FAITH, MOTHERHOOD, READS

Five Great Ways To Share Al-Isra wal-Mi’raj With Children

Of all the events in the Islamic Calendar, is there any more captivating to a young audience than that of our beloved Prophet’s miraculous night journey?

Al-’Isra’ wal-Mi‘raj – quite literally, the ‘journey’ (isra) and the ‘ascension’ (mi’raj) – is an event that has everything you could possibly want in a story for children. And we do mean everything. A prophet, angels, time travel of sorts, a historical congregation, a flying horse, a glorious ascent through the heavens, a place no one else can go, the bestowal of a great gift and then… back the way we came, right to where we started, it could be science fiction, but of course the best part of this utterly thrilling tale is that there is no fiction about it, it is all true.

As we approach the 27th of Rajab, the date of Al-’Isra’ wal-Mi‘raj, we’ve collected some inspiring resources and tips which have helped us learn more about this amazing journey, it’s significance and ways to best share it with our families. The honouring of this event has become a firm favourite in our homes and a small fulfillment of our intentions to better celebrate the lunar Islamic Calendar with our children.

Once you share this incredible story with your children, be prepared for some interesting questions and much conversation. The hope is that with each year, as they grow and mature, they will come to encounter deeper meanings  and experience greater connections with this miraculous event.

 

For Adults and Teens

MAMANUSHKA.com || Five Great Ways to Share Al-Isra Wal-Mir'aj With Children || Translated by Gibril Fouad Haddad || Best for Adults & Older Teens

The Prophet’s Night Journey & Heavenly Ascent
By: Sayyid Muhammad ibn ‘Alawi al-Maliki
Translation and Notes by: Gibril Fouad Haddad

A few years ago, when we first started sharing the details of Al-’Isra’ wal-Mi‘raj with our children, we realised we needed to refresh our own knowledge of it and then decide how best to frame it for our very young audience. So, with that purpose in mind, we came across this truly extraordinary book which collates all confirmed hadiths of Al-Isra wal Mi’raj into a single narrative structure. Even though it is a deeply scholarly book, the fact that Al-’Isra’ wal-Mi‘raj is presented in chronological order, almost as a story itself, makes it an easy, accessible and enjoyable read, with significant notes at the back for further commentary and explanation. Short and succinct, this is a great place to start for yourself or with your older (teenage) children. You could even read it aloud with them, which we imagine would be lovely.

Available to purchase here.

 

For Younger Children & Tweens  (9-13 Years Old)

Marvellous Stories From The Life of Muhammad
By: Mardijah Aldrich Tarantino

We both read this book when we were children, and not just the Al-’Isra’ wal-Mi‘raj chapter but the whole book made such an impression that over the years it’s one we have come back to over and over again.. Written in the loveliest narrative style, it makes you feel like you are right there in olden day Arabia where oratory storytelling was the norm. The illustrations are sparse but beautiful and the Al-’Isra’ wal-Mi‘raj story is told with much exciting detail.

Available to purchase here.

 

For Very Young Children (6 Years and Younger)

MAMANUSHKA.com || Five Great Ways to Share Al-Isra Wal-Mir'aj With Children || Book By Elizabeth Bootman, Sirajunmunira|| Best for Young Children || Islamic Calendar || Muslim Festivals

Sharing the story of Al-’Isra’ wal-Mi‘raj with this age group is a true joy, as they give themselves over completely to the telling of it. However, given their attention spans and understanding, we struggled a bit with which aspects of the events to focus on.

Enter the lovely Elizabeth Bootman of Sirajunmunira, who inspired us first with her gift giving ritual and then with her spiritual and thoughtful play of Al-’Isra’ wal-Mi‘raj. She wisely chose to emphasise the magnificent Buraq and then the form and gift of the five daily prayers (salat), in her telling for the very young. We followed her lead and did the same with our own children and it has been marvellous. They love connecting the actions of the prayer with the angelic realm.

Resources available on Sirajunmunira or purchase the book here.

 

For All Ages

This year we discovered Kitabkids on Instagram. The mom behind this account is a wealth of exciting ideas as she shares various Islamic themed crafts she has done with her own children. Her ideas are always adorable and clever and most importantly doable!

