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Pool of Paradise: The Egret

This is the 20th part of our Pool of Paradise project for children in Ramadan.

 

EGRET

 

The Egret twirled before the company with wings outstretched like a dervish and then folded them and bowed.

 

“When I turn I am with the sun and travel the seven tracts through the sky in great company.  Why should one that journeys the sky as I do seek to travel farther?”

 

The Hoopoe said, “Dear Egret, you must learn humility if you are to succeed.  We must learn from the Prophet Muhammad (s).  One day he was offered a bunch of grapes by a poor and sincere man and the Prophet (s) ate every one.  When later asked why he did not share this gift he said that the grapes were sour and he did not want the man to be shy that his gift was not sweet.”

 

“You go round and round in circles like an ambitious bat with no direction.  Whirl dear dervish of the birds if you must, but you will not ascend if your heart is not still and steadfast in your chest.  You cannot seek the sun if you are blind.  While you whirl your heart must be still.”

The Egret twirled round and round toward their horizon and followed the Hoopoe.

 

LESSON PLAN

 

After reading the passage about the Egret have your child add the Egret medallion to the pool to the left of the Turtledove.

 

Discussion questions:  What is the ego of the Egret?  The Egret is known as the whirling dervish bird; what are we supposed to do when we whirl?

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

Please see out new book for this project:  The Pool of Paradise: A 30 Day Curriculum.

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Pool of Paradise: The Goldfinch

This is the 18th part of our Pool of Paradise project for children in Ramadan.

 

GOLDFINCH

 

The goldfinch fluttered to the perch and cried, “I am afraid to make this journey because I fear the flame of desire.  I have come close to the sun before and so took my flame yellow feathers.  I wish to go with you to join the one whom my soul loves but I have been burnt before.  We will follow you dear Hoopoe on the tracks of the flock.”

 

The Hoopoe spoke, “Ayyoub (a) withstood many trials and his love for Allah (s) did not diminish.  He was wealthy and prosperous with many things to be thankful for and Shaitan whispered that Ayyoub (a) only loved Allah (s) because of his good fortune.  Allah (s) sent much hardship and pain to Ayyoub (a) to see if this was true and his love did not diminish.  Our Lord knows that there are three kids of believers: one that comes near the flame of love and is warmed by the love of God.  Another touches the flame and is burnt by the love of God.  And the last throws themselves into the flame in fannah (annihilation).  If we are to succeed in our quest we must desire the presence of our Lord as Ayyoub (a) and not fear the flames.”

 

The Goldfinch trilled loudly and rose up into the light of the moon until she disappeared for a moment in the bright light before sinking slowly to her branch and turning to follow their company.

 

LESSON PLAN

 

After reading the passage about the Goldfinch have your child add the Goldfinch medallion to the pool to the left of the Woodpecker.

 

Discussion questions:  Why does the Goldfinch want to make the journey even though he fears the fire?  How does the Hoopoe explain the flame of Allah’s (s) love?

 

 

 

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Please share your ideas for teacing the rites of Ramadan to children.

Please see out new book for this project:  The Pool of Paradise: A 30 Day Curriculum.

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Pool of Paradise: The Flamingo

This is the 16th part of our Pool of Paradise project for children in Ramadan.

 

FLAMINGO

 

The Flamingo swished forward and tucked his leg under his breast.  I am too beautiful to be ruined by a long and dangerous journey.

 

“You are truly the Bird of Vanity,” scolded the Hoopoe, and he went on.

 

“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

All streams run to the sea,

but the sea is not full;

to the place where the streams flow,

there they flow again.

the eye is not satisfied with seeing,

What has been is what will be,

and what has been done is what will be done,

and there is nothing new under the sun.”

(Ecclisiastes)

 

“So if you should think yourself special and unique dear Flamingo than think again.”

 

The Flamingo was shamed and then said that he was afraid of sorrow and pain and sacrifice.

 

So the Hoopoe said,

 

“For in much wisdom is much vexation,

and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” (Ecclesiastes)

 

“It is so that the wise will know the hour of their death and be somber thereafter.  But you should be more somber still for you know not the hour of yours or the reward that you will lose in your next life through your ignorance.”

 

The Flamingo lowered his head and unwound his foot to follow upon the tail feathers of the Hoopoe to the Pool of Paradise.

 

LESSON PLAN

 

After reading the passage about the Flamingo have your child add the Flamingo medallion to the pool to the left of the Seagull.

 

Discussion questions:  What is the ego of the Flamingo?  Are we also afraid of pain and sacrifice?  How does Shaitan try to trick us out of connection with to the Divine?

 

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

Please see out new book for this project:  The Pool of Paradise: A 30 Day Curriculum.

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Pool of Paradise: The Lovebird

This is the 14th part of our Pool of Paradise project for children in Ramadan.

 

LOVEBIRD

 

The Lovebird cooed and folded his wings beside him.  He said that he was a sinner and inconstant in spirit except in love.

