Category Archives: Discuss

What my child is NOT missing out on by NOT being in School


 

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Dear non-home schooling parents,

What my child is NOT missing out on by NOT being in School

Despite the evidence to suggest that later schooling is better for children than starting school early and the evidence to show that home educated children do better in their studies compared to their school attending counterparts, as a home schooling parent we still encounter the odd remark from fellow parents asking “is your child not missing out on [fill in your own blanks] by not going to school?”

To those non-home schooling parents: Thank you for taking an interest in my child’s education. Please find below a list of things that my child is not missing out on by not being in school.

  • My child is not missing out on the widespread bullying that is currently plaguing inner city schools, to the point that it is beginning to cost young people their lives.
  • My child is not missing out on the immense pressure placed on young children to learn complex spelling and arithmetic at such a young age, when they’re little brains are still developing.
  • My child is not missing out on the factory style teaching that is focused solely on test results and league tables that it takes away the human element of teaching good character, a moral outlook and the passing down of knowledge as opposed to just teaching information
  • My child is not subjected to the immense peer pressure in schools to look and dress a certain way, to take up smoking / drugs, to have the latest gadgets and games, and to be part of a clique or a gang, to name just a few.
  • My child is not missing out on the extraordinary amount of homework that young children are given even after having spent a full day of learning in school.
  • My child is not missing out on having to learn at a set pace set by the curriculum and the teachers. My child is able to learn and develop at their own pace, which is much better for their over all development.
  • My child is not missing out on socialisation. Socialisation happens everywhere, not just in schools.
  • My child is not missing out on not being able to see their Mum and Dad for long hours of the day, sometimes ranging from 8:30am – 6:30pm for households where both parents have full time jobs.
  • My child is not missing out on having to take holidays in peak holiday seasons when holiday prices are rocket high, only because their school will not allow them discretionary leave for family holidays during term time.
  • Most of important of all, my child is not missing out on being just that … a child. Children are meant to be children. These days children are not given the chance to be themselves. Let them be their own little person. Let them enjoy their childhood before they enter the high pressured environment of schools.

homeschooling-will-my-kids-miss-outThere are many good reasons why some parents choose not to send their children to school ranging from medical reasons to religious / cultural reasons. Please try to understand those reasons before you decide to judge us.

There are well over 36,000 children in the UK that are home educated and this number is steadily rising as people realise the benefits of home education verses conventional schooling.

Just as it is you prerogative to send your child to a mainstream school or a private school, it is our prerogative to home educate our child.

Wishing you all the best.

Yours Truly,

 

Umm and Abu Zaynah

Home Schooling Parents

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Becoming Better Muslims – Advice for the Youth


In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful

I wrote the following as some pre-Ramadan advice but didn’t get the chance to publish it until now. It is a list primarily aimed at those not fully practising their deen and trying to find their way. I have tried to keep the points as brief and concise as possible for ease of reading as I know people are busy.

I hope that this will be of benefit to the general reader.


1. Find your own connection with Allah and make it a personal connection

‘I did not create the Jinns and the human beings except for the purpose that they should worship Me.’ [Qur’an 51:56]

Worship here does not just mean the ritualistic five daily prayers, fasting etc, but it means having that personal connection with Allah (SWT) and worshipping Him all throughout our lives by obeying His commands and staying away from His prohibitions.

People can lecture you day in day out about praying, fasting etc, but it will not go in until you find that personal connection and personal touch with Allah (SWT). This is a very personal endeavour and is between you and your Lord. Allah (SWT) waits for you to make that connection with Him and therefore my first and foremost advice to you is to look deep within yourself and within your heart and re-connect the heart to the Heavens above and to Allah (SWT).

If you are successful in doing this you will find a peace in your heart that you never felt before and you will be able to bear any hardship that comes your way knowing that hardships in this worldly domain only leads to bliss in the other worldly domain, where our Souls reside.

This is deep, this is personal, and this is between you and Allah (SWT). Make that connection today.

