PRODUCTIVE PARTIES FOR CHILDREN
By Sana Gul / 16 Apr 2013
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “When a group of people assemble for the remembrance of Allah (glorified and exalted be He), the angels surround them (with their wings), (Allah’s) mercy envelops them, Sakinah or tranquility descends upon them and Allah makes a mention of them before those who are near Him.” [Sahih Muslim].
The purpose of life in this dunya is to remember Allah (glorified and exalted be He) at all times. And the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) teaches us how to do just that. Our children love to have parties as much as we do; such as play dates or Eid parties or a celebration for some accomplishment they’ve attained.
These parties are the perfect opportunity to instil in our children the habit of always remembering Allah (glorified and exalted be He) in any gathering they attend. The idea of angels descending and surrounding them with their wings is enough to put wonder in their hearts and the fact that Allah (glorified and exalted be He) is going to mention them to His angels makes them walk happily around for quite some time!!
So what kind of activities we could do in our parties which inculcates the remembrance of Allah (glorified and exalted be He) and makes it fun for them at the same time?
1.Islamic theme party: Have a theme that is related to the deen. You can have “Princess of Jannah” parties, where the girls will read up on their favorite Women of Jannah – Mariam (may Allāh be pleased with her), Fatima (may Allāh be pleased with her), Asiya (may Allāh be pleased with her), Khadijah (may Allāh be pleased with her). The girls can pick their favorite woman and one quality of hers that she really likes. For example, Asiya (may Allāh be pleased with her) was a firm believer and Mariam (may Allāh be pleased with him) was chaste. As such, the girls can focus on adopting Islamic clothing. Meanwhile Fatima (may Allāh be pleased with her) used to like her house work and Khadija (may Allāh be pleased with her) loved helping others.
You can also pick your theme with reference to the Islamic calendar. If the party coincides with any of the 4 sacred months of Islam or during the hajj season or if Ramadan is around the corner, you could use the Islamic date and month as the invitation date (indirectly teaching the kids the Islamic months) or have a simulation of “iftar” complete with the du’aa for breaking the fast and with dates and water for breaking the fast.
2.Plan an activity according to the theme: For example, if you are planning on explaining the Islamic calendar, have printable calendars ready, and make the children stick them on their favorite color of construction paper and punch holes at the top, run a string through them and Voila!! A calendar is ready. While some people may be consumed by the thought of receiving flowers on Valentine’s Day, you could hold a party during which you give the children a heart and they could write “Al-Wadud”, The Loving One” on it. It is a very good way of reminding children that Allah (glorified and exalted be He) loves us more than anything, and also negates the concept of valentines. Be organized and ready with all your supplies and the plan of action as children in a party mood are a very excited bunch.
3.Have a quiz: Although TV should normally be avoided, you could show videos such as “Zaky and friends”, nasheeds or the animations on Productive Muslim. Once the video is over, you can ask quick and small questions and reward the right answers with stickers or small gifts.
4.Have an art competition: Children love to express their thoughts with colors and paper. Have a topic ready or you could ask them to draw their favorite creation of Allah (glorified and exalted be He). You could also ask them to draw what they imagine Jannah would be like and then make them color a girl or a boy , walking down a path strewn with thorns (simulation of difficulty).
5.Have a seerah competition: This can be done at any time, but one of the best times to do it is to mark an historically important event such as the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) hijra from Makkah to Medinah. Send out the handouts or email the questions to the parents. Then announce the answers on the day you hold the party and reward the winners and the rest.
6.Plan fun, yet educational, physical activities: Play blindfold, with Islamic pictures. For example, put a big picture of a mosque and ask the children to put the minaret blindfolded on the picture. Or have the children play Bowling (they must bowl away all the bottles labelled with bad habits) or Jeopardy (categories could include seerah or du’aas or stories of the prophets) or Match and Mix (match the name of the Prophet with something that identifies him for example Yunus (peace be upon him) and the whale, or the meaning of the 99 Names of Allah (glorified and exalted be He) Ar-Rahman means the The Most Gracious).
7. Remember those less fortunate: If holding the party at an outside location, use the opportunity to donate food or money to a charity. In this manner, the children also learn the importance of charity and feel happy that they did something good to make Allah (glorified and exalted be He) happy.
“The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Seven are (the persons) whom Allah will give protection with His Shade* on the Day when there will be no shade except His Shade (i.e., on the Day of Resurrection)…. a person who gives a charity and conceals it (to such an extent) that the left hand might not know what the right has given; ..” [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]
8.Eat in the Sunnah Way: If you can eat on the floor, then it’s great! But if you can’t, then at least you should recite “Bismillah” and the du’aa before eating. Afterwards, say Alhamdulillah at the end of the meal as a group.
9. Put Islamic values into practice: If non-Muslim children are also invited, then make good use of the hadiths on manners and good behavior. This way, the children learn good values and the non-Muslim children learn how Islam teaches us to be good.
SubhanAllah, it’s amazing how easy Allah (glorified and exalted be He) makes it for us to remember Him at all times and you will be amazed at how much kids love such activities.