For Al-’Isra’ wal-Mi‘raj we love her ‘Prophet’s Ladder’ of 7 rungs. Each rung corresponds to one of the seven heavens and shows the corresponding name of the prophet who greeted Prophet Muhammad at each level.

MAMANUSHKA.com || Five Great Ways to Share Al-Isra Wal-Mir'aj With Children || Craft By Kitabkids || Best for Young Children || Islamic Calendar || Muslim Festivals

 

And isn’t this cute flying horse she made such a great visual aid for this story? Find the instructions she used for making one here and have a go at creating your own.

MAMANUSHKA.com || Five Great Ways to Share Al-Isra Wal-Mir'aj With Children || Craft By Kitabkids || Best for Young Children || Islamic Calendar || Muslim Festivals || Buraq

 

Bonus!

MAMANUSHKA.com || Mamanushka Storytime || Isra wal-Mir'aj || Miraculous Night Journey || Islamic Audio Stories for Children || Kids Muslim Audio Stories || Life of the Prophet Muhammad

 

Al-’Isra’ wal-Mi‘raj Audio Story
By: Mamanushka Storytime (that’s us!)
Narrated by: Sumaya Teli

Yes, you read right.  Using all the above resources as inspiration, we put together our first audio story and we are so excited to share it with you! Experience the story of the Prophet’s miraculous night journey with your little ones by simply hitting the play button on this accessible and captivating narration. Suitable for children aged four and above, it has the perfect amount of description for the youngest audience without losing any of the detail for the older ones.

Find out more and listen here.

 

Do you do something special for Al-’Isra’ wal-Mi‘raj? Or do you have any other resources which we can all benefit from? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear how you celebrate this date in the Islamic calendar.

 

FAITH

Listen Now: Mamanushka Storytime!

Every time I have shared my personal retellings of prophetic stories or a snippet of one that I narrated to my own children, you have all been so lovely and encouraging in asking for more!

So finally with a little push from Aiysha, inspiration from our favorite Al-’Isra’ wal-Mi‘raj resources and the stealing of quiet moments here and there I was able to write and record for you guys, in true Mamanushka style, a full narration of one of the most exciting stories from the life of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbbuh).

I told the story this way to my own four and seven  year old and it has the perfect amount of description for the youngest audience without losing any of the captivating detail for the older ones. This is the ideal time to share this story as the date of Al-’Isra’ wal-Mi‘raj is fast approaching and with it the end of the sacred month of Rajab – bringing us ever closer to Ramadan.

Listen to this story with your children in the car, huddled up together in your favourite chair, at bedtime or anywhere really. Let us know if you and your kids like what you hear and also if you think it would be beneficial to make this a regular feature. Enjoy and may it bring you joy.

 

FOOD

Somali Shaa

A Heady Ginger and Mint Tea with Aromatic Spices 

Mamanushka, it turns out has a penchant for fragrant drinks. We’ve had Saffron  Kahwa from Kashmir, Orange Blossom Date Cooler from Fez, age old Ayurvedic Turmeric Milk , the ever so English Elderflower Cordial, and Home-made Strawberry Syrup shake.  So when my friend Hafsa served us some Somali Shaa at a  get-together, I knew at first sip that I had to share this magic with you.

Nowadays, no girlfriends gathering is complete without a kettle each of Saffron Kehwa and Somali Shaa. Seriously it’s so cute. If teas could be people  these two would be sisters for sure.

Whereas the Saffron Kehwa is a light refreshing tea – The Somali Shaa is darker, with a subtle kick to it.  I like to think of it as Somali Shaa being Kashmiri Kehwa’s older, wiser, more experienced confidante. 

The ginger and mint and cloves, cardamom and cinnamon  combo should be a perfume.  I’ve made this tea countless times and each time I savour the fragrance trying to figure out how I could describe it to you guys because it is a totally delicious blend of warm sugary ginger and aromatic spices.

Evocative of old school tea-houses – you can sit back and imagine you’re right in the middle of a vintage tea house in a bustling souk. It’s just got those vibes which makes it  a perfect festive offering. So go ahead and put this straight on your list of celebratory drinks. Whether you are celebrating Eid or Ramadan or whether you are celebrating a quiet hour while the kids are (finally!) asleep and everything in between!

I’ve been told you can add milk but make sure to try it without first. This is how my friend Hafsa’s mom makes it and trust me, you will love it.

