Plant and be Rewarded – A child size sadaqah

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As this year’s Ramadan fell right into the children’s summer break. I wanted to take advantage of it to get them involved in some gardening and teach them not only about plants but also about what a great opportunity to do charity it would be. Giving sadaqah in the this blessed months brings great reward. However often sadaqah is equated to money or material things. Often a child is unable give these type of charity. Through this gardening activities I hope to teach my children that there are other ways of giving charity and planting is one of it.

We live in a climate where it is not wise to plant outdoors until after third week of May. Bearing this is mind we started planting seeds indoors in April! This proofed to be a challenge. Things grew and quickly died off as I could not transfer them outdoor and was not capable keeping them thriving and alive indoor. However, the boys were still eager to get their hands dirty.

School came to and end in June. The one weekend before Ramadan, we went to the garden centre and everyone got to pick something to plant and nurture. We embarked on our little gardening challenge for the season.

I love using picture books to teach, so to supplement this hands on learning with some good dosage of Islamic teaching I purchased this book.

AppleTree_Pagination_COVER_12Sept.inddThe story is about a little girl called Shaima that plants an apple seed with her dad. She is told about the great reward of planting a tree. When the tree bears fruit though, Shaima finds it hard to share it with anyone. She faces various incidents that persuades her to reluctantly share. Once she gives in, her reluctance is replaced with gladness and happiness. She finally realizes planting the seed and sharing its fruit is truly a means to earn the reward and pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.

(Just a caution, your child might point out that apple trees do not grow that fast. Divert their attention to the details of what happens next and how the main character deals with it.)

You can learn more about this books at Mariam Al-Kalby’s website A Pocket Full of Notes. The enchanting illustration that brings this book to life was done by a fellow Malaysian, Chan Yee Voon. More of her work is at

This gardening project has been mainly for Ilyaas (7) and Zakariyya (5). Ibraheem (11), lets say is sort of out of commission as he has been fasting 18 hour days. He however has been helping with watering the grass and mowing our out-of-town friend’s lawn.

The first thing we planted was a miniature garden for the two boys. I got dollar store dish pans and drilled holes in them to use them as planters. In these tubs we planted succulents, miniature grass, touch-me-not plant, marigold and other plants that I do not know their names. The boys wanted their garden to be prehistoric one and added dinosaurs and pebbles to it.

Miniature GardenZakariyya’s (5) is on the left and is thriving. Ilyaas’ (7) is sort of struggling. Again, opportunity to remind that we can make the effort and it’s Allah’s decree if it will grow.

We also got various vegetable and flowering plants. All of it was planted into pots as I am more accustomed to container gardening. Of all the vegetables we planted, the lettuce was thriving Masha-Allah. Ilyaas (7) has become a salad maker for the family, a good deed activity this Ramadan. We have so much lettuce that we started sending them to our friends. Again referring to the hadith, the boys were pleased that this is a form of good deed too. A very special thanks to our friends who graciously accepted our lettuce.

Plants 2014

Besides the vegetables, we cleared the planter box we installed last year and planted strawberry plants. The two boys worked hard at this. During the process of preparing the box, the were thrilled to find worms! So we made a worm farm. This is our second year doing a worm farm. We just use an old beta fish aquarium for this. Zakariyya (5) can be seen busy fillling the tub with worms in the picture below.

Details of creating a worm farm can be found here. This is one of the most exciting things for the boys. Often checking on the tunnels that the worms make. We eventually released the worms back into the planter box.

GardeningWe also had a chance to plant a couple of rasberry bushes. The probably will not fruit this season. I hope they will live to see next season, Insha-Allah.

Overall the two boys have been busy watering, weeding, picking out dead flowers and leafs and harvesting their hard work. We get bees that come to the flowers, birds we haven’t seen and hares have so far not eaten anything. Many people have eaten from our plants though. The greatest pleasure is in seeing the boys enjoying and taking pride in their work. I keep reminding them that these are all good deeds that we do to seek Allah’s pleasure and hope for his reward.




Posted by on July 18, 2014 in Nature, Ramadan


Sandpaper Printed Ramadan Pillowcase

I wanted for the boys to have something special that was theirs though out Ramadan. I had pinned this craft awhile ago and felt that it would work.

The instructions are from

Sand Paper pillowcase


1. Sandpaper (I taped two for one pillowcase), pillowcase in light colours, design – any words needs to be in mirror image, crayons, newspaper, iron.


2. Tape two pieces of sandpaper with some tape on the smooth side. Using a printed image for guide, trace Ramadan greeting onto the sandpaper.

At this point I let Ilyaas (7) and Zakariyya (5) design their own pictures. Ibraheem (11) did his own thing.

3. Once you are happy with the design. Place some newpaper into your pillow case so that the crayon does not bleed through. Place the crayon coloured sandpaper face down onto the pillowcase and iron.

These are our designer Ramadan pillowcases.

Pillowcase Zack

Pillowcase Il

Pillowcase Ib


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Posted by on July 9, 2014 in Ramadan, Ramadan & Eid Crafts Ideas


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Tin Punch Lantern (Fanoos)

This was a craft inspired by the art of tin punch. This is a kid friendly version for Ramadan.

Tin Punch Fanoos


1. Pie tin, design to punch that fits into pie tin, paper piercer (or push pin), sticky tape and a battery operated candle


2. Cut out the design to fit into the pie tin and tape it down.

3. Pierce holes following the design, space out holes evenly. Remember to protect your work surface.

4. Tape the battery operated candle to the inside of the pie tin.

Tin Punch Fanoos25. Add any other decoration to the other side of the pie tin. In our case we added some star stickers and pipe cleaners around the rim. This way it will look nice during the day as well.