2. Know that the life in this world is temporary

‘O my people, this life of the world is only a (momentary) benefit, while the Hereafter is, indeed, the place of permanent living.’ [Qur’an 40:39]

We have begun to live our lives as if we will live in this world forever. We won’t. Put life into it’s proper perspective and know that the only thing that will live forever is our Soul and the home of the Soul is in the next world. Will we build it a palace over there just like we want to build the body a palace in this world?

Death is real, and with every day that goes by we are getting ever closer to our meeting with our Lord. How will we want to be on the day we are raised before Him and asked what have we taken forth into the next world?

Let us put life into it’s proper context and change our thinking before it’s too late and we have no time left to make up for the years that we have wasted in heedlessness and play.

3. Find yourself a role model from amongst our scholars and teachers

‘And We did not send before you messengers except men whom We inspired with revelation. So, ask the people (having the knowledge) of the Message, if you do not know.’ [Qur’an 21:7]

We all need teachers and role models. Even the Prophet (peace be upon him) had a teacher who taught him. That teacher was Gibril (AS) who was taught in turn by Allah (SWT).

There is no shortage of English speaking Imams and Scholars today that you can learn your Deen from and therefore ignorance is no longer an excuse. The following is a non-exhaustive list of Imams that have inspired me over the years. Pick the ones that inspires you the most and learn from them.

Imam Siraj Wahhaj , Imam Suhaib Webb , Shaykh Hamza Yusuf , Imam Zaid Shakir , Shaykh Abdullah Adhami , Shaykh Faraz Rabbani . In the UK you have Shaykh Ahmed Ali , Shaykh Ahmad Sa’ad , Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa , Shaykh Haitham Tamim, Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad, Shaykh Akram Nadwi.

Make use of the resources available to us online via the laptop, smart phones etc. Youtube hosts a whole array of lectures and talks. The only thing to caution is that learn from people that you know and trust, as you can get confused easily and led astray if you start listening to anything and everything that appears online as ‘Islamic’.  

4. Read!

‘Read with the name of your Lord who created (every thing)’ [Qur’an 96:1]

I can’t impress upon you the importance of reading. Reading expands your understanding and broadens your horizons unlike any other medium of learning. Get the Amazon App on your iphone/ipad. Join the library. Read a variety of literature including non-fiction, fiction, spiritual, religious, career related and so on. As a child we ‘learn to read’ but now as adults it’s time that we ‘read to learn’.

5. Follow the Sunna

‘There is indeed a good model for you in the Messenger of Allah – for the one who has hope in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah profusely.’ [Qur’an 33:21]

Try to follow the Sunna in everything that you do. Ask yourself in any situation what would the Prophet (peace be upon him) do or would command us to do. To understand his Sunna begin by reading his Life Story or listen to it online along with pondering on the Hadith and Seerah literature that is available online and in books.  

6. Learn the Basics of the Deen

‘Say, “Can those who know and those who do not know become equal?” It is only the people of understanding who are receptive of the advice.’ [Qur’an 39:9]

There are certain aspects of Islam that is compulsory for everyone to know. This includes a basic understanding of the five pillars of Islam, the six pillars of Iman and the science of Ihsan. It is paramount that you learn these and act upon them as without them there is no salvation for us.


The list can go on and the advice is the same for me as it is for you. There is more along the same lines on my blog about being a productive human being and making the most of our lives and it will be worth having a read of that also.

And with Allah lies all Tawfiq

Always in need of your Duas. 

Jashim

It’s Halal but is it Tayyib? Part II


Assalamu ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatullah,

For those of you that are interested, here is a list of Halal Organic Chicken and Meat suppliers in the UK:

http://www.halalfreerangechicken.co.uk/  

http://www.organic-halal-meat.com/index.php

http://www.willowbrookorganic.org/

http://www.saras.co.uk/

http://handtfoods.com/

Feel free to add to the list if you know anymore.

JazakAllahu Khair

Was Salam

Jashim

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Educating Muslim Children in the UK


Assalamu ‘Alaikum

Following on from my post on Muslim Dads Facebook page I would like to carry out a brief poll on how Muslim Parents are educating their children. The poll is to measure the main method of teaching the national curriculum and is not asking about after school arabic lessons, or lessons at home etc. That is a different topic and may be discussed on another thread in the future.