Ingredients

4 and Half Cups of water

4 Cardamom pods (lightly pounded)

2 Cloves
1 Cinnamon stick

1-2 tsp Ginger (fresh or powdered)

Mint leaves – a generous bunch

Honey/Sugar/ for sweetness

Optional ~ Black tea (leaves or one tea bag)

 

Method

This method is for aproximately 4 servings

Tea should always be brewed with fresh cold water so start by pouring the water into a pot

Add the cloves, cinnamon stick and the green cardimom pods. Bring to a boil on high heat and let it boil for five minutes. After five minutes steep the ginger and mint leaves into the bubbling water and keep on a high/medium heat for approximately eight minutes.

After eight minutes, add your choice of tea, turn the heat up high and continue to let it boil for two more minutes. I have used Earl grey and Assam tea in the past but you can use any tea you like or none at all.

Now is the time to add the sweetness. I know we like to keep the sugar to a minimum but let’s all agree to not skimp on it this time! If you want to avoid white sugar try a natural alternative like honey, agave nectar or coconut sugar. Don’t add less than 4 teaspoons and then test for taste. You might even add a couple more! Oh and if you’re going with honey, turn the heat off and add honey to the tea just before serving. Inhale the aroma. Relax. Enjoy your Somali Shaa.

Thank you so much Hafsa for sharing your mom’s recipe and method. In Love.

Will you be trying this? Let us know !

MOTHERHOOD

Guns N’ Kids

Ever have a moment that stops you? You sort of stumble a second or go mute, as your brain attempts to assimilate the intensity of all the various thoughts and feelings which have come, suddenly, crashing together? Well, unrolling this screenprint a few hours ago was one of those moments.

MAMANUSHKA.com || Kids and Guns || School Shootings || Screenprint || Art by Adot Ellison

We bought this nearly a decade ago and put it in storage until we could frame it. We were lucky to buy it direct from the artist and even then, we were drawn to the poignant political message it gave.

At the time, it reminded us of child soldiers – kids who should be drawing and creating instead of warring and killing. Today, I look at this image and see school shootings –  kids who should be learning and connecting instead of raging and dying. Either way, the kids are not alright.

There is nothing I can say here that hasn’t already been said better and by those whom this sadness has touched more directly. But know, for those of us whose children are practising lock down drills in school, for those of us whose children are practising how to talk to a police officer and remain alive, for those us who are fleeing to find a safe haven and for those of us organising for a better way forward – we see your struggle, we feel your panic and we embrace your hope. To raise a child is to change the world and we will do it together.

 

 

Original Screenprint by Adam Ellison

RELATIONSHIPS

The Three Most Romantic Words

MAMANUSHKA.com || The Three Most Romantic Words || Marriage || Love Is Spoken Here

The first time I heard them was as a newlywed. We were meant to be stepping out for a small gathering in our honour and as a new bride, I was more than thrilled to dress up in  a carefully chosen outfit and shimmery make-up. But, despite my best intentions and planning, we were running late… no, I was making us late.

The slippery hijab kept escaping from my fingers, the eyeliner kept smudging and each glance at the clock increased my agitation. My husband, completely ready to leave, would check in – find me still fighting with that hijab and say nothing, eventually taking a seat to wait and in the process making me more anxious still. Finally, I heard his voice from the armchair in the corner,

Don’t stress, it’s okay. Take your time.

In hindsight, it seems like a ridiculous thing for me to have stressed over anyways but in that moment those words were transformative. Take your time. I immediately relaxed. The hijab pins fell into place, my cat eyes flicked upwards at just the right angle and in a matter of moments, I was done. I didn’t know it then, but these three words were destined to be amongst the most romantic I would ever hear. A permanent fixture in our own personal love lexicon.

You see, I was a slow child.

Not academically, nor even athletically but in the everyday rhythm of life, I’ve always functioned at a more ‘relaxed’ pace. Growing up, I was consistently running behind the family schedule – the last to get ready, the last to finish eating, the last to leave, the last to come inside.

My Mama, fastidious in her punctuality, was constantly reminding me of the time. An hour till we have to leave Aiysha. Thirty minutes. Fifteen. Five. We’re leaving!  

