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We started this 7 month Pre-Ramadan Productivity Course in the start of October (And if you will be reading this afterwards, this is the 7th and last month of #preRamadanProductivityCourse – as a detailed guide on the PRODUCTIVITY JOURNAL FOR MUSLIMS – although you can choose any topic in any month or week, this is simply how we did it and we hope that it helps make things more clear and doable for you in shaa Allah).
Since we pick out 1 section from each category in the journal each month: 1 from Spiritual Development, 1 from Personal Development, 1 from Strengthening Relationships & 1 from Goals and Dreams – In April 2018, we picked topics of discussion like: Adhkaar Chart (to encourage ourselves to learn new adhkaar and stick to them until they become a habit bi’idhnillah), Positive Affirmations (to accept and love ourselves inside out and believe in our capabilities), Dawah Plan (spreading the deen of Allah and sharing the beauty of Islam) and Book Log (to read more books).
The reason we are doing it all publicly with YOU is because we are struggling as much as you are in this life and this will help us stay accountable if we lose the motivation somewhere in the middle! Also, we want to enter Ramadan as a better Muslim and experience the blessed month on a whole new level in shaa Allah.
We did a detailed post on each section in this month and in shaa Allah will be doing so for the next few months as well – collaborating with different bloggers and entrepreneurs who are experts/researchers of those topics! Here are some of the examples of people from different parts of the world doing the challenge with us ❤
1) Adhkaar Chart
Challenge 1 from *Spiritual Development* was “Adhkaar Chart” in #PreRamadanProductivityCourse and we discussed how we can make Dhikr an effortless habit before Ramadan so we can make the most of upcoming Ramadan and also teach our kids along the way.
How to Help Kids Learn Their Adhkaar
1) Make Them Easily Accessible
Read books with them. By 4 months old, your baby will show an interest in books and start to explore them by chewing etc. At this age, your baby needs sturdy vinyl or cloth books that can survive chewing and are not easily torn. They are calmed by the rhythmic sounds so the beautiful formation of duas is a great start. The more they listen and see the lip syncing, the more they get familiar to them. You may also hang posters, apply stickers or zikr magnets around the home for elder kids who are able to read.
2) Read Aloud Your Own Adhkaar
Whenever you recite the duas and adhkaar, recite them in a slow audible manner so your kids can see the practical side of when and how to recite them)
3) Start them young
6-12 months old babies become less interested in mouthing books and more interested in the words. You can promote your baby’s interest by looking at books with him and talking about the pictures. Invite your 8 or 9-month-old baby to turn the pages.
4) Use Technology
For eg: You can play the audio of dua for traveling when you sit in the car or use the audio recitation of morning evening duas.
5) Know Your child’s Learning Style
If your child is an aural learner, the above points are great to get them learn their adhkaar. If they are visual learners, then books etc. Work great. And if they are kinesthetic learners, then building an activity around the dua to help them learn is a great start.
2) Positive Affirmations
Challenge 2 from *Personal Development* was “Positive Affirmations” in #preRamadanProductivityCourse – The challenge was to write things you love about yourself and things others love about you! I know it may feel awkward but that’s what the challenge is about! Being comfortable with loving yourself the way Allah made you! Inside out! 💖
HOW TO HELP KIDS ACCEPT AND BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES:
1) Teach them appreciation and gratitude for diversity in the world.
2) Tell them that Allah loves them the way He made them. Their real value lies in their hearts. When kids understand that they are important just as they are, they begin to love and value others just for who they are too.
3) Communicate and listen to them like they have something important to say. Prophet saws used to turn his whole body towards a person he used to talk to.
4) Set boundaries in positive ways, without shaming or blaming.
5) Help kids connect with nature, art, and other pursuits that inspire creativity.
6) Play, laugh, dream, and have fun together. Allow them to have free time. Do NOT over-schedule them like we adults over-schedule our lives :/ (that needs to change as well. You deserve to breathe too).
7) Encourage your children to see their strengths.
8) Offer appropriate praise – it is a valuable self-esteem builder when not over-done or under-done.
9) Step back and let your child take risks, make choices, solve problems and stick with what they start. Confidence comes from doing, from trying and failing and trying again — from practise.
10) Teach them the Growth Mindset – If children get stuck thinking they can’t do something, they might start feeling inept, and stop trying. They’re buying into a fixed mindset. Kids need to be guided to believe their success is based on their efforts – the results don’t matter but efforts do. Practice leads to mastery.
3) Dawah Plan
Challenge 3 from *Strengthening Relationships* was “Dawah Plan” in #preRamadanProductivityCourse
Lail states in her blog: “Regardless of religion or creed, every family treasures the time spent creating meaningful traditions and memories. Participating in activities and exchanging small gifts that strengthen the bonds between family, neighbors, and friends, are the treasures of this life. It is in the sharing of these small and universal gestures that brings us closer. And that’s when we start to build bridges of understanding and compassion for one another. Let’s build bridges this Ramadan, not walls.
Share the Ramadan spirit with your friends, coworkers, and neighbors this Ramadan. With just a little planning ahead, you can easily attempt at least 2-3 goals you set for yourself. Because we have experienced the joy of receiving cookies outside of my own religious celebrations, we love to share our own goodies during the month of Ramadan. .
We make our Ramadan cookies in the shapes of commonly known Islamic symbols such as masjid 🕌 , minaret, moon 🌙 or Ramadan fanoos etc. using the classing cookie cutters from @withaspin_ to spark the conversations around faith.
Last Ramadan, we invited a non Muslim friend’s family and asked him to bring along 3 other families. It was wonderful to make new friends as we broke our fast and talked about Ramadan, Islam, and it’s similarities with Christianity and Judaism.
If you do the same this Ramadan in shaa Allah, remember to not impose information. Let your non-Muslim guests ask questions, if they want to. Be sure to invite some of your Muslim family and friends who are comfortable interacting with non-Muslims at this interfaith iftar. Also, try to have some written material on Ramadan available for your guests. If you are sending iftar, you may include a note with the food that you are sharing your Ramadan joy with them.”
4) Book Log
(goals & dreams)
Challenge 4 from *Goals and Dreams* category was “Book Log” in #preRamadanProductivityCourse – Writing out a list of all the amazing books you want to read really helps you narrow down your goal into a doable step. Ask for recommendations from friends etc. You can keep a journal or a notepad listing the books you’ll like to read for each month or even a year!
“Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists)” [96:1]
HOW TO READ MORE BOOKS IN YOUR BUSY LIFESTYLE:
1) Determine Your Reading Purpose and Goal (why do you want to read more…)
2) Make a List of Books to Read for Each Month (or each year if you want to take it slow)
3) Invest in Tools that Encourage Reading (we invested in fairy lights and made a reading corner that one would want to go in time to time :D)
4) Get a Reading Partner or Join a Book Club
5) Practice speed-reading (the more you read, the faster you’ll be able to grasp the words)
6) Join a reading challenge (like this last challenge in #preRamadanProductivityCourse 😁)
7) Free up Your Time by Cutting Down on Activities that Don’t Serve You! (Be it TV, Social Media, etc.)
8) Track your Progress (to encourage yourself when you tick the books you have read)
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