Learning about Salah

On Sunday 18th March, students from junior school up to upper school were off their usual timetable and instead took part in a 4-hour intensive Salah workshop. 

At the start of the day, although mostly tired and yawning as they made their way to class, many faces lit up when they heard the news that normal lessons were off for today - let's be honest, which student wouldn't have been over the moon?!

The workshop began with an introduction to the importance of Salah delivered by Ustadh Mohsin. Together as a school, students gave their answers to the all-important question, "Why do we pray?". From it being an obligation which had an attached consequence to developing patience and connecting with Allah, all the students from the youngest to the oldest gained insight into the main reasons and wisdoms behind carrying out this pillar of Islam.

Printed resource for the students to follow

As the day progressed on, Ustadh Ismail further reinforced just how important Salah is and then tackled the rulings of both performing Wudhu (ritual ablution) and Salah. Students were given a wonderful practical demonstration by one of the students who was happy to volunteer (after a little persuasion!) and they could also follow along a printed resource of the steps of salah.

Step by step, Ustadh went through the motions and outlined the names and timings of the 5 Salah in the day, the number of raka'ah in each as well as the brief history of when the command came. After a long and exciting morning, the students were ready to go on their lunch break.

Following on from lunch, everyone was then put to the test - split up into groups the children had to prepare a short presentation. They were all allocated a different topic - from how to perform Salah to the reasons why we perform it. Below are some images of one of the groups who had to demonstrate and explain the  movements of Salah.

Alhamdulilah, the students delivered wonderful presentations - Ustadh Mohsin even mentioned he was quite impressed! The day came to an end after every student was tested on their Salah - the teachers all individually listened to each child making notes on where they needed a little more practise with the hope of monitoring individual progress throughout their journey of perfecting, or even learning, how to pray.

Alhamdulilah, by the permission of Allah SWT, it proved to be a beneficial workshop for both the teachers and students alike. After great reception from parents too, in'sha'Allah a lot more workshops are on their way!

We pray that Allah SWT allows the youth of today to grow up with a strong attachment to the Deen and become shining beacons of light for the Ummah at large.
— Ameen

A Trip to Langley Haven Care home

Outside the Carehome

On Sunday 4th March 2018, 7 students from across the school, all spent their Sunday afternoon, after school at Langley Haven Care Home. Being just a short 20 minute walk from school and with the weather being particularly pleasant too, the students were all buzzing with excitement, as for many of them it was their first trip to a care home.

Welcomed by the friendly staff, to our amazement, a whole itinerary for the visit had been planned - the afternoon was packed with playing games and spending time with the residents there. The students had a lot of fun, volunteering to help the care home staff and actively talking to the residents - it was particularly disheartening for the students to see some of residents who were restricted in what they could do due to their condition of dementia that limited them.

As part of their school enrichment and community contribution, students in the school will be on a monthly rota - taking it in turns to make their visit to the care home. The activity is not only humbling and eye opening for us all, but really drives the message the students really do have a lot to be grateful for and as a member in the community, it is a communal obligation to look after our older, more vulnerable members of society.

If you're reading this as a parent, teacher or even just a member of the community and you're interested in coming along to these visits - please don't hesitate to contact IslamHood. The Community Department has had this initiative running for a period of time now and would definitely welcome anybody who would want to assist or join in the visits.

Check out some more photos from the day:

Cakes Galore!

On Sunday 21st and 28th January, students across the school from Junior Class to Upper Class were set a special homework task - to bake a cake or any other sweet treat for their neighbours and to personally deliver it. Not only this, but they also had to write a short note explaining why it's important to treat our neighbours so well and how important it is in Islam.

For the last few weeks, students have been learning all about the community - what exactly it is, who our neighbours are, how we can help in the community and the great amount of respect and honour given to those who treat their neighbours well. Students in the middle school studied the story of the Jewish man who sold his home for double it's price of 1000 dinaars - stating he would sell his home for 2000 dinaars - 1000 for the house and 1000 for having Abdullah Ibn Mubarak (Rahimullah) as his neighbour! This is how loving and merciful Abdullah Ibn Mubarak was, following the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW).

This homework task not only got the children learning new skills as part of their enrichment (although it may have been a parent's nightmare!), but also drilled home the message that as Muslim citizens, it is part of our religion to treat our neighbours well, with utmost kindness and respect. Moreover, as all students have learnt since they have started school this year, part of our religion is to fulfil the rights of the people (Huqooq al Ibaad) in addition to the rights of Allah (Huqooq Allah).

It was beautiful to see students being very enthusiastic about this homework task - making a range of different goodies from yummy cupcakes to delicious pastries. Delivering it themselves with a small note was a lovely touch allowing their neighbours to appreciate the important concept of being active citizens in the community that Islam teaches. One of our student's neighbours even delivered a card and chocolates back to show their appreciation!