And despite my best attempts at starting extra early or organising myself better, I was still always rushing at the end. And I hated it. The countdown. The inner panic. That knowledge that I was holding others back. It was an ever present low level stress. And of course, the more I rushed, the more clumsy and forgetful I became, and the longer I took. It was a sad, seemingly never-ending cycle destined to be repeated in every circumstance of my life, from home to school to work to social engagements and beyond.

Eventually I met my future husband and, since ours was a transatlantic romance, he was, thankfully, saved from my leisurely everyday nature as our courtship avoided having to weave in and out of a daily schedule – being instead a more dramatic, jetsetting type of thing.

That is, until we actually were married and, needed to do things according to schedules and plans. Oh no. As the proverbial weakest link, I knew what this meant for me. I would need to finally overcome my slowness. Which brings us to my  initial frantic getting ready and Husband’s calming words.

In that moment, those words felt supportive, thoughtful and kind. I had rarely, if ever, been encouraged to be slower than I was by taking even more time. But the effect was immediate and I thrived in all they conferred upon me.

It’s a funny thing, romance. We expect it to be big and obvious and you know, sometimes it is! Just like in a novel or a movie. But other times? Well… if you’d asked me, a decade ago, what romance ‘sounded’ like, it definitely wouldn’t be take your time and yet, as the years pass, those magical words reappear and each time, their meaning deepens.

A few years after our wedding would see us busy setting up house as working professionals. Our days felt impossibly full and hurried and I was often scrambling through one prayer and then another – constantly overestimating the time between them during the dark UK winters. Then, one evening, with a hand on my shoulder:

Take your time.

And it meant I love you more than this world and our life in it. In an instant, I was centered. Reminded of first principles – that nothing was more important than remembering the One who created time and that giving this moment it’s due would make the rest of our tasks easy. It was an encouragement without judgement, a suggestion without censure and ultimately a reflection of a love that is Sacred.

Some years later still, we became parents and in addition to all the usual changes, I was dismayed to realise that my new role as a mother had little value in the society in which I became one. And so, as I struggled to feed this new tiny being while still trying to entertain visitors and seem “normal” and “recovered”, I heard it again:

Take your time.

Tears pricked my eyes. Sitting for an impossibly long time, with a wailing infant while guests waited in the other room, it meant  I will hold this space for you. We are in this together. Your efforts are worthy.  You are enough. The time I was taking was the time I needed to take to nurture this baby. No apologies would ever be necessary.

And these days? Well, as we snuggle up onto our sofa, Husband looks at me over the cups of tea he’s made. Just one minute I say, attempting to speed read my way through the latest book, I’m almost at the end of this chapter.  He always smiles at this explanation,

Take your time.

With those words a deep warmth emanates from my soul – like a hug from within. I hear them and know that they mean everything they have before and also this: That exactly as I am, in this precise space and at this precise moment, there is no place more important and no person more cherished. And truthfully, could anything be more romantic than that?

MAMANUSHKA.com || The Three Most Romantic Words || Marriage || Love || Perspex Art

DESIGN

Ten Times Vogue Had It Covered

Picture Credit : Inez & Vinoodh For Vogue Arabia

 

Today we have a guest post from my friend Sonia who is a bit of a creative dabbler. I’ve known her since University days, and she always has the best style ideas, with an amazing eye for detail and fun in fashion.  Sonia is the kind of woman who will be sure to notice one  real and special thing about you, and compliment you on it! She  recently bought our attention to a mixed (modern and vintage) compilation of iconic Vogue covers. Read on for  her original take on these images and what inspires her…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Vogue magazine. The rule writer. The institution. The ultimate authority on style and good taste. The magazine I would often pick up in my younger days with mixed feelings of unworthiness, curiosity, admiration and scepticism. Most of the time flicking through it would feel like peeking into the world of rich, white people I had very little in common with.

It was not associated, in my mind anyway, with celebrating culture and modesty along with creativity and design.  In 2017 however, I noticed a more apparent shift in this approach, as did many of us, when the fashion industry finally started giving a tiny bit of official recognition to the modest fashion scene, which had  been steadily growing  for quite some years.

