All those little things; Ramadan for kids their way

All those little things; Ramadan for kids their way

Dubai-based Islamic group introduces diary writing activities and Islamic-themed camps and play dates for children.



By Nivriti Butalia/senior Reporter

Published: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 12:56 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:16 PM

Journal is for kids aged between six and 12 years. — Supplied photo

Dubai - Children, it is said, view Ramadan in isolation. They feel left out because the fasting and the all-night prayers are ‘big people’ things. To combat this, an organisation named Bismillah Babies (BB), created by sisters Sadia Anwar and Tayyaba Anwar, has launched a 64-page Ramadan journal for children aged between six and 12 years to make the month more engaging and relevant for them.

The journal has a slot for prayer times and meal times that the kids can tick, and also a daily ‘good deeds’ box. One child had filled in his journal under the good deeds box: “Today I helped my friend.”

Sadia’s two children Omar (4) and Inara (5 months) are too young to be filling out entries in the journal, but the older one has started to fill in his name. Sadia says they can’t know how many kids are doing the Ramdan journal activities, but 700 copies of the journal have so far been sold, and she says she thinks there are about 25 left in this particular consignment.

They’re available for sale on mumzworld.com and souq.com. One journal costs Dh65. “And we have pick up locations across Dubai.” BB has been around for over two years, conducting Islamic-themed play dates for children. Besides the Ramadan journal, they’ve also launched a free online Ramadan camp for children aged three years and above. Sadia and Tayyaba wanted to teach children the basic concepts of Islam by involving them in activities that they enjoy. “Children feel a bit disoriented with the change in routine — no eating in public, eating a feast in the evening, etc. So we wanted to make Ramadan a truly special time for the children by giving them activities they could do on their own or with some help from their parents. We wanted them to feel like they are a part of the celebration and be proud of their heritage,” says Sadia.

The journal helps children record their daily Ramadan experience and also gives them an activity for the day. “We spent months researching and preparing the journal,” says Mehnaz Anshah, managing partner at BB.

 “We checked and rechecked everything that went into the journal. We wanted to make it informative, engaging and age-appropriate.” Approved by the National Media Council and Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities, the journal is available to order also on the BB’s Facebook page and website.

The online Ramadan camp, which will be free to everyone who registers on the group’s website www.bismillahbabies.com, gives parents and children a chance to have an enriching Ramadan experience from the comfort of their own homes.

“If you see, most Islamic education for children starts at the age of six,” says Tayyaba. “But children are like sponges. They absorb everything from the day they are born. So we wanted to start a system to teach them about Islam ... very early.

But, we didn’t want to do it in a traditional Madrassa-style education system. We wanted it to be activities, crafts, stories and songs that kept them engaged but at the same time taught them important lessons.”

Mehnaz says, “Our aim is to introduce Islam as a lifestyle to the kids. It’s not about learning Surahs or memorising duas. It’s more like thinking of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) as they would think of their favorite uncle. Its about inculcating Islam’s core values as a way of life for them.”

nivriti@khaleejtimes.com


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