Montessori Homeschooling for Muslim Children

This is an article from one of our contributors on a topic that is exciting for many of our Muslim Homeschooling followers.

Stacy Mazzara is an American convert living in France and she would like to share her experience with Montessori homeschooling for her two children with us here at Sirajunmunira.

Here is what she has to say:

I have my own company called Ateliers d’Inspiration Montessori ( Workshops inspired by Montessori ) I give give English workshops based on the Montessori method to children 1-6. I love how the Montessori method incorporates the five senses in learning which makes it a multi sensoriel learning environment. My favorite part of Montessori learning are the practical life and sensory learning.

My children are 2 and 4 and they are homeschooled through this program and they both love it . The oldest one can already read and counts to a hundred . Learning with the Montessori way is not only fun but very hands on . Making sand paper letters to learn to read for example can be made in every language .

You can follow Stacy and her awesome Muslim Montessori projects at @ateliersdinspirationmontessori on Instagram. Stacy welcomes your questions about the Montessori method and we hope to hear from her again sometime soon.

Please share your ideas for homeschooling Muslim children.

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The Secret Blessing: Part 11

This sample is the eleventh part of our new book for children concerning the Dala’il Khayrat. The book is written as a story where a sage is teaching his two grandchildren about the Dala’il al Khayrat.  The full book is now available on Amazon at this link: The Secret Blessing: The Dala’il Khayrat for Children.

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PART 11:

Oh Allah, bless the One to whom a lizard spoke at an open gathering of the most learned companions!

“Yusuf no like lizard!”  Yusuf pointed to the back garden.

“How did the lizard speak?” asked Sulayman.

“Hmm.  There is a story about the Prophet (s).”  Grandfather smiled, finishing his tea.  He set the glass down.  “I shall tell you.”

Yusuf climbed up into Grandfather’s lap and looked at the lizard in his Dala’il Al-Khayrat book.

“No like lizard,” Yusuf shook his head.

“One day, when the Prophet (s) was sitting with his companions a very rude Bedouin man came to disturb the gathering.  The Bedouin man carried a dead lizard.  The Bedouin man addressed the Prophet (s) and said that he would not believe that Muhammad (s) was a prophet until his dead lizard believed.”

“Why did the Bedouin man have a dead lizard?”  asked Sulayman.

“People of that time would hunt and eat the Dhab lizard.”  Grandfather pointed to the lizard in the book.

“What does it taste like?” asked Sulayman.

Grandfather laughed.  “I am not eating lizard so I don’t know.”

“Yucky!” Yusuf squeaked, making a face.

“Then the Bedouin man threw the dead lizard at the Prophet (s).  The Prophet (s) addressed the lizard, saying ‘O lizard.’  The lizard came to life and replied ‘How can I serve you, Messenger of Allah.’  The Prophet (s) asked the lizard who he worshiped.  The lizard said that he worshiped Allah, creator of the Paradise, Earth and Hellfire.  The Prophet (s) then asked the lizard ‘Who am I?’  The lizard replied ‘You are the Messenger of Allah Almighty; you are the seal of Prophets.’  When the Bedouin man heard this, he became Muslim and the Prophet (s) thanked Allah (s) for guiding the Bedouin man to Islam.”

~

Please see our other books and stories about the Prophet Muhammad (s) and share your ideas for teaching Muslim children with us here on the website.

The Secret Blessing: Part 10

This sample is the tenth part of our new book for children concerning the Dala’il Khayrat. The book is written as a story where a sage is teaching his two grandchildren about the Dala’il al Khayrat.  The full book is now available on Amazon at this link: The Secret Blessing: The Dala’il Khayrat for Children.

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PART 10:

Oh Allah, bless the One who traversed the seven heavens!

“There are alots of angels in the heavens,” Sulayman commented.

“There are so many angels in the heavens, many many more than here.”  Grandfather ran his finger along the fourth heaven.

“What is in heaven?  Is there only angels there?” Sulayman pulled the book closer to him.

