Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The King and the Boy

Do you know this Surah in the Quran?

By the heaven with its constellations, by the Promised Day, by the witness and that which is witnessed, slain be the men of the Pit, the fire abounding in fuel, when they sat around it, watching what they did to the believers. They took vengeance on them for no reason save that they believed in Allah, the Almighty, the Praised One, the Sovereign of the heavens and the earth, Who witnesses all things. Those who persecute the believers, men and women, and do not repent shall suffer the chastisement of Hell, the chastisement of burning. But those who believe and do righteous deeds shall have gardens with Rowing rivers; that is the great success. Stern indeed is your Lord's vengeance. He is surely the One who originates His creation and re creates them. He is All-forgiving, Compassionate, Lord of the Throne, the Glorious, Performer of what He wills. Have you heard the story of the warriors, of Pharoah and Thamoud? Yet the disbelievers persist in their denials. But Allah surrounds them all. This is indeed a glorious Qur'an, inscribed on a well-guarded tablet.

This is Surah Al-Burooj. This Surah mentions the people of the pit, or sometimes referred to the people of the ditch. These people had a special boy amongst him. As Muslim parents, we should know about this boy. His story should inspire our children. We should not let Harry Potter and his likes be our childrens' inspirations. I think that the sorcery and imaginitive scenes peak childrens' interests. This is why they crave them as a source of entertainment. Well stories like this are present in Islam. The story of this boy and a king contain the elements of magic and excitement that children want. This boy should be one of the heros that we want our children to talk about. This boy shows courage and bravery at its highest limits. Let stories like these be the "entertainment" that enter your children's hearts and minds. To read the complete story about this boy you can find it in Ibn Kathir's book Stories of the Quran. It is available to read online here:

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Hud-Hud or Hoopoe Bird

Is it not an exquisite bird? This bird is called the Hud-Hud in Arabic and the Hoopoe in English. Do you know the significance of this bird to Islam? Well we all should know because it is tied to a fascinating story about the Prophet of Allah Suliman. Nowadays there is so much talk and popularity with sorcery and magic. Harry Potter has become the literary icon of our times. Parents are thrilled that their children are excited about reading because of these books. Well we as Muslim should be terrified to have our children read such evil. If magic is the rage of the times and doing unbelievable things are the excitement of our children, you do not have to go very far to find these exciting stories in Islam. The Story of Suliman is packed full of this kind of excitement. Did you know that Suliman could talk to and understand this beautiful bird Hud-Hud? Did you know that he could communicate and control many animals? He also employed and controlled the Jinns. He had them build him beautiful palaces with glass floors. Did you know that he controlled the wind and used it to help him travel? I encourage you as parents to instill in your children these stories. Steer them away from the evil stories that corrupt their minds. Here is a link for Suliman's story.

You can find other books for young children that have stories of the Prophets here:
For adults, it is recommend to purchase Ibn Kathir's Stories of the Prophets. This book is available at almost any Islamic bookstore.

Here is some other great information and pictures related to the Hud-Hud :

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Once it is lost it is impossible to retrieve.......

Do you know what it is? It runs out very fast and it does not have legs? Have you guessed it yet? You can spend it and it does not cost you any money. Well, if you do not know the answer to some of these questions, the answer is:
Time is a precious commodity. It is an important item in the life of a Muslim. The passing of time quickly is a sign of the Judgment Day. How a Muslim spends his time is also significant to his outcome. As you can see from this hadith we will be questioned about it.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: No one will be permitted to turn his two feet away on the Day of Resurrection until he is questioned about four matters: about his life, how he spent it; his youth, how he employed it; his work, what he did with it; and his wealth, how he earned it and spent it. [Sunan al-Tirmidh®]
Homeschooling requires an organization of your time. It is essential to schedule time slots for everything. Schedule a time for the classes you will teach, and every break that you may have. Once you have created this schedule, try your best to stick to it. Granted there are unexpected things that arise(like my three year old and my 15 month old). However, sticking close to it will ensure you the progress of finishing your work for the day.
A handy tool that is a must have and can save time is a timer. When you want to give them a 15 min. break, you need to time it with the timer. If not ,that 15 min. can turn into 45 mins in a blink of the eye. When you give an assignment that should only take 20mins, time your child or they will waste time and take an hour.
Expect homeschooling to take almost all of your day. My children wake at around 7:00am and we start at 8:00am . With all our breaks and all the interruptions from my little ones we finish between 4:00pm and 5:00pm. It took me along time not to get frustrated with the "Time"issue. It does take a great deal of time to homeschool, but remember your reasons for doing it. For the sake of Allah and the hopes He is pleased with your efforts.

