Omar and Maryam ibook Supplementary workbook

Arabic is important for Muslim and as such teaching Arabic is an important part of our homeschool life at the moment. One of our resources we use is the ibook online series Omar wa Maryam. It is a very good series which is similar to the English reading trees even if not as extensive.

With each new book We usually go through it as follows:

  • I read the book to her with a lot of expression and actions, whilst explaining new words we come across. I try to explain the new words in Arabic, or by pointing to pictures and go to the English when she needs clarification. For example, When introducing the pronoun ‘hum’, instead of saying hum means they, I would point to myself whilst saying ‘anaa’, then my son whilst saying ‘huwa’, then a picture of a group of people saying ‘hum’. She would then say something like ‘ohhhh. They’.
  • Once we have gone through the book, she would read it to me, a page at a time translating the story as she goes along. Then once that is done we would stop for the day, or go onto some activities/ flashcards, depending on her mood.
  • For each session we repeat the same book until she can read and translate fluently (-ish). Sometimes going back to the previous book for her to read for practice.

It is a very good series for beginner readers (children and adults) and highly recommend it. We are planning on reading all ibooks before moving onto other Arabic stories.

I created these activity sheets to give extra practice.

maryam and omar activity ibook 3

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Ramadhaan 30 days series day 1 pt 2

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Virtues of ramdhaan 30 Days episode Day 1

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Village time!!

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Touching article!

IT was while watching the Oprah Winfrey Show many years ago when I realized that times have really changed…

This particular show interviewed a mother who had written and published a children’s book and dedicated it to her daughter.  The mother shared with Oprah that she now realized that she had spent many of the daughter’s young years working hard in her career and hadn’t given her daughter the time and attention she deserved. 

The book was a gift from mother to daughter saying, I’m sorry and I love you. Moved by the sincerity of the mother, Oprah turned to the daughter, who was also present on the show, and asked her about the heartfelt dedication in the book.

In response, the daughter scoffed at the dedication and said it meant nothing to her.  She said that a meager book could never make up for all she’d lost in those years of her mother not being there for her…

…A friend of mine once shared the story of a young woman who had accepted Islam and fell sick shortly thereafter and was hospitalized.  Her new Muslim companions would gather at her bedside reciting Qu’ran and keeping her company.  One day one of the Muslims was reciting Qur’an and the woman started to turn her head back and forth in apparent agitation.  Concerned, the Muslims asked what was wrong.

The sick woman responded by saying that it was hard to concentrate because she didn’t know whom to listen to.

“What do you mean?” the Muslims asked her.

Agitated, she said to the one reciting Qur’an, “Should I listen to you and should I listen to them?”

The reciter turned and didn’t see anyone.  “I’m the only one reciting,” he said.

The woman, who did not know Arabic, responded saying, “I hear someone else saying, ‘Yaa ayyu han-nafsul mut-ma-innah. ‘Irji’ee ilaa rabbiki raaDiyya-tam marDiyyah.  Fad-khulee fee ‘ebaadee, wad-khulee jannatee.”

O reassured soul, Return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him],

And enter among My [righteous]servants,

And enter My Paradise

(Al-Fajr, 89:27-30).

A moment later, she died…

…I don’t know why, but the daughter’s words to her mother that day as I watched Oprah affected me deeply.  I nearly cried.

I wished I could somehow reach out to the daughter and tell her that it was she who should be apologizing to her mother.  It was she who should be asking for forgiveness.  It was she who should be dedicating, not a book, but her life to the woman who carried her for nine long months and endured agonizing pain to see her safely into the world.

If your mother had done only that, I wanted to tell her, a life of toiling servitude at her feet could not repay even a single contraction your mother suffered birthing you.

I wanted, too, to ask this single question:  For whose comfort do you think your mother worked so long and hard in her career?

Allah says:

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be dutiful to your parents. If one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them Uff [a word of disrespect], nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say, ‘My Lord!  Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.’  Your Lord knows best what is in your inner-selves.  If you are righteous, then, verily, He is Most Forgiving to those who turn unto Him again and again in obedience, and in repentance.” (17:23-24).

Time and time again we read verses about Allah’s mercy and forgiveness, but it is often not real for us.  It is only when we hear stories like the one about the young new Muslim that we begin to get a glimpse into that vast world of Allah’s compassion for His servants.

When I heard the story of the girl hearing the last verses from Soorat Al-Fajr before death, my eyes welled with tears.  I longed to hear those Divine words recited to me.  But as I reflected on my life and my shortcomings, I wondered if I’d be given that gift.