Tin Punch Fanoos 1

These were made by Ilyaas & Zakariyya


This was pirced by me and I placed a large battery operated candle behind it.


6. Hang up and enjoy your lantern (fanoos).


This craft is designed for the pie tin to be hung or placed up againts a wall or other flat surface. The light from the candle will fill up the space between the tin and the wall and illuminate the punched design. It will not work as well if you are planning to just randomly hang it up without enclosing the back of the tin.



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Ramadan Lego Word Art

This was put together by the little Lego fans in our home.

Ramadan Lego


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Ramadan Calendar 2014/1435H

Ramadan Branch Calendar 1

Ramadan Mubarak!

Alhamdulillah, I finally made some time to share the crafts we have done so far this Ramadan.

This is our Ramadan countdown calendar for this year. It is sits on a cabinet in our main living area.

Ramadan Branch Calendar

It is just a branch of a tree that I decorated with some stars and glass lantern.

The treats and little gifts are wrapped in napkins with star motifs on them. I hung the smaller packets on the branch and placed the larger ones in a star shaped basket.

The Ramadan word art was made by Ibraheem last year. I mounted it onto a frame to make it look more complete. The instructions for the word art can be found here.



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Laser Cut Frame Ramadan Decoration

This was another project by Ibraheem (10). It is quite straight forward.

Laser Cut Frame Project


1. Die cut wooden frames (available here in Canada from Michaels) or any other frame.

2. Paint to decorate the frame. We used acrylic paint.

3. Coloring sheet printed onto a transparency sheet.

NOTE: We used transparency sheet as we were going to hand this by our front door and it will be exposed to the elements.

4. Permanent markers to colour in.


1. Colour and decorate frame. Embellishments would be great too.

2. Colour the coloring sheet using markers.

3. Attach coloring sheet to the back of frame with some transparent sticky tape. Hang up, enjoy.

This piece generated a lot of conversations with people who showed up at our door through out Ramadan. Courier guys, people collecting donation, neighbours. We chose this particular coloring sheet as it showed the phases of the moon in a month. It is from

Also to give you some idea of dimensions, our frame had an opening of 14×10 inch. It had to be large as it was by our front door. The colouring sheet is letter size. I was able to attach it horizontally across the frame that hung vertically. Due to being on a transparency, it gave the image a sort of floating feel.

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Posted by on May 14, 2014 in Ramadan & Eid Crafts Ideas


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Pie Tin Moon Phases Display for Ramadan

This was our moon phases display for last Ramadan. It also served as a sort of count down to Eid.

I used some disposal aluminium pie tins that I usually save for painting projects. Great way to reuse. We added on to the display as the month went by.


P1040694To use the pie tin you first have to crush them. The boys had a blast doing this of course.

From this point forward an adult should be handling the crushed pie tin. Using a kitchen scissors, cut the tin into the appropriate moon phase shape. The edges will be sharp. I chose and empty wall to display and kept them high so that my youngest will not be able to touch the tins.

We also would look out for the moon and snapped pictures of the different phases. This was the clearest shot we took. A waxing gibbous moon.



I downloaded the entire moon phase calendar for Calgary for the whole of Ramadan and added it to the display. This can be found at under Moon & Astronomy for most cities around the world. This helped the children check the phase of the moon for every day. This was helpful as we did not get to see the actual moon everyday.

Below is our display almost to the end of Ramadan.

Pie Tin Moon Phase


Click here to see the movie strip moon phases craft we did years ago. I do need to rewrite this!



Ramadan Word Art

This is a Pinterest inspired craft. It was a great way to use up leftover foam letters from past projects. I had completely left this is the hands of Ibraheem (10).


Ramadan word Art Direction

Ramadan Canvas


The possibilities of personalizing this craft is just endless.

– leave the foam letters as is in a rainbow of colours

– choose different colour for each word

– create patterns with words

– paint canvas in a multitude of colours


Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Upcycled Jar Ramadan Lantern

This was an upcycling project.

Jar Lantern Craft

I used an old juice dispenser. Any sort of jar will work for this project. First I had to clean the jar thoroughly. We decorated the jar with tissue paper shapes. I slathered Modge Podge onto to small sections and the kids stuck tissue paper shapes onto the outside of the jar.

I then inserted the string light through the tap opening (a regular jar will have the light crawling out of it). I spaced out the lights around the interior of the jar with the help of some stick tape. Lastly I printed Ramadhan Mubarak greeting onto overhead projector sheet and attached it to the jar. Plug in and enjoy.


You can completely omit the tissue paper part. However an empty jar sitting on a table top with string lights in it will look weird during the day. This step will make it pretty for the day as well.



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DATES JAR ~ A Paint Resist Craft ~

The next few post will Insha-Allah be on crafts we made last Ramadhan and never got to share here.

This is a painted jar that we made to keep dates during Ramadhan. It was convenient, practical and pretty to pass around the table.

Date Jar Craft


Things you will need . . .

A clear jar. I chose to use acrylic as it was going to be handled by children.

Stickers to decorate the jar. Preferably vinyl sticker so that they do not absorb the paint.

Paint that will cover clear surface and paint applicators.


Decorate the outside of the jar with stickers. We chose to place the word DATES.

Apply paint on all sides of the jar covering the stickers. Depending on yor paint you might have to apply several coats.

Leave to dry overnight. Carefully peel off stickers.

I decorated the lid as well with some paper and the dua for breaking fast.


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