I won’t rehash  the sociopolitical implications of this, as many writers have already done so, and  done it  better than me. Nope. But what I will share is that  these more recent magazine images actually inspired me to delve deeper into the archives of Vogue magazine covers from around the world and uncover (ahem) striking images of women adorned with hats, hoods and head coverings, that resonated with me as an individual, and with my sense of fun, drama and creativity. So here goes gals. In no particular order, ten covers that sparked my interest:

 

I really feel Vogue outdid themselves with this cover. The December 2017 issue actually halted me in my tracks. Adwoa Aboah looks sublime in a way I have never seen her look before. The colours used for the retro styling and makeup are so well balanced. Despite being so fresh, the image still conveys a very classic film star quality of beauty. Bohemian and beautiful. Love it.

 


The lovely Halima Aden. The June 2017 cover of Vogue Arabia had a dynamic sense of movement and flow to it. Halima is beautifully styled, but I found myself craving more colour from this cover.  The hoards of women across the Middle East and beyond however, who specifically choose to fashion themselves in mostly black, may disagree with me on that point.

 

Vogue Deutsch . This January 2012 issue is literally, as blogger Yaelle puts it “scarf heaven”.  The eclectic mix of prints and colours here is fantastic and I like how they combined the sharp tailoring with the Lawrence of Arabia styling for the headwear.

 

The inimitable Naomi Campbell for Vogue Russia, December 2008.  Another stunning cover. Looking regal and rich in colour, I think Naomi makes a big impact here.  Let’s assume the best that no polar bears were harmed in the production of this cover! Does anyone remember when the supermodels took part in the no fur campaign for PETA dozens of years ago and famously declared that they would rather go naked than wear fur? Naomi has since been caught out on several occasions since then. Hopefully  this wasn’t one of them. 

 

March 1960. Flower crowns and hair garlands have had a real revival in the last couple of years, but way before Snapchat filters, this vintage Vogue cover was showing ladies how floral headgear was serious business. Love the flowers chosen for this and the bold lipstick. The temptation could have been to go full on girly with this look, but Vogue were mixing it up even back then with some formal tailoring and a strong and clean makeup look.

 

Vogue October 1956. This vintage cover was interesting to me as I hadn’t seen this style of headwrap or turban sported by women of this era before.  The editors were clearly focused on promoting this accessory as can be seen from their choice to use images of the same model from different angles, wearing different designs of the headwrap. The rest of the clothing has been kept minimalistic and plain in order to highlight the gorgeous brooches they each wear.  The title suggests that this was clearly the manual of the month for how to wear your statement pieces and make impact with your accessories.

 

April 1991. Although Vogue went for a very clean and elegant aesthetic here, the look makes me nostalgic for my youth, taking me back to when we played dress up as kids, nicking our mums all enveloping dupattas and big spangly earrings. The scarf is also draped in a very South Asian fashion for that time period. Model Karen Mulder would have been around 21 years old here and is almost channelling a young Benazir Bhutto!

 

January 1960. As per the March 1960 cover this was clearly a big year for big floral hats. And this one is spectacular.

 

Ok, this one is just out and out fun! Long before google came up with it, Vogue editors were being playful with their trademark font. This 1964 issue fully communicates the light hearted approach the British were now taking to their sense of fashion and style after years and years of propriety. These were the years when bright colours really came into play in the UK street fashion scene.

 

September 1945. By this time Vogue had increasingly made the transition from stylish fashion illustrations, to colour photography for their covers. This one perfectly balances the new image of ‘girl about town’ with the picture of elegance. For generations, wearing a hat or head covering of some sort was considered the sensible and appropriate thing to do when going out and about in public. The hat completed the look and gave a whole new level of dignity, flourish and style to an otherwise humble outfit. Not to mention the fact that for some women it also framed their faces beautifully. This made me feel that the era when Vogue’s ideas about female fashion were not that far away from my own, were actually, not so very long ago.

And there we have it!, I found the process of enjoying these covers an inclusive experience of shared female heritage and proof of the fact that oftentimes  we have more in common than we think. It seems  such a shame that the fashion journey for many Muslim majority cultures is not so well documented – at least to my knowledge. But if anyone knows of any Arab, Asian, Turkish or Persian (or any other ) equivalent publication that has managed this, then please let me know and let me at those archives!

 

Thank you so much Sonia, we loved reading your insight ! Especially the part about your mum’s dupattas! Find me a daughter of the sub-continent who didn’t do that! You can find more of Sonia Malik’s  inpirations here as she documents and promotes variety within modest fashion.