What was it, I wondered, that she had done that pleased Allah so much that she earned this momentous blessing?  Was there something—anything—that I could do to earn something similar?

…I thought of my parents, and of the love that the mother must have had when dedicating a book to her daughter.

And I wondered at the regret the mother must have felt when realizing that her daughter would never understand just how much she loved her—even when she had no idea how to show it…

If I were to speak to the daughter of the career woman—or to the daughter or son of an absent father—I could never say you don’t have a right to hurt, a right to cry, a right to wish things were different, or even that you don’t have the right to feel that your father or mother fell short in their responsibilities to you.

For surely, it is true:  Parents are not angels.  Parents are not without sin.  And parents, of a certainty, are riddled with faults.

But rest assured, dear soul, I’d like to say, that Allah knows what you’ve endured.  Allah knows your pain.  Allah knows the hurt you nurse in your heart…

“…Your Lord knows best what is in your inner-selves…”

Even if you suffered at their hands something so severe that you had no choice but to speak up and seek help from others, what harm would it do, even still, to honor and respect them?

What harm will your being righteous do to you?

“…If you are righteous, then, verily, He is Most Forgiving to those who turn unto Him again and again in obedience, and in repentance…”

But she was never there for me.

He was always gone.

Why didn’t he try harder?

They should listen more

But what of our falling short in our responsibilities to them?

We accept without question the duty of parents to provide, to be kind, to “be there”, and to love us, regardless….

….Of our temper tantrums, our sudden outbursts, our tumultuous teens….

Regardless of our tendency to rarely, if ever, reach out to them.

So in those inevitable moments of hurt, when reflecting on the wrongs of one’s parents, why not pray for them?  Why not ask Allah to forgive them?

… “My Lord!  Bestow on them Your Mercy…”

A hadith reports the Prophet, sallallaahu’alayhi wa sallam, as saying, “Verily, on the Day of Resurrection, Allah has slaves to whom He will neither speak nor purify nor look at.” When he was asked who these people were, among them was the person who disowns or abandons his parents” (Ahmad). 

Yet, as we draw ever closer to the Day of Judgment, there are so few of us who are moved to utter a simple prayer asking Allah’s mercy for our parents, and so many of us who move our tongues endlessly recounting their faults.

The Prophet, sallallaahu’alayhi wa sallam, taught that one of the signs of the Last Day is that a slave girl will give birth to her master.   And, indeed, it seems that that time is upon us…

A mother is given orders by her child.  A father is scolded for his faults.  A mother dedicates a book—a life—to a child and is told…

…A meager book could never make up for all I’ve lost in those years of you not being there…

What, dear child, would you feel, if that book were your Book of Deeds handed to you on the Day of Judgment?

Could your list of transgressions therein—against your parents and yourself—make up for all that you lost in not “being there” for your own soul?

And perhaps, you simply saying to your career mother or absent father, “I love you and will honor you still” would be the cause for every single ink stroke in your Book of sin to be erased – forever – from your account.

And perhaps, too, while your soul is being taken from your body, you will hear—because of this “meager” good deed—a voice from on high saying…

“O reassured soul, return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him], and enter among My [righteous] servants.  And enter My Paradise.”

And perhaps your mother and father will enter with you, too.

Umm Zakiyyah is the internationally acclaimed author of the novels If I Should Speak, A Voice, Footsteps, and Realities of Submission.  To contact her, write to or join her Facebook page.

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Separate Rooms For The Women In The Mosques

[‘Silsilatul- Hudaa wan-Noor’ tape series of Shaikh Muhammad Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee – rahimahullaah. ]
TAPE NO. 329 (00:25:39), [ repeated on tape no.351 (00:44:16)]

Q. “ O Shaikh, the hadeeth which occurs in Saheeh Muslim, where the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, with the meaning: <The worst of the rows of the women is the first one, and the best of them is the last one.> So now, is that ruling, as is indicated by what is apparent from the hadeeth, the same in the closed rooms which are set up for that. Meaning in this closed places, for the women are now totally apart from the men; and it is well known that when (the scholars) spoke in explanation of the hadeeth they mentioned that the underlying reason for the first rows being the worst of them is that they are the closest ones to the men, as mentioned by an-Nawawee..”

A. (“Yes?”)

Q. “So does what is apparent from the from the hadeeth apply to these closed places now?”

A. “Upon my belief I am not able to answer this question, because I think that the questioner consents to this closing off being something legislated, whereas I do not hold that.”

