Nature Connect

Parents' Guidelines 

Please find below the details you need in order to prepare for a fruitful, challenging and fun weekdays or weekends (Sunday Fun)  with your child. The objective is to reinforce the weekly teachings in the natural environment at home. These activities are conducted in a natural setting. If you are located in another part of the world and unable to physically join us, please select some of suggested activities below (or all) in a park, zoo, or natural environment in your area. Feel free to exclude any activity you are unable to perform. This is different from the monthly group trips (available for local parents). If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Project:

Please buy some seeds and help your child plant them in a pot.  The child will take care of the plant and share photos of her/his plant growing. We will watch the plant grow over the next few weeks. Mrs Rema'a will tell you when this activity will start. 

True knowledge resides in the Heart

The Holy Quran tells us  "They have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear" Quran 7:179. Go outdoors with your child and observe a natural phenomenon such as clouds, rain, animals or plants. Learn a scientific fact about them. 

Our ultimate goal is for us and the children to have true knowledge of Allah Mighty and Majestic. That knowledge will be forever in our hearts. Iman is a light which  Allah throws in the heart of the believer. We are always working on readying our hearts for such light. 

Imam Ghazali lost his voice

Remind your child that:

  • Sometimes things that we think are bad for us can be good for us

i.e most people think that weeds are not good, but some weeds are full  of nutrients such as dandelions and when cooked properly are good to eat.

 

  • Sometimes things are taken away for a short time, sometimes they may be taken away for a longer time or they may be taken away forever.

  • Ghazali  applied  the knowledge he had learned to help himself and others lead a  better life

He understood that all knowledge comes from Allah and is of benefit to others. That knowledge could be how to sweep a floor really clean, how to make a medicine to cure an illness, or how to be a good mother etc. Is there any knowledge you have that did not come from Allah? Even when we think of what others teach us, the source of that knowledge is Allah. He taught us that we should be constant in our remembrance of Allah, and  to apply our knowledge of Islam to the  challenges and activities we face  every day. Islam is our Deen (a way of life)

To confirm Allah's love for us and the benefits of silence 

  1. Take a walk in a natural setting with your child (bring a container of water) and tell them to be silent for one minute, then ask them what they heard when they were silent. Ask the child if they could listen to the sounds while they were talking? ( this will help them realize that when talking we cannot listen to others at the same time) 

   2. Give your child a big hug and tell them how happy you are that Allah chooses you to be their mom. 

   3. Remind the child that when they were born, they could not see very well, could not walk, talk, or not eat food, etc., but they could hear, and one of the first words she/he heard was "Allahu Akbar" This was one way that Allah was telling all of us how important hearing is.

   4. Remind your child that we should be quiet if we want to hear more clearly and that there is a time to talk, and there is a time to be quiet. 

   5. Most when one of our senses is lost or does not develop the other senses become stronger ( consequentially when we are silent our hearing can get stronger)

   6. Imam Ghazali used all of his senses to be a lawyer, teacher, and writer, but he felt something was missing. Perhaps he was talking much more than he was listening. Then for a very long time, he could not talk

   7. It was a blessing when Ghazali lost his voice because then, Tell them his other senses became more potent, and he could pay more attention to people, nature, and he learned to listen with his heart. He silently traveled and became a more intelligent, humble sensitive person.

During his long silent journey, Allah blessed him to hear and see the beauty of the world, and he became a better person who helped people apply Allah's love for us in their everyday lives.

   8. As you leave the natural environment, ask the child what they learned by listening. Remind your child that the five senses are touch, taste, sight, smell, hearing. Tell your child to demonstrate their understanding of the senses by touching a safe plant or weed, look at a flying bird, smelling a flower, tasting some bottled water, and listening to your voice as you repeat the Fatiha.

Painting Heaven

Nature and people.

Objectives:

I. Accepting and understanding Allah's wisdom and power through observation and explanation:

 

1.Look at the natural world and identifying two or three things in nature that Allah has made that are special to you. Describe the colors that are in the natural environment and relating that color to something you wear or like. 

This activity will help the child see the beauty of colors in nature and the beauty of the diversity in the natural world.

2. Make a gentle transition to people and the diversity we see in them. Ask the children what colors do they see in us ( the Human family). Why the colors might be different. Explain the diverse climate of the world and how that affects skin color. 

What would happen if we all looked the same? What does Allah say about why we look different on the outside but have the same qualities inside. What beautiful colors do we see in Humanity? Are there any colors that are not beautiful.

3. At home, paint a picture of a nature scene using different colors, including members of the human family.

II. Learning to relax and enjoy freedom in nature:

1. Help children understand what freedom is and how it is different for animals and people. What is the difference between being free and not being free? Why do we have restrictions on our freedom, What restrictions are placed on animals? Can we keep some animals from being free, can we keep people from being free. What is the difference.? 

2. Look for free-flying birds in nature. Talk about what freedom means to them (i.e., they have to get their own food, avoid being killed or eaten by other animals, find a place to sleep, etc. 

3. Talk about birds in captivity. Talk about why they are in captivity. i.e., needed for food needed for observation so we can learn how they can help people, etc.

4. Bring bird food and feed the birds that are observed on a walk in the woods

5. Observe free aquatic animals along the banks of the creeks (lakes, seas) in nature.

6. Ask the question, do we capture people, is that like capturing an animal. Should people be held captive? Tell a short story of people being captured and not allowed to go free. How do they feel?

7. Have a naturalist come and explain homing doves and release them in the woods. 

III. How a pure shining surface reflects beauty:

1. Find a body of still, clean water e.g lake, pond, sea or a cup of water

2. Observe how pure and still water can reflect its surroundings. 

3.In Arabic يقن الماء we derive the word Yaqeen which means certainty. The root of the word means that the water is so pure and still that it reflects beauty around it. Nothing disturbs that certainty (not wind, not leaves, not stones). Our Iman should be that certain. Explain how still and pure water reflects surroundings. 

4. For older children, you can discuss the use of reflective pools in Islamic Architecture. 

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