“There are rivers, gardens, oceans, many things.” Grandfather pulled a Quran down from the shelf and opened one of the illuminated pages.

“Is that what heaven looks like?”  asked Sulayman.

“One artist was thinking that heavens look like this,” Grandfather touched the page.  “But heaven is much much more than a garden, more than we can imagine.

~

Please see our other books and stories about the Prophet Muhammad (s) and share your ideas for teaching Muslim children with us here on the website.

The Secret Blessing: Part 9

This sample is the ninth part of our new book for children concerning the Dala’il Khayrat. The book is written as a story where a sage is teaching his two grandchildren about the Dala’il al Khayrat.  The full book is now available on Amazon at this link: The Secret Blessing: The Dala’il Khayrat for Children.

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PART 9:

Oh Allah, bless the rider of the Buraq!

“That’s what the Buraq looks like?” Sulayman pulled on the page again.

“That is a picture of what one artist thinks the Buraq looks like.  There are other paintings and sculptures and drawings but what is in our minds is not what is in reality.  Pictures are like an idea of a thing.  Mickey Mouse is not a real mouse, and a drawing of Mickey Mouse is not even looking like a real mouse.”

Sulayman tilted his head to one side thinking.  Yusuf crawled out from under Grandfather’s jubba and looked at the picture.

“Horse, it fly,” commented Yusuf.

~

Please see our other books and stories about the Prophet Muhammad (s) and share your ideas for teaching Muslim children with us here on the website.

The Secret Blessing: Part 8

This sample is the eighth part of our new book for children concerning the Dala’il Khayrat. The book is written as a story where a sage is teaching his two grandchildren about the Dala’il al Khayrat.  The full book is now available on Amazon at this link: The Secret Blessing: The Dala’il Khayrat for Children.

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PART 8:

Oh Allah, bless the Camel rider!

“Who is the camel rider?”

“The Prophet (s) had a camel.  Are you remembering her name?”

Sulayman frowned, thinking hard.  “Qaswa?”

Grandfather nodded.  “Qaswa carried the Prophet (s) from Mecca to Medina for the Hijra.  Do you remember what happened when they reached Medina?”

“All the people wanted the Prophet (s) to stay at their house,” answered Sulayman.

“Camel sat down,” Yusuf sat down on the ground like a camel.

“Yes,” Grandfather took his tasbih prayer beads from his pocket.  “Qaswa sat before the house of Abu Ayyub (r) and that is where the Prophet (s) stayed.  You are both remembering well.”

“Yusuf no like camel,” Yusuf wailed.

“Yusuf is afraid of camels.  He thinks that they will drop him, or bite him, or something,” Sulayman explained.  “Qaswa was a good camel Yusuf; she didn’t bite.”

It had grown dark in the garden and Maghrib adhan (call to prayer) began to echo through the small village.

“Come,” Grandfather stood up for the adhan.  “We will pray and eat dinner and then I will tell you a story tonight about where the Dala’il Al-Khayrat is coming from.”

“Is it the right story?” asked Sulayman.

“There are a few stories.  Allah (s) knows which one is right,” Grandfather began to lead them through the back garden and back toward the house to take wudu (ablution) for the prayer.

After the boys had their dinner and their bath Grandfather tucked them into bed for their story time.

“Once upon a time there were two Dervishes (ascetics).  They were walking one night in the desert and they grew tired and laid down to sleep,” began Grandfather.

“Did they get sand in their hair?” asked Sulayman.  “I got sand in my hair when we went to the desert.  Mama was cross because it was hard to wash out.”

“Yes, people sleeping on sand get sand in everything, even their ears.”  Grandfather took his turban off and placed it high on the bookshelf next to his Quran.

“Yusuf no like sand,” Yusuf hid under his blanket like he was hiding from the sand.

“While the two Dervishes were sleeping one of them had a dream.”

“I dream about flying,” Sulayman waved his hand in the air as though he were flying.

“The sleeping man dreamed that he was taking a shower at the top of a river and the friend was taking a shower at the bottom of the river.”  Grandfather readjusted his kufi hat.