Q. “Yes.”

A. “Because this is an innovation (bid`ah). Locking the women away, or enclosing them (in rooms) in the mosques, especially in spacious mosques, on account of the corruption in society; and confining them to a room where the movements of the imaam will be hidden from them, so that they are sometimes liable to render their Prayer deficient, to the extent of its being null and void.

So in my belief locking the women away, in rooms specific to them in the mosques, is just the same as the row being cut by having an elongated minbar. Both of these are newly introduced affairs. So it is obligatory upon us to return to what the first Salaf were upon.

(We discussed this matter at length yesterday. Yes, the brother was present with us…the brother was with us..)

So it is said: The women today are different to the women of yesterday, and there can be added to that : this is something witnessed. So this saying results in the conclusion that it is therefore befitting that we should confine the women to these rooms, so that the men do not come across anything from that which should remain hidden from the women. So I gave a relatively long answer, and time was short, so I said, as part of a long discussion: that confining the women to these rooms is not a case of legislated masaalihul-mursalah (matters established for the welfare of the Muslims), since the reason for this confinement is a failing of the Islamic society- and it includes the women- to carry out legislated obligations. So if the women entered the mosques wearing the legislated jilbaab, then those who bui ld these rooms would not have the idea entering their minds of confining the women to them. However when they witnessed, unfortunately, some women entering, some perhaps wearing a coat/jacket, or a ‘tunic’, or what they call a ‘jilbaab’ today, and it is not a jilbaab, down to their mid calves, or sometimes wearing transparent flesh coloured tights, and so on. so the gaze of the men was liable to see something that should be hidden. So therefore they said: We will screen the women away from the men in the mosque.

So I say: No! It is rather upon us to implement Islaam, and that we return the Islamic society as a whole, not sections of it, to what was the practice in the initial time. So we contend with the society today. We want the Muslims to return: with their scholars, their students, and their common folk, to that which the Salaf were upon; not to (blind) following of madhhabs, but rather to ‘Allaah said.., His Messenger said…’

There will not be a prevention of having differenct views, just as there was at the beginning, but we do not want there to be restrictive (blind) following of madhhabs. We want the societies, the elite and the general folk, to return to what the Salaf were upon.

As with the case of the mosques. We do not want there to be elongated minbars. We do not want there to be extended minbars in the form of trickery to escape legislated prohibitions (al- Hiyal ash-Shar`iyyah) . They realized that the older minbars sever the rows (for the Prayer), so now they come out to us from a minbar which he enters via the mihraab, and he ascends and then appears to the people upon a little raised platform. Why all this twisting and turning? (All that is needed) is three steps, and Allaah has sufficed the Believers so that they have no need to fight. The best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. How many dirhams and deenaars does it cost to enable the khateeb to ascend to this platform? Based upon the claim: ‘We do not want to sever the rows.’ This claim is a good one. This is the case . However it can be attained without all of this unnecessary effort: take a minbar comprising three steps, and the problem is at an end. Likewise we do not want there to be all this decoration.

And lastly we do not want these rooms for the women. We want for the women what we want for the men: that which was previously present: that the women enter wearing hijaab, and the men move forward to the front rows.

Then in that case the previous hadeeth will apply: <The worst of the rows of the women is the first one, and the best of them is the last one.>

We do not want to reverse the indication of the hadeeth on account of the aberration that has appeared with the building of these rooms in the mosques.”

[Compiled by Aboo Talhah Daawood ibn Ronald Burbank (may Allah have mercy on him)]

The word “shams” (sun) is feminine, and “qamar” (moon) is masculine (in the Arabic language).

The sun burns itself out to give light and life to everything around, and the moon is muneer, meaning it reflects the light. Within itself it has no light; it radiates the brilliance of the sun. So when we shine as men, the implication is that we are reflecting the glorious light of our women. May Allah be pleased with them.

– Shaykh Abdullah Adhami

 AbdurRahman. org

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How to develop your families love for Quran

One of the greatest gifts of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) to mankind is the revelation of The Noble Quran and it is a Muslim’s source of guidance in our lives. By reading, listening, learning and reciting we can truly benefit in this life and the next. Therefore it is important for every Muslim to utilise their time and make reading the Quran a daily and family activity, for indeed The Qur’an will testify for you or against you onThe Day of Judgment. But how can we practically integrate the Quran into our day today lives and especially with our families?

• Quran and the Family

Make the Quran a family event, and a cherished part of the day – not a chore. Build excitement and enjoyment around the time you and your family spend with Quran. Days get so busy and fly by so set a time of a day that you will spend with yourfamily and The Quran, even if it is just reading 2 pages after Fajr at first and then you can increase once you’ve established a routine.

