54. Illuminated Quran: The Moon

This surah speaks about the miracle where the moon was torn in two and passed through the sleeves of the Prophet Muhammad (s).  If you would like to read this story to your children there is a chapter in The Light of Muhammad by Hajjah Amina Adil: 8. The First Believers.

The surah reminds us of the punishment that falls on people that reject the truth after they have witnessed a miracle.

Discussion question: what miracle did the Prophet Muhammad (s) perform for the Quraysh?  What other miracles do we know about?  Why is it better not to ask for a miracle?

Please share your ideas for teaching children about the Tafseer of Quran.

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Book Review: The Conference of the Birds by Peter Sís (part 3)

Tonight we read part 5 of The Conference of the Birds by Peter Sís.  

My son said his favourite part was where the Hoopoe bird turned back into the poet Attar. He said that it made him think that he could turn into a bird as well and he likes that idea. 

Now that we have read two versions of the story I think we are ready to begin our project for Ramadan: The Pool of Paradise. The project is based on this story and we hope the children will learn about why we embrace the challenge of fasting the same way the birds embrace the challenge of their journey to find the Simourgh on Mount Qaf. 

Please share your ideas for teaching children the rites of Ramadan and please share any books that your children love to read for this celebration.

Dervish Dolls: Review

I have now recieved the Dervish Dolls that I commissioned from WaldorfMagicGlade on Etsy.  

I am very pleased with the quality and attention to detail.  Time will tell how well they wear with play but they feel very sturdy.  They stand up on their own and the arms articulate.  The seller has wonderful attention to detail and even included the prayer beads after doing her own research.  I am impressed to say the least.  

I think these would make excellent gifts for Eid or any other Muslim holiday but please remember that the seller is in the Ukraine so you will need to order ahead of time to allow for shipping.  

I am planning to post some creative play ideas for these dolls as a series this Ramadan.  Here is a preview:

Please share your ideas for using creative play to teach children about Islam.  

53. Illuminated Quran: The Star

This surah speaks about the setting star and the Sudratul Muntaha, a tree of angels at the farthest boundary of the heavens.  There is some description of a few details from the night journey or Isra wal Miraj.  If you would like to read this story to your children there is a chapter in The Light of Muhammad by Hajjah Amina Adil called:  13. Sidrat ul-Muntaha.
Discussion question:  do the stars and constellations move through the sky at night like the moon?  What is the Sidtratul Muntaha and why is it important?

Please share your ideas for teaching children about the Tafseer of Quran.

52. Illuminated Quran: The Mountain

This surah speaks about the mount of revelation or Mount Tur where Musa (a) asks  Allah (s) to give him a book to guide the believers.  If you would like to read to your children about this episode in the story of Musa (a) there is a chapter in The Story of Moses by Karima Sperling: 35. The Heights.

Discussion Question:  what were some of the amazing things that Musa (a) saw when he went to Mount Tur?  What book was he given on Mount Tur?

Please share your ideas for teaching children about the Tafseer of Quran.

Book Review: The Conference of the Birds by Peter Sís (part 2)

Tonight we read part 4 of The Conference of the Birds by Peter Sís.  This section covered the 7 valleys mentioned in the original poem by Farid ud-din Attar.

My son said his favourite part was the tornado in the Valley of Detachment because he liked the illustration.  He said that it reminded him of the tomato tornado in one of his favourite books Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  

We are reading this book so that the boys are familiar with the story before we begin a month long project that will be a more detailed look at the 30 birds in the story and their struggle to reach mount Qaf.  The struggle of the birds will work as an example for our struggle as we fast in Ramadan.


This book review is part of our preparation for The Pool of Paradise project that we will begin in Ramadan based on The Conference of the Birds story.  If you would like to follow along with us the artwork and stories will be posted daily so that you may read the stories to your children and mount the artwork in any format that works for you.  

Please share your ideas for teaching children the rites of Ramadan.

Sadaqa: Good Deed Jar

This project is from one of our contributors.  She recycled a clean jar and then labeled it with paper and tape.  After the jar is decorated she encourages her children to show kindness and help people beginning in the home.  Then the children can write the good deed on a slip of paper and put it in the jar.  Once the jar is full she will read to the children as a treat.

This is an excellent way to encourage children to contemplate charitable actions and we hope to see many more of these projects as Ramadan approaches.  

My boys were inspired to make their own jars from empty spice jars.  They also thought these would be easier to fill:


Please share your ideas for teaching children about the practice of Sadaqa in Islam.  

51. Illuminated Quran: The Scatterers

This surah speaks about the wind that scatters and the wind of destruction that burned the people of Ad to ashes.  If you would like to review the story of Hood (a) who tried to guide the people of Ad there is a chapter concerning him in My Little Lore of Light by Hajjah Amina Adil.

Discussion Question:  are there different kinds of wind?  What kind of wind came to the people of Ad?

Please share your ideas for teaching children about the Tafseer of Quran.

Gardens of Islam: Eucalyptus Forest

Today we visited a eucalyptus forest in the middle of a busy city.  We have seen gardens in urban cities before but we were surprised to find an entire forest.  There were some pine and acacia trees as well and firm dirt paths throughout.


We found wildlife:


This forest we not overly manicured like a garden would be so some fallen branches made nice toys: 


We also found a lovely play area:


My son mounted a large hill of boulders before a gardener stopped him:


We enjoyed visiting this urban forest and we hope to come back some time soon.


Please share your ideas for teaching Muslim children about the natural world.

50. Illuminated Quran: Qaf

This surah speaks about the state of people who do not believe despite all the guidance and signs that they experience.  The surah asks why they do not look at the sky above them that was created and decorated.

Discussion question:  what do you see when you look up at the sky?  Have you ever seen something that you cannot explain?

Please share your ideas for teaching children about the Tafseer of Quran.