 

FAITH, RELATIONSHIPS

A Bestower Of Blessings

MAMANUSHKA.com || A Bestower of Blesssings || Grandmother || Naniama || Dua || Prayers

 

There is a light in my existence, a comfort I have known, from the earliest moments I could remember till this very day. A comfort I have craved, leaned upon and at times, completely taken for granted. One I knew would be with me wherever I went and whatever I did. Even without conscious appreciation, I knew deep within my being, that I could always depend upon my maternal grandmother, my Naniama and the copious prayers – duas to be precise – that she sent out for me.

We lived nearly half a world away from each other, separated by countries, oceans and time zones. Our physical meetings numbered less than ten, so I sometimes wondered what inspired the fierce love and devotion I was blessed to have.

I always thought it was because I was the favourite granddaughter but have come to realise this is probably not true. I don’t know how she did it, but it seems that all us grandchildren, we each felt the most favourite. Perhaps because she sent her power duas out to all of us and as old age crept up on her, she found more time to make more duas.

It got to be that her and I would have entire conversations which would begin with me saying salam and her responding by making continuous dua after dua for the next fifteen to twenty minutes – for me, my health, my happiness, my spouse, my children, my spiritual state – for just everything. I never wanted to hang up. I never wanted her to stop. I would close my eyes and soak her words in. Imagine them rising like golden orbs from her beautiful, weathered hands up into the sacred realms, where they would then be collected and accepted without question or reserve.

Nothing really ever felt impossible or hopeless because I knew Naniama was there, making those duas like it was her job. The few times I called to request her prayers for something specific, she would listen but also remind me that I was in her duas always – which to me meant, I was in her heart always. What can I give you she would ask other than dua?  But truly, I sit now and wonder, could there have been anything else?

My strong, magnificent, phenomenal Naniama died today. She went with a calm serenity and a passing that was peaceful and gentle. She has gone back to her Maker, whom she loved so deeply and lived for so completely.  I am not sad for her, but I am sad for us. Who now will hold me in their heart always? Whose blessings will surround us at all moments? Lift us at all times? Our unstoppable dua giver has moved on.

And now it’s time for us to give back: Lovely Naniama, best Bari-Amee, what else can I give you other than dua?

Al-Fatiha.

 

 

Also: Your Mother, Your Mother, You

RELATIONSHIPS

That Thing About Snow

What is it about snow that makes people want to ‘announce’ it? Like a surprise visitor, welcome and bursting with the possibility of abundant gifts or a day off from the ordinary… ‘it’s snowing it’s snowing look it’s snowing!’

There is something sweet and special about being the first to see and hence announce the first snowfall of the season.

Like a gift that the whole world can unwrap!

My favourite is the kind that falls slowly in big fluffy flakes as though falling to some deep cosmic rhythm. Profound in its silence.

Then there’s the snow that is faster, more hurried. The flakes meandering here and there and some even rising up instead of falling down as if in their haste they have forgotten the way!

This year snow has come to all my ‘homes’ at the same time. My SM feeds are inundated with snow  pics from friends and family  in Kashmir, England and the USA! Bar a couple of snowy naysayers, it’s brought out the inner child in everyone else and has got me feeling happy vibes. 

My dad was reminiscing about snow times in Kashmir. Nov Sheen (literally ‘New Snow’) was a big deal and as children they would compete to shove a handful of the first snow of the season on to some unsuspecting member of the family! The ‘victim’ would then have to come up with a ‘treat’usually money or candy. I thought that was funny and sweet. 

 

Phone call.

I know it’s you,

Heart.

Skips.

Beat.

You know how it is.

Going to hear your voice.

All the way from

the country without a post office.

I pick up ~

 Hello 

‘it’s snowing here’

Are the first words you say

I wonder why

‘I love you’

is the first thing I hear

(True story )

 

Also, That thing about Rain

FAITH, MOTHERHOOD

Unapologetically Happy: Celebrating The Mawlid With Children

When we were first married, my husband and I thought it would be nice to attempt an annual holiday. However, instead of travelling over summer or during the winter break, we decided that we would set off on our journeys in order to celebrate Mawlid in a new place each year. Everyone is always happy during the Mawlid, I remembering saying, I want to spend time around unapologetically happy people.