• Reading, Reciting, Memorizing, Understanding, Implementing the Qur’an

Reading The Qur’an improves our intelligence as for many of us we will be reading in a script not familiar to us, and thus this challenges and pushes our mind. It is also an enjoyable activity to gather as a family to recite The Qur’an and help and test each other’s memorization. One can supplement this activity by reading a good translation or tafsir to understand the ayaat; and moreover, one can pick up a lesson or two from what was read and come up with a list as a family of how to implement the ayaat in our daily lives (eg. Spreading the salaams, feeding the poor, etc.). After all, TheQur’an was meant to be recited and acted upon and lived – our Prophet (Peace be upon him) was like a walking and living Qur’an.

Some children (and adults) struggle to read The Qur’an, but the reward is abundant even if we are struggling – and the reward is even greater when we are patient and persevere in sha’ Allah. The solution is simply to read more and practise, even though it might be difficult at the beginning – the more you/the child reads, the more familiar you/the child will become with Arabic and the vocabulary, and over time the reading will improve tremendously.

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said: “Verily the one who recites the Qur’an beautifully, smoothly, and precisely, he will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. And as for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have twice that reward.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

He (peace and blessings be upon him) also said:
“The Qur’an is an intercessor, something given permission to intercede, and it is rightfully believed in. Whoever puts it in front of him, it will lead him to Paradise; whoever puts it behind him, it will steer him to the Hellfire.” [An authentic hadith found in At-Tabaraanee, on the authority of ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood]

This hadith emphasizes the importance placed on the Quran in our lives as it will act as a guide for us in this world and an intercessor on the Day of Judgment when we will all be accountable for our deeds. If you neglect the Quran and do not acknowledge its importance then you have been warned about the consequences.

• Teach the Noble Quran in the Community

Uthmaan, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

The best of you are the ones who learn the Qur’an and teach it to others”. [Al-Bukhari]

If you are qualified, you can teach the Quran – for example you can volunteer at an Islamic school or a masjid to teach the Arabic letters, or tajweed, or memorization.The rewards are many.

• Give your children Islamic knowledge from an early age

Enrolling your children in Quranic classes and Islamic studies can help them to acquirethe knowledge they need for success in this life and the hereafter, and perhaps give them the chance to teach it to others when they get older in sha’ Allah. Have high aims for your child – set them on the path to be a Hafiz. From an early age my parents sent me to the mosque to attend Quran classes and this has helped me today as a mother when I have to teach my children the Quran. Giving your child knowledge of Islam and The Quran is truly one of the best (if not the best) gifts you coul give your child.

Seeking knowledge at a young age is like engraving on a stone. – Hasan al-Basri

But it’s never too late – I have heard of seniors embarking on Hifz; so regardless ofyour age, seek out Hifz, tafsir or other Islamic studies classes.

• Encourage participation in Quran Recitation Competitions

Submerge your child in a fun Islamic environment where they are encouraged to excel in their deen, let them compete for good deeds. Some children who are confident may like to focus their time on competitions, but instead of focusing all their time on meaningless ones (eating contests, for example) you could encourage your child toparticipate in Quran Recitation competition. This will not only help them to learn new surahs but it will also encourage them to read out aloud and build their confidence in reciting Quran beautifully with eloquence. This will increase your child’s excitement insha’ Allah.

(Notes: If your child is shy, don’t force him into a stressful situation for him/her where they will be uncomfortable and put off. Also make sure this isn’t a source of riya (showing off) or upset – every reciter of Quran at the event should be honoured).

• Provide motivation and incentives for your children

Giving your children motivation and creating incentives can help build confidence and also make them feel special. If they have memorized a Surah to the best of their ability then ensure that you give them the praise they deserve and encourage themwith their achievements and learning. If children feel that they are being encouraged, they will be more likely to want to learn more and further their Quranic knowledge within the community. Why not show your approval and the pleasure that is attachedto the deen by planning a family outing or cooking their favourite meal for their good efforts.

The Qur’an is our healing, our mercy, and our guide – how can we truly be successful if we turn away from the very fountain of wisdom, guidance, and success?We should all strive to engage our family in beneficial activities to work towards theMercy of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala.

About the Author:

Tasnim Nazeer is a Freelance Journalist/Reporter for BMG’s Global Islamic Finance Magazine. She has written for a variety of print and online publications including TheMuslim News, CNN iReport Citizen Journalism, How to Books and she has her own parenting column on Mum and Muslim Magazine. As a mother of two toddlers she likesto write on topics of productivity in the family and remembrance of Allah.

aken from


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