Back to School
By Umme Ammarah
Schools are about to open and you're probably feeling excited and maybe a little sad that holidays are just about over. Back to School comes with a barrage of projects, homework, sports practice and of course a day filled with pickups and drop offs.
Back to school time also means adjustments for children and families; the first day of grade one, new schools, new classrooms, new teachers and for adults sometimes new jobs.
Change is sometimes exciting and sometimes frightening, but this can also be an opportunity to set new goals .It's is a new year, 1433 of the Hijri Calendar and each year goes so fast like a quick turn of a page. This is why planning and setting goals is so important. As Muslims all our plans should be aimed at achieving our final goal which is to please our Creator Allah Ta'ala.
He who fails to plan, plans to fail !. Here are a few points to keep in mind when planning for this year.
· Niyyah: Our intention before doing anything is very important. The Messenger of Allah(peace be upon Him) has said "Every deed is judged by its intention." Plan and Do lots of good but it must be ONLY to please our Allah.
· Dua: Everyone of us needs to ask and pray to Allah daily for all our needs. A very beautiful dua that our beloved Prophet(Peace be upon Him) made whenever he left his home " In the name of Allah,I trust in Allah, oh Allah I seek refuge in You from straying or being led astray or against slipping or being caused to slip or doing injustice or injustice being done on me or doing wrong or having wrong done to me." (Hadith-Abu Dawud)
· Make mashwera/shura (mutual consultation): All activities whether big or small should be discussed. Sit with the family daily at a mutually convenient time and plan our activities. See where we are and where we want to go this year. Check our level of deen and plan to improve upon it. Discuss our day to day affairs. We may even discuss and allocate turns for house chores, or even who sits where in car, etc…this can save a lot of time and arguments early in the morning. To make Mashwera is a sunnah and will bring great barakah(blessings) in our home. It will also grant us an opportunity to plan our lives Islamically.
· Make attainable goals: Most important Make Deen the priority in our lives. Monitor your progress and place reminders-and back your resolutions with planning.
· Family time: Your children need your presence more than your presents. Set aside time for them. You may conduct taleem halqas, for the smaller ones read stories and even make it a practice to discuss the day's events with them. There is NO SUBSTITUTE for parental guidance and supervision.
· Homework:Turn off the T.V, put away your concerns and concentrate on being a parent. Look through your child's homework diary as your child's teacher uses this as a main connection between you and the school. Don't do it for them, Do it with them!
· Daily routines: Let your child be involved in the small things like packing lunch, laying out clothes this teaches them responsibility. Start bed time routines a week before school starts. Read your duas together in the morning and evening. Make going to and from school educational by reciting duas collectively in the car. In a short time they will memorize the duas of travelling!
· Educational goals: Plan big! Enrol your kids for the best available Islamic Education…enrol your kids for Hifdh (memorisation of the Qur'an).You may have realised how weak your Islamic knowledge is. Make time to attend some Islamic classes, or sit for Taleem Halqa at the Masjid. Ladies can join the weekly taleem (educational) programs in their area.
· Identify your career goals: Maybe you always talked about making the career switch to a more Halaal source of income or adjusting your work times for salaat with jamaat (congregation). You may need to adjust your times so as to spend some quality time with your family. Whatever your reasons maybe, identify a career that will benefit your family both in this world and the hereafter.
· Wake up every day with a purpose: We wake up often knowing we should be doing something important today, but have failed to plan! Prepare for our higher purpose otherwise our day will become less productive.
· Uniforms and Stationary: Make sure uniforms are purchased timeously and that it conforms with sharia requirements. Also ensure that you obtained a list of stationary required early so that it could be budgeted for and purchased well before hand.
· Lunch boxes, breakfasts and diets: Breakfast eaters have better concentration and muscle co-ordanation. Kids need healthy lunch box snacks that maintains blood glucose levels which help concentration, so keep away from fuzzy drinks, chips and chocolates for lunch. A good idea is to plan a lunch box menu for the week.
· Take account of yourself daily: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)has said" the feet of the son of Adam will not move on the Day of Judgement until he is asked about five things: how he spent his life, how he spent his youth, from where he acquired his wealth and how he spent it, and what he did with his knowledge." So we need to be conscious of every second of our lives.
Remember that a Muslim sets goals that are in harmony with our accountability in the Hereafter!... so take pen to paper and plan for a better life, seeking Allah's guidance, help and forgiveness.
Therefore we make dua to Allah;"Oh our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the torment of the fire."