May Allah SWT allow our youth to be guided on the straight path and become shining lights for the Ummah.
— Ameen

Check out the pictures below of some of the students who took part:

Poems about Zakah

The children explored Zakah this lesson - learning how giving in charity has so many beautiful benefits. They learnt how it linguistically means to purify or clean - why? Because giving in charity purifies us, washing away sins and cleaning our heart from greed.

The kids had fun at the end of the lesson, working together to write their own poems about giving in charity and helping the poor...

Stories of Taqwa.png

Zakah - By Hunsaa (year 5), Naura (year 3) & Raisa (year 5)

Give Zakah to the poor
Or they'll have to eat food raw

Always give your Zakah to the poor and needy
Allah loves these actions - not when your greedy

Give Zakah with your heart and lots of love
So one day inshaAllah you'll be with Allah up above

Give in charity because it's so nice
And the poor people can get free rice!

Zakah - by Umar (Year 5) & Hasan (year 5)

Always give charity to the poor,
It will stop your heart from being sore.

Always give in charity to help people live,
Doing this encourages other people to give

Don't waste your money on something so nice.
Instead, why don't you donate half the price?

You and your family have a roof over your head,
For people on the street, the pavement is their bed!

Zakah - by Deen (year 3), Hasan (year 5) & Zakariya (year 4)

Give Zakah,
To be alongside Allah.
Purify your heart and soul,
Save yourself from Hell's darkest coal.
Be good and provide,
Be on Allah's good side.
Be kind & don't hate,
Try to donate.
Homeless people are trying to live,
Don't be selfish and try to give.
Keep on giving to the poor,
And Allah will keep on giving you more!

 

donate.jpg

All About Taqwa

Last Sunday during the Junior School class, students were learning about the fourth pillar of Islam - sawm (fasting). The main part of this lesson was to take away one beautiful reason that we are all commanded to fast - that is to attain Taqwa.

For almost all of the students - the word Taqwa was something completely new and foreign. What did the word mean? Why did Allah want us to have Taqwa? And how did fasting make us develop Taqwa?

All the students, even the youngest in the class were quick to understand the concept that Allah is watching us everywhere and that Taqwa is knowing that Allah is always aware of our actions. Even in the dead of night when nobody can see us, we should still be careful of our actions because Allah SWT can see us.

After a cosy storytime and class discussion, all the pupils wrote down stories to explain what Taqwa is. Below is a collection of just a few of them:

The Very Valuable Lesson - By Hasan Rosmeen, Year 5

Once there lived a boy named Adam. He always lied and never did as he was told to. Once he shot spit-balls at his maths teacher, Mr Ali. He was sent to the headmasters’ office by his English teacher, who taught next door. The headmaster thought it was pointless to keep punishing him and soon came up with an idea. “I will let you off, only if you obey what I tell you”. Adam nodded his head in agreement.

“Adam, listen carefully. You must not watch TV for the entire week, do you understand.” Adam was gob-smacked. How was he possibly going stop watching TV for an entire week? His favourite TV program, The Muppet Show was on full time that week. He couldn’t possibly miss it! 

There was a long silence until the Headmaster had sent him back to his class. His friend, Bilaal was waiting for Adam to speak or at least utter a single word out, but Adam was speechless. The class were loving the tranquillity of the moment and enjoyed it very happily indeed. Bilaal was fed up with the serenity and kicked Adam on the leg. “Why are you silent so suddenly, don’t you want to shoot a few more spit-balls at Mr Ali with me.” Adam finally replied but with a few pauses in between, “the headmaster…s…says…I can’t w…watch TV for… for the entire… the entire WEEK!” Bilaal was astounded. “What does the headmaster mean, no TV for the entire WEEK!” Bilaal was very cunning indeed and whispered, “Adam, ignore him, what does he know about TV and how would he possibly know you were, if your parents aren’t informed about this. Adam knew Bilaal had a point. His parents weren’t informed about it yet, so what could go wrong? Adam brightened up. Bilaal did too.

As the next 7 days past by, Adam sat beside Bilaal and they both laughed their heads off as they watched The Muppet Show. “Bilaal you’re right, I don’t need to obey his orders he wouldn’t realise a thing”.

As the weekends had finished, Adam returned with a bright smile at the principals’ desk. “Why are you smiling Adam?”, asked the Principal, thinking he was being pranked.

Adam was about to announce his achievement, which he hadn’t achieved at all, when his parents burst into the room. “Adam how could you hide this from us?”. Adam was shocked, were they talking about his TV ban? It turned out that they were. The principal listened as if he had known already. He said, “Asalamu Alaykum,” before Adams parents left and turned to Adam as if he had expected this all to happen.