Ah, Mawlid, more formally known as Mawlid al-Nabi, is the yearly celebration of the birth our beloved Prophet Muhammad – abundant peace and blessings be upon him. On this day, the 12th of Rabi’ al-Awwal, Muslims from all places gather to share food and sweets with each other, remind themselves of his love for us and send blessings upon him and his family. Not only this day, but this entire month is devoted to renewing our love and longing for him and is a cause for joy around the world.

So, with this greater community in mind, Husband and I enthusiastically embarked upon our global Mawlid-hopping and kept to it for a good few years. From Europe to Africa and beyond, we were graced with uplifting and transformative encounters which helped reaffirm our faith, contributed to our own sense of belonging to the ‘Ummah of Muhammad’ and gifted us a deep and abiding joy for this time of year and the Prophet we honour and unite for.

Even after the birth of our eldest we managed a Mawlid trip or two but then, in a story so familiar, the practicalities increased with each new child and we became more… locally focused. Instead of rejoicing with new friends, we began to gather with old ones and placed our efforts into nurturing traditions in our own home, neighbourhood and community. I gladly admit that, much to my surprise, this new effort has been proven more sweet and radiant than I could have ever imagined in our more footloose days.

This year, we decided to arrange a Mawlid Tree in the house and add something to it everyday which reminds us of our beloved Prophet Muhammad. It has been a beautiful way to remind ourselves of his example and revisit some of our favourite stories from his life.

I found this wool wrapped wire tree second hand and as we were unwrapping it, we spoke about how it reminded us of the tree which cried and how our Prophet was a tree hugger.

MAMANUSHKA.com || Mawlid Tree || Muslim Festival || Muslim Celebration || Prophet Muhammad || Islamic Craft

 

My two eldest then decided to make these paper hearts, in order to symbolise the Prophet’s love for us.

MAMANUSHKA.com || Mawlid Tree || Muslim Festival || Muslim Celebration || Prophet Muhammad || Islamic Craft

 

Over the next few days we made and added lanterns to represent the verse of light, which was revealed him.

MAMANUSHKA.com || Mawlid Tree || Muslim Festival || Muslim Celebration || Prophet Muhammad || Islamic Craft || Lanterns

 

And then a bird with its nest, in honour of the bird which helped cover the Prophet’s hiding cave during the hijra.

MAMANUSHKA.com || Mawlid Tree || Muslim Festival || Muslim Celebration || Prophet Muhammad || Islamic Craft

 

Today, we are busy making and decorating these shapes, which in parts of the Muslim world, are taken to represent those who were amongst the most loved by our Prophet: Hazret Fatima, Hazret ‘Ali, Hazret Hassan and Hazret Hussain.

MAMANUSHKA.com || Mawlid Tree || Muslim Festival || Muslim Celebration || Prophet Muhammad || Islamic Craft || Hand of Fatima

We have many more things to add, and as the month goes on, we will share them on our instagram – so follow us there, if you haven’t already. All suggestions for what would make a good addition to our Mawlid Tree are most welcome and we would love to know how you make Mawlid special in your lives and homes. May we continue to come together in gratitude and be unreservedly, unapologetically, happy.

“God and His angels bless the Prophet – so, you who believe, bless him too and  give him greetings of peace.”
– Qur’an 33:56

 

Also On Promising My Children The Moon and A Childhood Treasure of Prophetic Wisdom

MOTHERHOOD

When Sleep Overs Won’t Do

It’s Friday and the Kids are so excited about having a sleep under today. Do you know what a Sleep-Under is? I didn’t either until my friend suggested it for our annual kid’s-get-together-that’s-not-really- a-Halloween-replacement-thing (but really it kind of is) .

A ‘Sleep-Under’ is a genius idea. Here’s what happens:

Kids come in their pajamas, watch movies, eat popcorn, drink hot chocolate (with halal marshmallows of course) maybe play some board games and then…. go home! Simples. Oh and don’t forget your ‘stuffey anamal’!

I know sleepovers can be fraught with anxiety for many parents and children too, so this can be a sweet middle way. Would you do a sleep-under? 

We hope you have a blessed and joyful Friday.  Jummah Mubarak!

 

Also How to have fifty-two eids a year 

 

Picture Credit : ‘Dino in Pajamas’ Art by mininushka Ismail age 7