Category Archives: Discuss

Homeschooling Gem 2: Curriculum is like a  chicken!

Insha Allah in the following short series we will be sharing teaching gems for homeschoolers by Br. Abdul Rakib who is a secondary school teacher by profession.

Homeschooling Gem 2: Curriculum is like a  chicken!

The curriculum is a legal document set out by the government and and issued by law and that you must follow.

I use the analogy that curriculum is like chicken. The student (your child) has to eat the chicken but it’s up to you how you want to serve it. Whether it be in the form of fried chicken, chicken curry or boring boiled chicken.

This is where major educational companies like Pearson take the curriculum and design their own books and teaching materials and charge us for it.

Take away:

As a homeschooling parent you have the autonomy to teach the curriculum with your own twist. 

E.g Curriculum says your child has to know the features/adaptations of a leaf that help it carry out its function/job.

You can just get your child to read it in a boring traditional way and then answer question about it.

Or you can be creative and get your child to produce a Crosstitch poem about the adaptations of a leaf.

This will make a great difference to your child’s learning experience. So be creative to your approach.

Creating/and construction are higher order skills that will push your child’s ability so next time you want to stretch and challenge then – urge them to create something.

E.g – make an advertisement promoting Shakespeare’s Macbeth play.


Abdul Rakib

Coronavirus Advice


Assalamu Alaykum,

I hope and pray that you are well and that Allah (SWT) keeps you well throughout this pandemic that we are facing.

I have compiled below a basic list of 10 things that we can all do to help with the threat of the Coronavirus within our community. Feel free to add your own suggestions to the list and share insha Allah.

1. Look after yourself and your families. Don’t put yourself or them at risk. 

“Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master and he is responsible for it. No doubt, every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.” [Bukhari and Muslim] Continue reading Coronavirus Advice

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



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

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. 


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:

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

JazakAllahu Khair

Was Salam



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


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.


Hasib Hikmat

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.



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



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