A Hero

Do you have a hero? Does your children have a hero? Maybe 50 to 60 years ago, a hero might have been a teacher, doctor, nurse, firefighter or policeman. Nowadays, the hero is the basketball player, singer,dancer or actor that makes 20million+/year. The hero's of the past did not make millions and they were portrayed to have morals and values and good character. These so-called hero's of today may make millions but most of them have children out of wedlock, arrest records,and a violent past. There are even fantasy characters that children call their hero,such as Harry Potter. All of these false hero's instill characteristics that are in completely against the teachings of Islam. These negative hero's promote money as something to worship, they do not promote marriage as a sanctity for the family, they promote violence , witchcraft and the list can be endless. I think that it is time to go back to the hero's of Islam. Do we really know them? They are the stories from Quran, Hadith, The Prophets, the Companions. Do we really know these stories?Are our children creating a sense about them ? Are they the hero's in our lives? Here is a story about a companion named Salamah bin Al-Akwa. He is an athlete you need to tell your children about. He was an extremely fast runner. Here is his story taken from Sahiha Bukhari:

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 507 Narrated Salama bin Al-Akwa: Once I went (from Medina) towards (Al-Ghaba) before the first Adhan of the Fajr Prayer. The she-camels of Allah's Apostle used to graze at a place called Dhi-Qarad. A slave of 'Abdur-Rahman bin 'Auf met me (on the way) and said, "The she-camels of Allah's Apostle had been taken away by force." I asked, "Who had taken them?" He replied "(The people of) Ghatafan." I made three loud cries (to the people of Medina) saying, "O Sabahah!" I made the people between the two mountains of Medina hear me. Then I rushed onward and caught up with the robbers while they were watering the camels. I started throwing arrows at them as I was a good archer and I was saying, "I am the son of Al-Akwa', and today will perish the wicked people." I kept on saying like that till I restored the she-camels (of the Prophet), I also snatched thirty Burda (i.e. garments) from them. Then the Prophet and the other people came there, and I said, "O Allah's Prophet! I have stopped the people (of Ghatafan) from taking water and they are thirsty now. So send (some people) after them now." On that the Prophet said, "O the son of Al-Akwa'! You have over-powered them, so forgive them." Then we all came back and Allah's Apostle seated me behind him on his she-camel till we entered Medina.

Is this not a great story. As you can see he ran so fast he caught up with the thieves. You can probably guess that the thieves where not on foot like Salamah. There was and advertising campaign not long ago presuding people to be like the athlete Michael Jordan. It said "Be like Mike" Well let us as parents start our own advertising campaign amongst our families. Let us begin to know who our hero's are . That way we do not have to be like Mike or anyone else the media promotes. We can be like Prophet Muhammad, the four Calipha, the companions, the Mother's of the believers and the son of Al-akwah. I hope to share more stories of "our" hero's so keep checking back!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Where do you began?

When people ask me about homeschooling, I almost always get the question about what type of curriculum is best. When I started out, my husband and I mainly concentrated on the Arabic. Around age four the kids recognized the letters, and then began to trace them, and then by five they could read and write simple words. At age 5, I did not buy any curriculum in English. I just taught them myself to read and write and do simple Math. Once my son turned 6 and my daughter 5, I had heard of the K12 It was a pilot program starting up in my state and I decided to try it. It is actually public school from home. They provide the books, computer ,printer, and teacher assistance. They even pay $12.00/month for your internet connection. Well did I mention that this is all free because it is public school. It is a good curriculum and has very intense learning objectives. This is the positives. The downside for me is the time constraint to finish the curriculum. It is public school. Therefore ,you have nine months to complete the year. I do not like to feel rushed and sometimes this curriculum makes me feel this way. Also, you have to participate in the state standard testing. I hate these tests. I do not feel they reflect the true learning degree of the child.
As far as the Arabic, my husband continues to give the children a full lessons of Quran, History, reading/writing and Hadith. These studies are all done in Arabic. May Allah bless my husband's efforts. I have two younger daughters one is three and the other 15 months. With my three year old I have been giving her Arabic Alphabet material from this site: . This site is very nice and the material is great for the little ones starting out to learn Arabic. May Allah bless the efforts of the sister who developed it.
In closing, I think buying a curriculum is a risky task. You never really know how it is going to be unless you try it. While considering what to do, I would research and take recommendations of those who are already have tried certain curriculums. This way, you have seen actual experiences to go by

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Painted Mountains

Allah said:
{و لله الأسماء الحسنى فدعوه بها}7:180 {The Beautiful Names are Allah's,thus call upon Him with them}

One of Allah's names means beautiful. It is:الجميل Al-jameel (The Beautiful). This picture I found on the net. It is a picture of wild desert flowers blooming in the mountains of California. It is as if someone painted the beautiful flowers onto the mountains. However, Allah is: الخالق Al-khaaliq (The Creator) and He also told us He is: الخلا ق Al-khllaaq (The Creator, emphasis is on varieties of created matters). Therefore, it is clear who created this beauty for us to enjoy. Thank Allah for your eyes that He created for you to see it and for your heart He created for you to feel the joy from it.

These translations where taken from Visit the site to learn more of the Names of Allah.

The Start

Assalm Alaykom:

Well, I see so many blogs nowadays, I thought I might try one for myself. I am a mother of 3 girls and 1 boy. I homeschool them with Allah's help. I have two purposes in creating this blog. One is to help other families with homeschooling. Maybe others can learn and be helped from my experiences. I also want to bring people back to the essence of Islam. That would be through faith or iman. Sometimes in our busy lives we forget and sometimes all we know about Islam is the rules. However, do we really know how to apply it all to our hearts? Do we really know our Lord, Allah. I think Muslims do not explore this area enough and I hope to extend some exploration.

Um Nour