“I don’t like showers.  I like baths.  The water is always too hot or too cold in the shower,” Sulayman shivered.

“Yes, and so it was for the two Dervishes in the dream, one had a shower hot and the other had a shower cold.”

“See, showers are not nice.” Sulayman shook his head.

“Yusuf have a ducky for the bath,” Yusuf poked his head out of his blanket.  “Yusuf duck float in the bath.”

“The Dervish who had a hot shower was the one who knows the secret salawat prayer from the Dala’il Al-Khayrat because this salawat can heat the water.”

“But why does the salawat make the water hot instead of warm?” asked Sulayman.

“The desert is cold at night.  The water was hot, but not too hot.”  Grandfather put his walking stick in the corner near the sleeping couches and leaned it against the toy chest with the faded golden paint.  “The Dervish with the cold water asked the friend with the hot water to tell him this secret salawat (prayer) for heating the water so that he would have hot water for his shower as well.”

“The secret salawat is in Dala’il Khayrat?”  asked Sulayman.

“Yes.” Grandfather unwrapped the scarf from around his neck.

“The prayers you were reading today in the garden?” asked Sulayman.

“Yes.”

“But the prayers you read today didn’t heat the water, did they?” asked Sulayman.

“We were not reading the salawats over water,” smiled Grandfather.

“Ok, I am gonna read each salawat in the book over water and then touch the water to see if it’s warm,” Sulayman looked very serious.

“You are thinking like a scientist.” Grandfather rubbed Sulayman’s head.

“Then I will know which salawat works,” Sulayman explained.  “But I need to learn to read first.  That will take a long time.”

“Reading hard,” Yusuf shook his head.

“One day when you are reading you may go to Al Chemya.”

“What is that?”

“A special school where you can learn all the secret spiritual sciences.”

“Like magic?”

“Yes, like magic.  But real, not fake magic.”

“When can I go?”

“Oh in a few years.  You start when you a being 7 years old.”

“But I am only 5,” whimpered Sulayman.

“You will need all that time to prepare.  There are many things you must learn first before you can go to Al Chemya.”

“Like what?”

“I am teaching you some. You must know the lives of the Prophets, the Sira (Story of the Prophet Muhammad (s)), the lives of the Awliah saints.  You must know how to pray, read Quran, fast, and read Dala’il Al-Khayrat.”

“Those things are hard,” Sulayman despaired.

“Not as hard as learning at Al Chemya.”

“What do you learn there.”

“Secret salawats.”

“Is that all.”

“No, there are many things to learn there.”

“So, the Dervish who knew the secret salawat to heat the water would not give the secret to his Dervish friend.  This was forbidden to tell the secret so the friend with the cold water decided to write all the salawats he knew down in a book.”

“Is that the Dala’il Khayrat?”

“Yes, that is the Dala’il Al-Khayrat.  The Dervish who knew the secret came in his friend’s dream for 7 nights and on the 7th day he learned that he had written the correct salawat but we do not know which one it is.”

Grandfather looked down and both the boys were sleeping.  He smiled and picked up his walking stick off the golden toy chest and tapped on the top three times before reciting “Authubilahi bi kalimat-illah hil-tamah min Sharri ma khalaqa,”1 under his breath.  The toy chest opened slowly and Grandfather saw the toys inside.  He shut the chest and tapped again, telling the chest to behave.  When he opened it again he saw many books and artifacts neatly piled bellow him.  He placed his beautifully illustrated Dala’il al-Khayrat on the top of some other books and closed the lid gently before reciting, “Keela mea makkannee feehi raabee haayrun fa aeenoonee bi kuvvatin ac’aal baynakum va baynahumm radman,”2 and turned out the light as he walked into the courtyard.

~

The garden was covered with early morning dew and the boys ran out to the back garden to play.  The dew drops glowed bright silver on each leaf.  The boys found their ball and began to kick it around the garden when a large lizard ran out from behind a hedge where their ball had landed.  They ran screaming out of the garden and back to the courtyard where grandfather sat under an eve with his tiny cup of Turkish tea.  He lifted his glass high as the boys ran towards him shouting about a dragon in the garden.

