Friday, November 21, 2014

The Worldview of the Believer

Most Friday and Weekend morning when I am busy completing computer work (making curriculum) or any day when I am cleaning up, I will put on a lesson to listen to while I work. This Friday morning, I chose to listen to Shaykha Nagheba Hayel who tells a beautiful story of Habib Ali Jifri and what our world view as Muslims should be. With these cold winter days in the Northeast, the reminder came at the right time. . . time to stock up our car with gloves, blanket, food, etc. to give out to people on the streets. ♥

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Du'a (Prayer) that Saved my Marriage ♥

It was the Spring of 2009, the year I started this blog under a different title "Our Life". Many changes were happening: we had just moved to Tyler, TX , my oldest son had moved out, and I had a block, well no .... block sounds too light, I had a head on collision in my spiritual life which consequently affected my marriage. Many Religious people understand that when you are disconnected from God everything in your life will eventually fall apart and I was of no exception: it was all falling apart.


I wanted to leave my marriage with Humble Dad, we had been married 10 years since 1998 and I felt I had tried long enough to keep it together. My mother and father divorced when I was two, both sets of grandparents were divorced and remarried. I really wanted to end this cycle of divorce in my family and I came into the marriage believing strongly in "for better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do you part." But I was being tested in my words and in my beliefs....

I remember the day vividly when I drove off, eastward towards my grandma's house in Maryland. I made it as far as Arkansas before I turned around. I couldn't go through with it, but I knew something had to change  . . . and like many people who consider divorce, I was under the delusion that the other spouse: Humble Dad in my situation, was the person who needed changing.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cream of Remembrance- Our Morning Prayer Routine

This has truly been a labor of love.  .  .  I have been working on the audio/video/pdf of the Cream of Remembrance for two months since the end of the al-Maqasid summer retreat. It was important for me to finish this project because words can not adequately describe how much I loved my mornings at the retreat. The Cream of Remembrance along with Shaykha Nagheba's class & the sister's remembrance gathering was the absolutely best part of the retreat. Most nights I would go to sleep at 2:00 am, sometimes 3:00 am . . . just to wake back up at 4:00 am to make it to the Pre-Fajr/Post Tahajjud Adhkar (Remembrance). My cabin was one of the furthest from the prayer room/classroom and I would walk alone each day in the peace of the dark night to the prayer room (except for the night that I slept in the prayer room.)


From the wudu . . . 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Children's Islamic Calendar

Just in time for the Islamic New Year, Muharram & Safar Copywork pages are now available for download.


Muwasala has shared a beautiful message for the end of the year and a du'a (prayer) to recite.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ramadan Banner


I love all the Ramadan Banners that are available for download. Ramadan decorations have come along way since I became Muslim 15 years ago. So many wonderful ideas and creative people, mashaAllah.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Ramadan Moon.


We went to our beloved Makkah Learning Center, the home of our Makkah Community Garden and where we take our Fard Ayn Classes with our beloved Imam Mikaeel Smith to look for the Ramadan Moon.  Yes, we are in love with this place. The Imam, the Space, the Community. And we are so excited to bring back the Sunnah of trying to sight the Ramadan moon.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Perfect Name



When I created the first 12, I was concerned about filling two pages with cards and out of my imperfection did not add the most perfect name: Allah. 

As I was working on the next 5 names of Allah, an image of five attributes/colors encircling the Name of Allah came to me:
*Pink ~ Allah is the Loving One~ Al- Wadud
*Blue ~ Allah is the All Powerful ~ Al- Qadir
*Green ~ Allah is the All Compassionate, All Merciful ~ Ar-Rahman/Ar-Rahim
*Yellow ~ Allah is the Perfectly Wise ~ Al-Hakim

I doodled down the idea, then reread the chapter on Allah. Under the Aqidah term: Takwin it reads:

"All existence and actions depend upon (Allah) Him. He is the only creator. . . He created the creation, not because He needed it, but to manifest His love, His will, His wisdom, His power, and His compassion."

Thursday, January 16, 2014

On Montessori

A facebook Reader asked a question about Montessori, Early Education, & Traditional Islamic Education.

The Question (paraphrased): Do you feel it to be better to start early education, like with Montessori or wait until 7 years for formal education? What is your experience?