I would be grateful if you could answer the brief survey above. I am happy for you to leave comments below if you wish to discuss further.

Jazakum Allahu Khair

Was Salam

Abu Zaynah

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It’s Halal but is it Tayyib?


‘O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and wholesome in the earth, and follow not the footsteps of the devil. Lo! he is an open enemy for you.’ [Qur’an 2:168]

Assalamu ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakutuhu,

It’s Halal but is it Tayyib? – something to ponder.

This post will probably pose more questions than provide answers. However, I have decided to write it as it’s something that has begun to bug me recently and is something that’s on my mind at the moment.

Most of us that come from the Asian sub-continent, or even Muslims of other countries, will be used to eating meat on a regular basis. I believe that in most Bangladeshi homes a chicken/lamb curry is a standard dish on most if not all meal times. Given this fact it is surprising to see how few of us actually care about where our meat actually comes from and whether it is truly ‘Halal’. Continue reading It’s Halal but is it Tayyib?

Victory for Alif Academy


From Alif Academy’s Facebook Page:

Victory for Alif Academy

I can confirm that earlier today we received the decision from the Planning Inspectorate in regards to our Planning consent. Alhumdolilah the school has been successful in the appeal and has been granted planning permission. The school is required to implement the conditions as discussed in the Inquiry. The school has also been awarded costs for the issues the Council retracted.

The school will now pursue the Council rigorously over the Nursery Education Grant to ensure that we can close this chapter and move on with the development of this school. Can I take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support and Dua. I thank Allah and pray that he continues to bless this school. Please continue to remember us in your Dua and please continue to support us with your donations.

Jazak’Allahukhairun.

Hasib Hikmat

http://www.alifacademy.org/

Advice to the Youth Series – Ten things that I want to tell young people


[Parental Advisory – The contents of external links and websites may not be suitable for minors, please read first before allowing a young person to read it to ensure that you are happy with the text and it’s appropriateness for young people]

Assalamu Alaikum (peace be with you),

This post was inspired by Kate Elizabeth Conner’s post on her Lily Pads blog titled ten things I want to tell teenage girls . I thought it was a great way of getting a positive message across to young people and I also read her husbands post titled dear boys and her friends post ten things I want to tell teenage boys / young men .

Continue reading Advice to the Youth Series – Ten things that I want to tell young people

Prophet Jesus (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him) The Qur’anic Account


Excerpts from the Qur’an based on the Stories of the Prophets by Imam Ibn Kathir. Translation of the Qur’an based on Marmaduke Pickthall’s translation.

 

Introduction

I am reposting this from a post that I published back in 2007 as I believe that the Qur’anic account of the life of Jesus (peace be upon him) needs to be told and re-told to clarify some of the mysteries surrounding Jesus (peace be upon him) and to reclaim him as a Prophet of the Muslims.

Jesus is one of the revered Messengers of Go. Allah has mentioned the story of Mary and Jesus in many parts of the holy Qur’an. Below are some excerpts taken from the Qur’an to illustrate the Qur’anic narrative on the story of Jesus.

As this is the season of remembering Jesus I hope the following will be useful for both Christians and Muslims to reflect upon the story of this great Prophet of God.

Please refer to the ‘Stories of the Prophets’ by Ibn Kathir for a full account of the Muslim version of the tale.

You may also be interested in the notes from a talk a did a while back titled The Return of the Sun – The Truth About Jesus (PBUH)

Also of interest will be this documentary titled The Muslim Jesus  that was aired on ITV in 2007 and features our very own Shaykh Ahmad Sa’ad

Keep us in your Duas

Was Salaam

Jashim

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  Continue reading Prophet Jesus (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him) The Qur’anic Account

Time for Action – What Can We Do?


Question: What is a person who is fed up with America’s murder of innocent Muslims all over the world supposed to do?

Answer: This is a valid and important question. I will make a few recommendations here.

1. Realize that you did not create the confusion, weakness and political incompetence that prevails in the Muslim world and that you are not responsible for or capable of fixing it. Oftentimes, we become stressed out over things beyond our control. Our Prophet, peace and blessings upon him, informed us, “From a person’s Islam being good is his leaving what does not concern him.” What we cannot control is not our concern. On the other hand there is much we are capable of doing here yet we oftentimes neglect those things. We will even run from what we can effectively influence to become caught up in events that we have no ability to influence at all. This is a formula for frustration and ineffective action.

