hajj. There is no doubt that the best act of worship one can perform in these Blessed days are Umrah and Hajj, but what about the billions of us that aren’t there right now.

With the emphasis on the actual rites and rituals of the pilgrimage, we often neglect the virtue and the blessings in these days. The ten most blessed days of the year.

While we adjust to the post-Ramadan lifestyle, a busy life and an abundance of distraction can easily deprive us of the other blessed guest. How bad a host we must be for failing to even acknowledge this guest.

I’ve always felt that Eid-Ul-Adha lacked the enthusiasm and zeal associated with Eid-Ul-Fitr and I believe this is closely linked to the manner in which we spend the days leading up to it.

We spend an entire month sacrificing, reforming, reflecting and reciting in Ramadan which leaves us with a true appreciation of the celebration of Eid-Ul-Fitr. We need to apply this to Dhul Hijjah and in particular these blessed 10 days so we can also earn the joy and blessings of the celebration of Eid-Ul-Adha. This is how I plan to spend these days In Sha Allah (God Willing):

  1. Reciting more Quran
  2. Reading and Reflecting on the meaning of the Quran
  3. Visiting the Musjid more often
  4. Optional prayers throughout the day/night
  5. Increased charity – with an emphasis on the current Refugee Crisis
  6. Reading and seeking Islamic Knowledge
  7. Increased Dhikr and the remembrance of Allah – particularly Tahleel, Takbeer and Tahmeed*
  8. Optional Fasting – at least fasting on the day of Arafah In Sha Allah.
  9. Hajj activities with the family**
  10. Teaching the kids about Hajj and the importance of Udhiya/Qurban
My hope is that the increased awareness and sacrifice will not only allow us to benefit from these Blessed days but also facilitate a greater appreciation for the celebration of Eid-Ul-Adha.

Think about how you spent the last ten nights of Ramadan… and do it again!

May we all benefit from the blessed days of Dhul Hijjah and may the efforts of those who are performing Hajj be accepted.

* Tahleel = La Ilaha Illallah, Takbeer = Allahu Akbar, Tahmeed = Alhamdulillah

** Click here to see some of the Hajj activities we’ve done in the past.

Quran4Kids App Review

We downloaded the Quran4Kids App today and I thought I’d put it to the test with my 4 year old this afternoon. Pumped as any kid would be about using the iPad, he bugged me about it for most of the day and was very eager to get ‘Madrassah Time’ started this afternoon. After reciting the 7 Surah’s he’s now memorised, we had some fun trialling this new app.

The interface is clean and simple but very colourful which appealed to him and the child in me. He got into it fairly quickly and I knew we were on to something when he asked if we could use the app for ‘Play Time’ at night. The simple menu makes it very kid-friendly and we had seamless navigation between the 4 game modes.

The Move and Match game is very straight forward and works well to familiarise the child with the letters of the Arabic Alphabet. As the child progresses through the levels, punctuation characters and basic Tajweed Symbols are added to the letters.

The Writing Letters game is cool but can be a bit fidgety for little fingers. I’m sure this will get easier with practise and will definitely assist with letter recognition.

Bubble Pop and Letter Chase are more game-like and add a fun dimension to the learning experience. Identifying the moving letters and having fun with the different symbols and characters can also contribute to the learning process. Learning through play is also known to have positive effects on developing memory skills which would be a great way to start a child’s journey towards learning and appreciating the Quran.

I have purchased the full app now so I can explore the Tajweed Rules and pronounciation guidelines which we may need once we progress beyond the letters. I do intend to purchase the Quran4Kids e-Book which is available on their website.

The App is designed to compliment the Quran4Kids Program so its a good addition to our current Home Madrassah program. If your child is currently learning the Arabic Alphabet, the App is a good way to facilitate learning through play which may quicken the learning process and make it fun and interesting at the same time. Download for Free for a limited time on the App Store and Google Play.

I look forward to reviewing the Quran4Kids e-Book and hope we can benefit from some of these techniques going forward. The App is pretty cool and we will definitely be adding this to our Home Madrassah routine…

In Sha Allah.