So it's that time of year again. When the days are short, the nights long and you have large amounts of time off from your school/ college/ workplace for Christmas/ New Year etc… We may take advantage of being able to lie in till later than usual, laze around the house in our pajamas well past Dhuhr and slowly catching up with TV shows, chores or career related assignments.

Essentially, this will be a few days off like any other few days off in the years before. We'll trudge back to our normal lives with little to show apart from a slightly expanded waistline and the reduced bags under our eyes. But it could all be so different. How? Well, for starters – we could use this time (one of the most precious commodities that Allāh has given us) to kick start something new… something life changing. Here are just a few ideas:

1. Read an Islamic book

Whilst most of us will almost certainly be stocking up on nourishment for our stomachs during the break, many will be neglecting intellectual and spiritual nourishment that comes from gaining Islamic knowledge. We all have a book or two that we wish we could read but we just can't find the time. Well, this is that time. Want to know exactly why Khālid b. Walīd raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) was one of the greatest generals of all time? Interested in learning all about the fiqh of raising children? Looking for Islamic inspiration at a low point in your life? There's a book for all of that and more.

2. Aḥadīth at home



Winter break is a time where everyone is at home with schools and offices being shut across the country. This quality family time could be spent going to multiple dinner parties and flicking through Christmas specials on TV. But it could also be spent a bit more constructively with the family briefly sitting down together to go through a ḥadīth. Get the kids interested by involving them in debate on the meaning or application of the ḥadīth, or even getting them to prepare some ḥadīth themselves, will reap rewards for decades to come. The family that prays together stays together.

3. Attend an Islamic event

Here in the West, we are very lucky that there are a variety of Islamic events organized for the winter break. Many of these are family friendly and there is usually something for every taste around. Whether it is fiqh, tafsīr, sīrah, or comparative religion – you'll find a talk or course organized somewhere for you and your friends or family. All you need is the desire to learn and the willingness to travel. Grab your younger brother or sister, that friend who just needs a push in the right direction, or even your parents and make the journey. The trip there and back could be a real chance to open up about where you (and they) are going Islamically and what could be done about it.

4. Inspire children at your Mosque

There are mosques in which the children are inspired and entertained by their elders in a way that makes them keep coming back for more. Sadly, these mosques are very few and far between. We could just sit at home and complain that the mosque isn't welcoming enough, or we could try and do something about it. This winter, why not put on a talk for children around a subject they may find vaguely interesting? All it needs is the willingness to share a story, some nifty advertising, and a desire to inspire rather than bore. You can talk about literally anything, from the real story behind Christmas and 'Īsa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), to what parents are looking for in prospective son-in-laws. If you do it right, the cool feeling of seeing someone get closer to the faith through you sharing knowledge with them will keep you coming back for more week after week.

5. Organize a fundraiser

Unfortunately there is no shortage of Muslims in the world who are in desperate need. Whether it be in Burma, Gaza, Syria, or in many African nations – a relatively small amount of money could be the difference between life and death. This winter, why not organize a fundraiser at your home or mosque where people come together for an evening of ḥalāl entertainment, food, and social activism? Show them pictures of the suffering people, share some stories, and then encourage donations. Not only will you have a chance to spend a pleasant evening with friends and interesting strangers, but you'll be doing your part to make the world a better place. Once you start, you'll be so filled with an indescribable sense of purpose and peace that it'll be difficult to wait till your next one.

The only limits to the amount of good and perpetually beneficial things that can be done during your current break are your desire to make a practical change and the spark to get you going in the first place. Get off the sofa, turn off the computer and open the door. A world of possibility awaits.

 

17 Responses

  1. anisafatima

    This is your nice post.This is a beautiful way to share the knowledge and provide the update to people.Children are a great blessing from Allah and teach them Good deeds.slam is the latest divine religion chosen by Allah Almighty for the human beings. Muslims can avail the services of an online quran teacher who can assist them in taking themselvs into account daily in holidays.

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    • Mahmud

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      You always give positive thanks on articles…….

      so JazzakAllahu khairan Yasmin! May Allah make you a grateful slave and grant you Jannatul Firdaus!

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  2. Johnny Blaze

    JazakAllahu Khairun brother Muhammad, insha’Allah this will inspire many to spend their time wisely during this season. I see far too many doing things that are not in a muslim’s best interests when this time of year comes around :( May Allah guide us all.

    If anyone’s strapped for titles, I HIGHLY recommend “Kitab At-Tauhid” by Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhab for anyone who hasn’t read it yet. Usool al Thalatha (same author) is also a good read. You will find them for free by googling if ebooks are your thing.

    And of course, there’s the Quran! If you’ve not read that yet, there’s no better time than the present :D If you’d like an English copy, I have a few spares lying around (will post within Australia for free).

    Fee Amanillah

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  3. WAJiD

    JazakAllah khairun to you all for your kind comments.
    Any ideas on how we could get more people to take up some of these ideas?

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    • Johnny Blaze

      Community challanges!

      Set a goal for the week/day/period and maybe provide a nice little set of questions to test our knowledge afterwards.

      Something like
      GOAL – Memorise and Understand Surah An Nasr
      TIME – 3 Days
      SELF TEST QUESTIONS

      1. When was this surah revealed?
      2. Explain each line in your own words.
      3. What are some of the virtues of Surah An Nasr?
      4. What was the purpose of this surah i.e. What did it signal? (with daleel)

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      • Johnny Blaze

        It could be something simpler of course, if you so wished, but for me something like that would really influence me to get studying!

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      • Mahmud

        Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

        As for surah Nasr, Tafsir Ibnu Kathir is online and so is Nouman Ali Khans explanation.

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    • Mahmud

      Assalamaulaaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Remember your salams Johnny Blaze! We are talking to other Muslims on the internet!

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  4. WAJiD

    Asalaam alaikum,

    Good to see the enthusiasm. Perhaps we can take it a step further (that is what I’m trying to get at.) Start a circle amongst your friends / acquaintances today, plan it out, think it through then carry out the plan so that noble intentions can become beautiful actions inshaAllah.

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    • Abdulazim

      Assalamu alekum wr.wb.
      Dear Brother Muhammad Wajid, can you please share with me the titles of books related to the fiqh of raising children? Could you also advice where can I buy them online? I am from Asia and thanks for you post!

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  5. Abdulazim

    Assalamu alekum wr.wb.
    Dear Brother Muhammad Wajid, can you please share with me books related to the fiqh of raising children? Could you also advice where can I buy them online? I am from Asia and thanks for you post!

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  6. WAJiD

    Walaikum asalaam,

    JazakAllah khairun for your kind words. The books I would recommend are mainly in English language and I suppose different books may appeal to different age groups:

    The late Khurram Murad wrote many books for children that are excellent quality. Classics such as “The Desert Chief”, “The Longing Heart” and “The wise poet” are a brilliant replacement for Aesops fables and Grimms Fairy Tales…
    http://goo.gl/Vkjoh

    Also, this website has some good books including “My first Quran” which we’re reading to my 2 year old at the moment.
    http://www.goodwordbooks.com

    I’ll do some more research and get back to you – may even write an article about it inshaAllah

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