 

“I sometimes love so much that all else disappears.  It tis a sin, is it not, to love another more than Allah (s).  How can I love Allah (s) more than all else so that I might make the journey from love rather than obligation?”

 

The Hoopoe spoke, “The Prophet Muhammad (s) loved Aisha (r) so much that Allah (s) became jealous.  Your love does not disqualify you any more than it disqualified the Prophet (s).  Just remember that the one that made the one you love is your Lord.  You are asked to love and remember your Lord as well because without your Lord you would have nothing to love.”

 

The Dove cooed in agreement and unwound her wings to follow her heart to Mount Qaf.

 

LESSON PLAN

 

After reading the passage about the Lovebird have your child add the Lovebird medallion to the pool to the left of the Ostrich.

 

Discussion questions:  Why does the Lovebird want to love Allah (s)?  How does the Lovebird use his love to find his motivation?

 

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

Please see out new book for this project:  The Pool of Paradise: A 30 Day Curriculum.

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Pool of Paradise: The Seagul

This is the 15th part of our Pool of Paradise project for children in Ramadan.

 

SEAGULL

 

The Seagull spoke and claimed that he was a thief by nature and how can a thief make this journey?

 

The Hoopoe warned the Seagull not to allow his will to steal his own destiny.  The true thief is the will; it robs you of all that you have toiled to acquire.

 

“The Mullah, Nasruddin, was sleeping in his home one night when his wife woke him to say there was a thief in the house.  Nusruddin did not seem concerned and said that it was not any great matter for they had nothing in the home worth stealing.  His wife did not agree with this and finally Nasruddin said that if the thief were to find something of value in the house this would be a good thing because then he (Nasruddin) could steal it from the thief.”

 

“When you live as a dervish it is true that there will be little you own worth stealing for the true treasures that you hold are not the things that can be taken from your house.”

 

The Seagull cawed to all that they should come and turned to follow the Hoopoe.

 

LESSON PLAN

 

After reading the passage about the Seagull have your child add the Seagull medallion to the pool to the left of the Lovebird.

 

Discussion questions:  This is the second bird who claims that a flawed individual must somehow be disqualified from making the journey but how does the Hoopoe use their flaws to encourage them?  If someone did bad things does that mean they cannot use their talents to do good?

 

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

Please see out new book for this project:  The Pool of Paradise: A 30 Day Curriculum.

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Pool of Paradise: The Woodpecker

This is the 17th part of our Pool of Paradise project for children in Ramadan.

 

WOODPECKER

 

The Woodpecker lighted on the perch and tap taped for all attention.  “I am accused of hoarding my wealth in this world and not sharing but I say that I cannot risk losing all I’ve worked so hard to acquire and this journey seems too dangerous to me.”

 

The Hoopoe said, “You must remember the loyal companion of the Prophet…Abu Bakr (r) who gave all his worldly wealth and lost noting from it.  He kept not one coin for himself and his generosity has been handsomely rewarded by his Lord.”

 

“Forget not the spider that covered the cave of Hira with its web.  The web is the world, the fly is your sustenance.  Be not content to rest on a web forever but fly with us to the ends of creation.”

 

The Woodpecker tap tapped in agreement and turned to follow the company.

 

 

LESSON PLAN

 

After reading the passage about the Woodpecker have your child add the Woodpecker medallion to the pool to the left of the Flamingo.

 

Discussion questions: Why does the Woodpecker want to stay in the world?  How does the Hoopoe convince the Woodpecker that true security is with Allah (s)?

 

 

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

Please see out new book for this project:  The Pool of Paradise: A 30 Day Curriculum.

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Pool of Paradise: The Ostrich

This is the 13th part of our Pool of Paradise series for children in Ramadan.

 

OSTRICH

 

The Ostrich spoke and said that he was fearful of the way and the distance and the fiery volcanoes.  He wished to stay where he was and hide as an ostrich will do.

 

The Hoopoe called on the Ostrich to overcome his fear and that it was better to die in pursuit of higher things than cowardice.

 

“This road is not for cowards and you must become more than what you are to attain it.  Think not that because you are ill suited to the journey that you cannot achieve it.  Do not forget Daoud (a) and Goliath.  The believers needed a champion that could defeat the giant Goliath and the sent out young Daoud (a) with his slingshot.  The three pebbles found their mark and the giant was defeated.  We must find our mark and not be swayed by fear or delay.”

 

The Ostrich thumped the ground hard with his heavy foot and then turned to follow the Hoopoe.

 

LESSON PLAN

 

After reading the passage about the Ostrich have your child add the Ostrich medallion to the pool to the left of the Eagle.

 

Discussion questions:  What do Ostrich birds do when they are afraid?  Why is it not helpful to hide when you are afraid of a challenge?  Why does the Hoopoe speak about the bravery of Daoud (a) to the Ostrich?