Our Answer: Big A was 1 years old when I began my Montessori Training. My wonderful friend, Halima had the idea of "Let's do Montessori in our Home" Essentially Montessori homeschooling for us began with my friend's idea and us attending the classes together. We were living in Northern California, and the Community Colleges in the Bay Area at that time had Montessori classes for $12 a unit. It wasn't as expensive as many Montessori courses are. It is a shame how expensive Montessori education is because Maria Montessori believed in the principle that Education is the right of the poor. Her first students being children who were from the slums of Italy and children that others had given up on as teachable.



I made different Montessori material for Lil A to make our environment more Montessori by the time she turned 3. The first class I took was Practical Life, essentially home education, what a mother should be training a child and/or letting a child do anyways. Or if they are like my children will find a way to do it. ;)

* Helping to make their own peanut butter & jelly sandwich, rinsing their own dish, using kitchen utensil like an ice cream scooper to pick up puff balls (cotton) or chicken baster to suck up water. Proper hand washing and wudu making, clothes washing and folding, are all ways to teach a young child practical skills, but is also developing their fine motor skills that they will need later for writing.


Montessori is all about encouraging the natural growth of the child, just as the Islamic principle of playing with the child from 0-7, teach them from 7-12, and become their friend after puberty... Montessori and the Islamic Tradition are not opposing views, they compliment each other. Montessori gives the mother or educator a structure of what to do, more than have a structure for the child. It is your job to create a "Prepared Environment", so that the child can naturally progress in it. (*Note: The lack of a structure for the child is why Montessori schools have been criticized by other early childhood educators)

In a traditional Montessori classroom, these Practical Life materials is child's play, there are no workbooks, it is all about manipulating materials that will help with their natural development. At home, we also did not have workbooks for Big A. However, I did go through the book "Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" She was reading by age 4, but she also developed a "lazy eye" and had to wear glasses. This was not a Montessori book, the reading cards in a Montessori classroom were traditionally alot bigger than they are today. Big A reads no better than S Man who learned to read at age 6 or Z Man who began reading at age 8. Here I would suggest learning about the eye development of children, look at the strength of the eye, and the arguments for bigger text for early readers.


So the question comes up if the child wants to progress, wants workbooks, but they are not 7, do you stop them? My answer is no. Children are different and develop differently. Montessori believed in sensitive periods, with a stress on "periods". A Traditional Montessori classroom has children of multiple ages (i.e 3-6 years old) and the learning material corresponds with the natural sensitive periods, producing an enthusiasm for the material. This is so the child can pick up a material within that period when he/she is ready.

**In my experience the problem does not lie in parents holding back a child who wants to progress, but many parents/teachers will push a child towards work they are not ready for. The child becomes defeated and builds insecurity in a subject matter at an early age which many older children and adults have never recovered from.**



InshaAllah, I created a blog post just for this question. And I will list helpful links for Early Montessori Education, but I would first encourage you to read Maria Montessori's books, if you are unable to take a Montessori course.

Two of my favorite books are The Montessori Method & The Absorbent Mind


My absolute favorite Montessori support and blog is Living Montessori Now. Not only because Deb Chitwood was one of the first supporters of my own blog, but because she embodies the spirit of Montessori and the resources she shares is beyond anything you will get anywhere else.

Montessori Blogs:
Living Montessori Now
What did we do all day?
Montessori Beginnings
The Helpful Garden
The Learning Ark
Forkolesburken
Homeschool Den

Montessori Resources:
Alison's Montessori
Montessori Materials
Montessori Curriculum/Albums
Montessori Research & Development
Montessori for Learning Downloads
Montessori Services


♥  More Montessori
Why Montessori?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Prophet Muhammad's Lineage

We listened to a wonderful talk this morning by Amjad Tarsin titled Embodied Light. I couldn't think of a better way to spend this blessed Monday, than learning more about our Noble Prophet salAllahu alaihi wasallam. The great thing about Amjad is he really knows how to captivate his audience, so my Big Beloveds sat their attentive and experienced every emotion described. May Allah reward him with all that is good.

We saw Amjad Tarsin for the first time recently during our trip to Toronto, Canada which made listening and learning from him that more appealing. In this talk, Amjad expressed how important it is to know the Noble Lineage of Prophet Muhammad. We set out to complete the task and MashaAllah, the Big two Beloveds memorized the whole list. The younger two Beloveds progressed through the list well also.

I thought of making a way to make it easy. Because my Montessori thought process is on auto-pilot, I quickly knew I wanted to make a self-correcting material. This stacking lineage was the result.

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