He told them to sit with him and he would read to them again from his Dala’il Khayrat.

“But why will that help?” Sulayman asked as Yusuf climbed under the bench, pulling Grandfather’s jubba (long robe) over his head like an ostrich.

“Dragon no find Yusuf,” he mumbled under the heavy quilted fabric.

“All of creation is praising the Prophet Muhammad (s).” Grandfather took his Dala’il Al-Khayrat from his pocket.  “Even dragons.” Grandfather patted Yusuf on the head under his jubba.

He turned the delicate pages slowly.  The book had pretty writing and pictures that he showed to the boys with each verse.  He told them that this was a special Dala’il Al-Khayrat, other Dala’il Al-Khayrat books had no pictures.

“Why do the other Dala’il Al-Khayrat have no pictures?” Sulayman pulled on the page to see closer.

“We are in a time of no mind people.  People who think that pictures are like idols.  Pictures are pictures, a donkey is a donkey, a man is a man, a mouse is a mouse, and Mickey Mouse is Mickey Mouse.”

Sulayman still looked confused.

“Yusuf love Mickey Mouse,” squeaked the lump under the jubba.

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1 “I seek refuge on the perfect words of Allah Almighty from the evil that which He has created.”

2  “That in which my Lord has strengthened me is better.  Only my Lord will help me with that Force.  I will make a shield force between you and them.” (Al Kaf 95)

~

Please see our other books and stories about the Prophet Muhammad (s) and share your ideas for teaching Muslim children with us here on the website.

The Secret Blessing: Part 7

This sample is the seventh part of our new book for children concerning the Dala’il Khayrat. The book is written as a story where a sage is teaching his two grandchildren about the Dala’il al Khayrat.  The full book is now available on Amazon at this link: The Secret Blessing: The Dala’il Khayrat for Children.

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PART 7:

Oh Allah, bless the Master of the night journey!

“What is the night journey,” asked Sulayman.

“They are meaning the Isra wal Miraj,” Grandfather put his miswak tooth stick back into his pocket.  “The Prophet (s) went up to the Lord of Heavens and returned in one night.”

“Can I go too?” asked Sulayman.

“Maybe, one day.”

“Is it a long way?”

“A very long way.”

“Yusuf no like long way.  Yusuf stay with mama,” Yusuf squeaked.  Grandfather laughed and rubbed Yusuf’s head.

Please see our other books and stories about the Prophet Muhammad (s) and share your ideas for teaching Muslim children with us here on the website.

Please see our new book Isra wal Miraj for children available now on Amazon if you would like to share more of Night Journey story with your children.

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The Secret Blessing: Part 6

This sample is the sixth part of our new book for children concerning the Dala’il Khayrat. The book is written as a story where a sage is teaching his two grandchildren about the Dala’il al Khayrat.  The full book is now available on Amazon at this link: The Secret Blessing: The Dala’il Khayrat for Children.

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PART 6:

Oh Allah, bless our guardian and our master Muhammad as many times as there are grains of sand.

“There are a lots of sand in the desert,” said Sulayman.

“Yusuf no like sand,” Yusuf squeaked.

“Yusuf gets sand stuck between his toes, he doesn’t like it,” Sulayman explained.

“Do you know how pearls are being made?” Grandfather took his miswak tooth stick from his pocket and rubbed it over his teeth.

Sulayman and Yusuf shook their heads.  Grandfather smiled “A grain of sand is going into an oyster.”

“What’s an oyster?” Sulayman asked.

“An oyster is a shellfish.  It has two shells, like this.”  Grandfather held his two hands together like two shells.  “So, the grain of sand goes inside and it makes the oyster itchy, like Yusuf’s toes.  The oyster starts to cover the grain of sand with a smooth and soft cover that becomes a pearl.”

Yusuf looked between his toes, hoping to find a pearl.

Please see our other books and stories about the Prophet Muhammad (s) and share your ideas for teaching Muslim children with us here on the website.