 

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

Please see out new book for this project:  The Pool of Paradise: A 30 Day Curriculum.

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Pool of Paradise: The Eagle

This is the 12th part of our series on the Pool of Paradise project for children in Ramadan.

EAGLE

 

The Eagle spoke and asked the Hoopoe what was the value of obedience.  Why should they follow the Hoopoe that was crowned as their leader?

 

The Hoopoe replied that when you have a true leader you are bettered by them and you must be grateful.

 

“If you follow your desires instead of your teacher then you are like Nimrod and Pharaoh and will be the creator of your destruction.  Pharaoh drowned by his own conceit in the Red Sea and Nimrod was consumed by his own ego in the form of a mosquito.  But if you find your true king he will guide you to your Lord.  Do not let your will be your king.  Let your will follow your true leader.”

 

The eagle nodded in agreement.  “It is true that a king does not a leader make,” and turned to follow their company.

 

LESSON PLAN

 

After reading the passage about the Eagle have your child add the Eagle medallion to the pool to the left of the Sparrow.

 

Discussion questions:  Do you sometimes ask why you should obey your teacher or parent?  Why is it important to follow those who know more than you do?

 

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

Please see out new book for this project:  The Pool of Paradise: A 30 Day Curriculum.

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Pool of Paradise: The Sparrow

This is the eleventh part of our series on the Pool of Paradise for children in Ramadan.

 

SPARROW

 

The sparrow claimed to lack the strength to make the journey.  He said that he would never pass its trials. The Hoopoe called him false and said he must be silent and follow his true leader and not his pride.  The sparrow wished to rest in the well with Yusef (a) forever.  The Sparrow could not see that Yusef’s (a) trials did not end in the well but only began and were truly the trials of his father Yaqub (a).  Yaqub (a) could not be parted from Yusef (a)but they were ripped apart just the same.

“Leave your will dear Sparrow in the bottom of the well.  Come with us to find your real master and be joined with him as Yaqub (a) joined Yusef (a) in mercy and tears in the land of Egypt.  You will not find what you seek here.”

 

“Yusef (a) was the dearest favorite of his father Yaqub (a) and so his brothers were jealous.  They threw him into the well and sold him as a slave telling Yaqub (a) he was dead.  After many years they were reunited after many trials from their Lord.  We too can be reunited with our Lord if we do not hide in a well of our own making.”

 

The sparrow wiped his beak upon the twig he sat upon and trilled in agreement before fluttering along upon the heels of their great company.

 

LESSON PLAN

 

After reading the passage about the Sparrow have your child add the Sparrow medallion to the pool to the left of the Owl.

 

Discussion questions:  The Sparrow says he is too weak for the journey.  Why is that not true? Why does the Sparrow want to hide in the well of Yusuf?

 

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

Please see out new book for this project:  The Pool of Paradise: A 30 Day Curriculum.

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Pool of Paradise: The Heron

This is the 9th part of our series on the Pool of Paradise for children in Ramadan

 

HERON

 

The Heron claims that he is too weak to make the journey and he only desires to be near the water.  The Hoopoe warns the Heron of the perils of the sea.  The Hoopoe then told a tale of a Dervish who asked the Sea why it boiled and rolled and took the color blue.  The Sea said it wore blue for mourning the Beloved and rolled and boiled with love for the One.  The truest desire of the Sea was to have one drop of divine water from the river Kawthar, the river of paradise.

 

“Do not seek the Sea of this world dear Heron.  Seek the Pool of Paradise that is fed by the river Kawthar, which runs to the Sea of Mercy that lies beyond the Sidratul Muntaha.  As we journey to the Pool of Paradise do not forget the Isra wal Miraj.  The journey to the divine presence is farther than we can imagine, but if our path is folded the road is not long.”

 

“The night that the Prophet (s) ascended to the heavens he was shown the river Kawthar that flows from Paradise.  The angel woke him in the night.  The Buraq carried him into the night.  He passed the White Rooster calling all to prayer, the Tree of Life, the Door of Hell, the Sea of Wrath, the Scale of Souls, the Bayt al-Mamur, the Lote Tree, and the Sea of Mercy until he reached the river bank of Paradise.   The Prophet (s) will gather his Umma there at the Pool of Kawthar.  Come dear Heron, don’t delay.  Come with us to the shore of the Pool of Paradise.  This river is nothing but a shadow of our goal.”

 

The Heron lifted his long legs from the water and followed the company on their journey.

 

LESSON PLAN

 

After reading the passage about the Heron have your child add the Heron medallion to the pool to the left of the Humay.

 

Discussion questions:  When the Heron does not want to go on the journey how does the Hoopoe convince him that there is a better place to go?  Many of the birds in our tale do not want to leave the water.  Why is that?

 

 

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

Please see out new book for this project:  The Pool of Paradise: A 30 Day Curriculum.

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