“Adam,” he said soothingly, “even when you are all alone, Allah (SWT) is always watching you no matter where you are and what you hide. Even in the middle of the universe, Allah is watching you because Allah can see everything. He knows all that happens because he hears and knows everything as well. So, Adam, always remember, Allah knows, hears and sees everything and He has the most wisdom and perception than anyone else. So never listen to the bad that comes to mind and just ignore it. Adam agreed and he had a much better life. Adam was no longer sent to the headmasters’ office again.
                                                     

Larry the Liar - by Husain Rosmeen, Year 5

There was once a boy named Larry. He always got away from getting in trouble by lying, for example: when he stole his teacher’s strawberry laces, he said he didn’t do it when he did. His teacher didn’t know what to do with him. But one day she finally came up with an idea.

She planned an exciting competition. “The competition will start on April the first”, said Miss Fathima. “You must not eat junk food, sweets and chocolate or drink unhealthy drinks for the entire month”.

Larry’s jaw dropped. How would he possibly get through the entire month without a single unhealthy snack! He panicked. Then a soft whisper came towards his ear and said “You don’t have to eat healthily. Maybe you can hide some snacks under your bed and eat it every now and then. No-one will notice. That way you’ll win the competition”. Larry was a bad boy, which obviously meant he would listen to Shaytan’s whisper. At the end of the day, Miss Fathima said, “Remember Allah is always watching wherever you are”.

He didn’t care what Miss Fathima said. For the rest of the month Larry ate secretly in his room. When the competition was over, he couldn’t wait to win his prize.

When Miss Fathima was going to announce the winner, there was no-one on the list. There was one rule that Miss Fathima didn’t mention was, was that each students parent would have to watch over their child. Every student also ate secretly in their rooms. Miss Fathima said, “This competition was meant to teach you about Taqwa - just how your parents were watching your every move, Allah can see much more than they can. From that day onward Larry, and every other student in the school never lied or cheated again.

Yusuf to the Mosque - by Deen Hussain, Year 3

Once there was a man who need to pray Namaz (Salah). That man was called Yusuf. Yusuf realised that there was no local mosque to pray and the only one was all the way across town. Yusuf walked to the mosque, not talking to anyone or stopping so he didn't get late. He arrived 1 minute late and had enough time to pray before he had to go back to work.

The above story written by one of our youngest children in the school, delivers a very important message about Taqwa - it teaches us that our love and fear of Allah should make us always try to please him and it should stop us from doing evil deeds. In this story, it helped Yusuf to make sure he didn't miss his Salah at the Mosque.

May Allah SWT grant our youth to understand and attain Taqwa, growing up to be obedient slaves of Allah SWT and leading lights for the Ummah.
— Ameen

Learning about Respect

Junior school students learnt about respect this week - something of course they have already heard before. But what does the word mean? Who should we respect - should it just be our families, people we like, Muslims only? What should we respect - does it include animals or objects too?

The children learnt that respect is something that everybody and everything deserves. Not only Muslims - but all human beings because every living thing has feelings - and the Prophet SAW taught us to be kind and show mercy to others. And it's not just humans that deserve respect, but animals and objects like books and pens too. Respect is something earned - a two way system where you need to treat others respectfully in order to be respected.

After a class discussion, the kids then started thinking about respecting our parents - because they are our keys to Jannah. 

How do we look after house keys - we add keyrings to them and make sure we keep them safe so we don't lose them. Why? Because if we lose them we won't be able to get into our front door. Just like that if we don't respect our parents Allah SWT will be very angry with us and the key into Jannah won't work and the door won't open.

As a fun end to the lesson, the children wrote poems on respect, some individually and some in groups. A few have been collected together here for you to have a peak...

Respect - by Hasan Rosmeen, Year 5

A world with no respect,
No kindness, how unfair!
A world with hatred we reject,
The world in shallow despair.

Adults and the elderly,
They all deserve respect,
Youngsters and the youth
Their parents - they must not reject

We all deserve respect,
So we must treat each other well
Allah loves when we are kind
And doesn't want us to go to Hell
 

Respect - by Husain Rosmeen, Year 5

A thing for me and you,
Use it for earning respect too,
If you judge some one for being sad and sore,
Showing respect will make them happy and more,
Don’t judge some one on how they look,
This is not respect, you were mistook!
Respect shows kindness to all of us!

Respect,
Commanded by Allah swt
Respect,
Practised by our Prophet saw
Respect.

 

Respect - by Raisa Ashalina, Year 4

Respect is something that’s given for free
Respect is about us not about me

Respect is like a friendship that was found
Respect is like an anchor stuck to the ground

Respect is something that everyone could learn
So respect who we are and keep who we were


                                                
   

A Warm Welcome

Dear parents, teachers, students and anybody else reading,

This is a short little post to introduce our Student Corner - a series of blog posts with regular updates on what's been going on at school from Junior class to Upper class.

More often than not many parents (prospective parents too) are keen to know what the children are learning and how they're getting on - what better way to show them this than showcasing their work and documenting the journey with photos and little lesson snippets and summaries - something I'm sure fellow teachers would appreciate too(!)