Masjid Cake

This year for Mawlid we wanted to have a masjid cake.  We asked for a few quotes from local bakeries and discovered that is was going to be between $400 and $1,000 for them to make this cake for our community.  With all the other preparations we had planned this was not in the budget.  Many of the children in our community were disappointed because they we’re excited about the cake and the photos we had shown them.  

So I decided to try and make a masjid from molding dough and paint as a decorative item and then to serve a white sheet cake instead.  I really had no idea if it could be done.

I ordered 6lbs of molding dough and some green and gold tempra paint.  

I built an armature from cardboard and masking tape cut with a scissor and an exacto knife.  I used two layers of cardboard taped together to support the masjid structure and weight of the molding dough.  I made a small rectangular box backed by a cube structure and then taped a tennis ball on top to form the dome.

  
We formed sheets of molding dough with a rolling pin and then laid the dough over the armature.  

  
  
We had some short assistants.  

  
Once the sheets were on the main structure we added arches and doors.  

Then we added the green and gold tempra paint:

  
We were surprised with how well the project turned out.  I would have preferred if the molding dough had been a bit smoother but in the end we decided that it made our little mosque look like an old Adobe structure.  

After we were finished we placed a large plastic bag over the structure and placed it in the refrigerator so that the molding dough would not crack too much before the cake was displayed at the mosque celebration. 

Please share your ideas and techniques with us so that we can learn from you.

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Mawlid Morning

For Mawlid this year I wanted to create a gift giving ritual like the ones I enjoyed as a child.  

  
We gave each child a pair of angel wings and asked them to pass out the gifts just as the real angels bring the favour of Allah (s) down to earth.

  
This year we made an extra effort to wrap all the gifts nicely which gives the gift display a more finished look and is far more impressive to the children.

  
Many of our gifts this year are books about spirituality and Islamic history for children and we hope to use these books for several educational projects in the coming year.  You will see more posts about them inshallah.  

  

We also selected some toys to encourage creative play and collaboration.

  
This year we found cupcake decorations to celebrate the year of the elephant. 

 
Mawlid Muarak to you and your family and please send us examples of your family traditions so that we can learn from you!  

Lalla Chafia 

The following is from one of our contributors.  Please submit any photos or information you find for the graves of lady saints to our website so we can share them with other ladies.  Thank you.

Lalla Chafia was a healing Saint.  Thousands pray at her grave asking to be cured of their illnesses.
Lalla Chafia’s grave sight is at the top of a mountain overlooking Moulay Yacoub, a small village known for it’s thermal baths that are recommended by Doctors to cure serious medical conditions such as psoriasis and other physical illnesses. It is located 22km’s North- West of Fes. 

The waters are rich in sulfer and minerals. Lalla Chafia as well as he father Moulay Yacoub were known to cure illnesses. Following the bathing ritual, it is common practice to climb the mountain and pray at the foot of Lalla Chafia’s grave asking to be cured. 

Moulay Yacoub wanted to marry his daughter against her will, Lalla Chafia ( the healing Saint) died hopelessly soon after. Her virgin body was brought by angels to the top of the mountain. 
About a million people visit Lalla Chafia and Moulay Yacoub yearly. 

I visited Moulay Yacoub traditional baths last week, and admired Lalla Chafia’s grave from below the mountain. I planed on hiking up the mountain myself but it was too dark after we left the baths. I plan on returning soon before I leave Morocco. 

Elizabeth Chewey 

Facebook: Liz Hanane

Elizabeth Hanane Photo 
 
We ask Lalla Chafia’s (q) blessing on our project.

Naqsh or Etching

  
Today we had a lesson at brass working craft shop.  

The children practiced brass etching with traditional material with a master craftsman.  

  

The craftsman showed us how to make a pattern on a bracelet and taught the children to use the hammer.

   
We hope the children will have another workshop again soon.  This workshop also offers drum lessons, calligraphy and Islamic geometry.  We are excited to see what the children can learn next. 

We are interested in the children having the opportunity to learn traditional Islamic crafts whenever possible.  We are excited to pursue this opportunity and hope that many other beautiful traditions become available for young Muslims to learn.  

The workshop has a Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/Craft.Draft.Fez/

  

Please contribute your experiences and ideas for practicing traditional Islamic crafts with children so that we can share the beauty of Islamic arts with all of our children.  

Lala Kenza

We are very excited to bring you our first lady Waliah from Fez: Lala Kenza (q).

The maqam of Lala Kenza is on the main rise leading up to the zawiya of Mulay Idriss II, the most important sacred site of Fes. This maqam is often ignored and neglected. Goods to be sold are hung from the doors of her tomb.

The second door on the left, when exiting Mulay Idriss, is LalaKenza. There are three legends about her life. One is that she is the mother of Mulay Idriss II. The second is that she was one of the most devoted and trusting students of Mulay Idriss II. The last legend is that she was a shopkeeper who wished to be buried in her shop. In any event, there is a female saint buried here who, at one point, was respected and venerated by the community but was forgotten over time.

This information was translated and contributed to our project by Peter Dziedzic PhD and Fulbright scholar.  

We ask Lala Kenza’s (q) blessings on our project.  

Mawlid Lanterns 2015

 

This year my son is lighting the candles in our green lanterns.  This is the third year where we have lit green lanterns for Mawlid to represent the creation of the light of Muhammad (s).  

 
Last year we lit these lanterns on dzikr nights or other gatherings in the month of Mawlid.  This year though the children are asking to light them every night when the sun sets for the evening prayer.

 

What was a party decoration has now become a tradition that the children remember and look forward to.  

Please share any ideas you and your family may have for similar family traditions in Mawlid.  

 
  

   

Masjid of Sira: Progress

  
We have reached the night journey or Isra wal Miraj in our project.

Today we mounted the canvas a little higher on the wall so the watercolour episodes would be more secure.  I am still struggling with how to attach canvas to plaster well but for now we are using tacks.  

The project is contributing to our Mawlid preparations and the boys like to review the episodes, like the year of the elephant.

 
If you have any ideas for projects for children to review the sira of the Prophet (s) please contribute.  

 

Mawlid 2015

  For Mawlid this year we are using lights as well as ornaments.  I found these stars and the children are so excited to turn them all on each day.  The holiday atmosphere is more pronounced for me this year.

  

  

  

  

This year I was able to find good cardstock so our birds have more wings and more structure.  These represent the birds that fanned Aminah (r) with their wings and veiled her from the Jinn.

  

This is the cloud that carried the Prophet (s) around the world.

  

The fish named Zalmusa that danced in the sea when the Prophet (s) was born.  

  

Someone suggested that I add elephants for the year of the elephant which I am considering and when Maulid finally comes we will light the green lamps as well to represent the light of Prophet (s).

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Maulid Mubarak to you and your family!