(I know, I know…I’m cheating journaling 2 days in one post, lol! But it’s what I could do with the time I have alhamdu lillaah 🙂 ).
Yesterday went well alhamdu lillaah. The kids had a double dose of cousin fun mashaa Allaah.
In the early part of the day, we headed over to my sister’s place. She had found a nice presentation on Ramadan for kids online, and the older kids took turns reading/presenting the information to the rest of the kids. At the end of the presentation was a fun little quiz to test the kids’ understanding. After that they did some coloring, and played a bit with their cousins. Then we headed home right after thuhr.
I was expecting to be in the kitchen cooking for iftar for at least an hour or more, and I knew the kids were tired and needed to lie down after their showers, so I borrowed this from my sister to keep them occupied during their “down time” :
It’s a thick book filled with all kinds of stories from the qur’an, like the story of Qabil and Habil (Cain and Abel); the owner of the two gardens (Surah al-Kahf); and so on. My two oldest took turns reading to their younger siblings. Not sure if the younger two understood or enjoyed anything, but at least they were quiet til I finished cooking alhamdu lillaah :).
My husband got home around 3 (they shorten their work hours during Ramadan), and a little after 5 his brother arrived with his family. Mashaa Allaah, the kids are always really excited to see their uncle, tante and little cousin. They had lots of fun running and bouncing around with their little guest, while his mom and I sat and chitchat.
My husband and his brother sat in another room, separate from. We believe the prophet’s – peace and blessings be upon him – words were very clear when he said ” اياكم والدخول على النساء ” , which means “Beware of entering upon women.” So, although it is actually not Egyptian custom, we always sit gender-separated when we have guests in our home alhamdu lillaah, even with inlaws.
In fact, the rest of the above-mentioned hadeeth puts emphasis on the inlaws specifically: (After hearing the prophet’s warning against entering upon women), someone asked him: “O Messenger of Allaah, what do you think about the brother-in-law?” He said, “The brother-in-law is death.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath al-Baari, 9/330)
“Al-Nawawi, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: This hadeeth refers to all the relatives of the husband apart from his father and sons…It refers to the brother, nephew, uncle, cousin and other relatives of the husband whom she would be permitted to marry if she were not already married. Because people customarily treat this matter so lightly, and a man may sit alone with his brother’s wife, the brother-in-law is likened to death, and he is the foremost among non-mahram men who should be prevented from doing so. The expression “the brother-in-law is death” may have a number of meanings, such as the following: That being alone with a brother-in-law may lead to religious doom if it results in sin. That it may lead to actual death if an immoral deed is committed that dictates the punishment of stoning. That it may spell disaster for the woman if her husband’s jealousy leads to divorce. That you should fear being alone with a non-mahram woman as much as you fear death. That being alone with a non-mahram woman is as terrible as death. All of this stems from the fact that Islam wants to preserve families and households, and prevent anything that could lead to their destruction.” (source)
May Allaah help us all the learn the guidance of the prophet – peace and blessings be upon him – and guide us to implement it, ameen.
The next day (today) is a lot less activity-filled. We are on schedule alhamdu lillaah, but the best thing about today is the fact that we are having LEFTOVERS!!! WOOHOO YIPPIE!!!!
Here’s what we’ve done so far in activities (all courtesy TJRamadan):
This prayer rug printout was a real nice one mashaa Allaah. It gave the kids the opportunity to get crazy with colors, but what I liked most about it was that it had on it the hadeeth about the virtue of praying at night in Ramadan (“Whoever spends the night in Ramadan in prayer, with faith and expecting reward, all his previous sins are forgiven”). I just thought that was so cool and extremely clever of the sister over at TJ mashaa Allaah.
Later this afternoon inshaa Allaah, if time permits, I’ll read to the kids the story of the noble companion, the mu’ethin of the prophet, Bilal bin Rabah – may Allaah be pleased with him. Ooooooh, I get chills just thinking about his story and the high esteem in which he was held by the prophet himself ma shaa Allaah!
Abu Hurairah – may Allaah be pleased with him – narrated that Allaah’s Messenger – peace and blessings be upon him said to Bilal: “Tell me about the most hopeful act (i.e one which you deem the most rewarding with Allah) you have done since your acceptance of Islam, because I heard the sound of the steps of your shoes in front of me in paradise.” Bilal said : “I do not consider any act more hopeful than that whenever I make ablution (wudoo) at any time of night or day, I offer salah (prayer) for as long as was destined for me to offer.” Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Then I’ll have them draw a picture about some aspect of the story inshaa Allaah.
I need to end this now so I can catch up on my qur’an reading inshaa Allaah.
Oven-fried chicken breasts, spinach, rice, creamy basil soup, salad.
“Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allaah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed Ayat (proofs, evidences, signs, etc.) for people of understanding.” ( Al-Baqarah: 164 )