2. Take advantage of the educational opportunities you have and train yourself to do something meaningful for the Muslims and humanity at large. Most people in the average Muslim society have no opportunity for higher education. Here in western societies we do have such opportunities. Instead of brooding about the situation of Muslims in various parts of the world, we should be educating ourselves to able to do something meaningful with our lives that can make a difference in theirs. It has been proven that knowledge indeed translates into power. We should be about the business of empowering ourselves.
3. Contribute in a meaningful way to the discourse that is shaping how Americans will view Islam. We should not assume that everyone in this country is inherently anti-Muslim. However, if we do not begin educating our fellow citizens about our religion, our community and the struggles of our people, an ever greater percentage of Americans will be prejudiced against Islam and we will have an extremely difficult time changing their attitudes. You can research to help provide refutations of the slanderous and defamatory ideas that are being passed off as Muslim principles and beliefs. You can write or blog. You can teach people about Islam in both formal and informal settings. You can arrange for classes and seminars in public places such as libraries, community centres and similarly places. You can give private presentations in the homes of friends, neighbours and relatives. You can organize book clubs to read and discuss books that portray Islam accurately.

4. Learn a skill that is needed in the Muslim world and spend part of your time serving people in other countries. Such skills may include medicine, nursing, computer science, sanitation engineering, environmental science, psychology (as the basis for therapeutic counselling), auto mechanics, etc. By serving in these areas you can contribute to the stability of Muslim societies that are being rendered damaged and dysfunctional by decades of unrelenting violence.

5. Help to serve the incarcerated, recent immigrants, poor, elderly and other populations whose lives are being ravaged by the corporate state. Building bridges with these populations will be a key to creating the kinds of coalitions that can push back in an effective way against the hegemonic socio-political machine that is attempting to actualize its control over all aspects of our lives. As the fiscal crisis of the capitalist state deepens there will be more and more people in need of various services. Muslims must step up to do our part in meeting those needs. This is one of the greatest things we can do to counter the vociferous anti-Muslim propaganda.
6. Join the work of those organizations whose political vision aims to bring people together and to overcome the divisions and rifts that have separated them. Such work can take place within the context of the electoral political system and in the context of grassroots political education and organization. There are also many Muslim advocacy groups that are springing up. Get involved with those groups and help to strengthen them both financially and in terms of their human resources.

7. Join the movement to humanize Muslims to the mainstream society with Muslim art and culture. This movement is powerful and is gaining momentum. The realms of effective communications in this regard include film, art, acceptable genres of music, poetry and many other vistas.

8. Get involved in the antiwar movement. Grassroots antiwar activism was instrumental in ending the Viet Nam war and it is the only thing that will end the so-called war on terror. There are many organizations and online initiatives that need help to enhance their efficacy. Muslims should be involved with such groups in great numbers if we are sincere in our desire to end a so-called war, which is leading to the deaths of thousands of innocent Muslims and the destruction of many Muslim societies.

These are just a few suggestions. There are many others. No young Muslim has an excuse to sitting around suffering from boredom waiting to be lured into a reactionary scheme that will only be used to set back Muslims both in this country and abroad.

From Imam Zaid Shakir’s Answers to “Would-be Mujahids”

Blurb – Abu Hanifa by Akram Nadwi


ABU HANIFA Nu’man ibn Thabit (d. 150/767) is a towering figure in the early history of Islamic Law. He was among the first to deploy the recognized methods of legal reasoning consistently, and to gather the legal dicta of his time into a systematic corpus. The understanding of Islam as law (fiqh) that evolved from his style of reasoning was favoured by the ruling dynasties of the three most extensive, populous, and enduring of the Muslim empires – the ‘Abbasids, Ottomans, and Mughals – who enforced it consistently, though never exclusively, in their dominions. The Hanafi Madhhab (doctrine or school) has remained ever since the one most widely followed among the world’s Muslims. Continue reading Blurb – Abu Hanifa by Akram Nadwi