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Holidays! Will My Child Survive?





“Holidays,” in the life of a child, simply means, “Freedom.” The child is no longer restricted by school and madrasah hours. Thus the child feels absolved of all forms of responsibility. This “freedom” makes the child very vulnerable to the attacks of nafs (the desire) and shaytaan (the devil). However our beautiful deen of Islam comes to our rescue. We are reminded of our daily duties as a Muslim. Our salaah, quraan, zikr and du’aa are the forts for our protection. Every parent’s concern is, “Will my child survive this holiday, in an environment of sin and temptation?”



The answer depends on our sincerity and to the extent we turn to Allah Ta’ala. When parent’s try their level best to safeguard their child from the challenges of the time, then Allah Ta’ala will make the arrangement for the protection of the child, even in apparently impossible situations.


We need to turn to Allah Ta’ala ourselves and also make our children do the same. For far too long we have looked at the problem and remained despondent. It is time that we adopt the solutions and progress as a family. When the light is switched on, instantly the layers of darkness will disappear. When the light of good actions enters our lives, then the darknesses of sin will leave our lives. It is not possible for the night and the day to coexist at one time and place. Therefore, let us start with at least the following aspects immediately and see the immediate benefits.


1. Ensure that all members of the family regularly perform their five daily salaah. Boys who are seven years of age should accompany the father to the musjid. 


2. Everyone must start their day after fajr salaah with the recitation of surah yaseen. Besides this some portion of the quraan majeed must be recited daily.


3. Daily ta’leem of the fazaa-il kitaabs should take place in the home, even if just for 10 minutes. 


4. Encourage the children to recite 100 times istighfaar and durood shareef.


Also keep advising one’s children with love and affection to refrain from all sinful activities. May Allah Ta’ala protect us all. 


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Holidays Can be Real Fun!!!

Some ways of making your kids vacation more fun & rewarding…

By Umm Ammarah


Dad what can I do next???...Mum I’m BORED!!!  For parents vacations can be really demanding keeping our children occupied. Vacations pose a great challenge for many parents. However holidays can be great fun if parents are positive, creative and interactive. Also during the vacation there is a good opportunity to recharge our kid’s spiritual batteries and start afresh in daily activities. It is a joyous period and a unique break from our busy schedules. We should welcome vacations for its fun.


The excitement surrounding vacations and family trips usually kicks off with strong excitement. However, after only a short time away from the daily routines of school, one phrase parents dread hearing begins to creep into the language of children almost instinctively: "I'M BORED"!

There are so many things to do and so many activities that only require a small amount of creative thinking and even less effort to organize. Children are highly impressionably and intelligent individuals. Their energy and creativity needs to be nurtured and stimulated during all waking hours (Whoosh! And that is a long time, as any parent can testify to!)

It is good to have fun but this must always be done by not compromising our Islamic way of life!!!

By the same token, it is not a bad idea to take time out during these pressure-free holidays to reflect and possibly change our positions and life for the better.


There is an area that is largely ignored by parents when they go on holidays and that is how to guide their children to a pleasurable, fun and sin-free vacation. Very often, the newer generations of Muslims growing up in the West have little guidance and sometimes even less knowledge of the Islamic rules that govern our Islamic way of life and they often end up imitating the free unislamic lifestyle that surrounds them. Sometimes, due to parent’s commitments, kids find themselves in vacation camps and Day-Care Centres which are deprived of an Islamic environment and culture.


No doubt, if we don't take a proactive approach to maintaining our iman (faith), we might really lose it. The vacation represents an ideal opportunity to boost one's deen (religion). However if it's spent inappropriately, it can lead to disastrous consequences. If we truly value our kids, it is imperative that we use this opportunity to its fullest extent.


Parents have a great responsibility to guide their children to an Islamic lifestyle and to provide a vice-free environment. They should use all available strategies to carry out this responsibility effectively and successfully. This can be achieved by attempting to implement useful activities. Here are some simple and inexpensive suggestions of how to keep the holidays lively, Islamic and exciting for the whole family. After all, bored people are boring people!


PRAYER - Parents should ensure that prayers are performed punctually and children are motivated and keen to pray on time, especially when their children are with them. This will help the children learn the importance of prayer and the value of time. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) as said, "Refresh yourselves with Prayer…" (Hadith Al-Bukhari).Men should perform prayer at the Masjid. However if on vacation a Masjid is not close by then pray together as a family. Prayer in Jamaat(congregation) is better than praying alone. Let the teenage boys call out the adhaan. Make the youngest one the salaat manager, taking care of prayer rugs, timing, and inviting everyone to salaat. Salaah is an integral part of a Muslims life and should NOT be missed.


ENVIRONMENT- Always remain within an environment that is Islamic and free from sin. Psychologist emphasize that environment has a great effect on the upbringing of kids. Plan visits to places that do not in any way encroach on our Islamic way of life. Parents should try to keep their children away from the immoral scenes that people usually see in holiday resorts during vacations. The free intermingling of sexes is totally prohibited in Islam. Children are vulnerable and very easily succumb to peer pressure. Parents need to be diplomatically assertive and consistent in emphasizing Islamic values.


INTERACT- Regular interaction with your children is vital. Teach them with wisdom and “cool” behaviour. Trying to appear "cool" in front of their peers during adolescence brings tremendous pressure on children. Children often don't feel that their parents know what's“cool” and what's happening, so they turn to their peer group for the answers by trying to imitate them. By starting regular interaction while your children are young, parents can ensure that their kids will use them as their role models and not their peer groups. Time spent with children enhances the parent-child relationship, so that in their later life children will emulate their parents' values and attitudes and that makes the gift of time the greatest gift of all.


TEACH- Vacations are an excellent opportunity to teach our kids in an interactive way. Plan tasks, projects, games which have an Islamic flavour to it. Parents should take the vacations as an opportunity to indirectly set good examples to their children for cooperation, kindness, and truthfulness. Learn and teach the rules of Islam in an interactive and practical way. Encourage the reading of Qurán and Hadith. Encourage the kids to have Taalim.(Islamic education).Let them compete in memorizing the Qur'an and learning the Hadith. This will encourage them to inculcate real commitment to the Qur'an and the Sunnah.


READ- Kids have loads of time and will become easily bored if not kept occupied. Introduce them to good Islamic books. Reading material should be carefully selected as you don't want your kids to be adversely affected by unislamic literature. Parents should seize the opportunity of their free time in the holidays to tell their children stories from the Qur'an that impart good morals, enhance spirituality and help build an upright character. Tell or read to your children stories on some nights before bed. There are lots of excellent Islamic stories and books available that you can use or you can make up your own. At the same time, you will be helping your children develop Islamic character.


CO-OPERATION -Muslim parents should help disseminate the cooperative spirit among their sons and daughters during the holidays. This can be achieved by teaching the children the benefits of working together and learning to be patient in achieving their goals, in an attempt to make them realize the importance of teamwork. Reward them where necessary. The family unit is the basis of a good society. Let them assist if the family has a business or even at a family function.


SPORTS- Sports can be a great contributor to building the kids physically and spiritually. Choose such activities that support an Islamic spirit and identity. Ensure that these activities do not encroach on their deen. For example when the time of prayer approaches, let them pray first and then resume their sporting activities. Teach them to use Islamic words in their activities. Instead of saying WOW! Let them say ALLAHU AKBAR(Allah is the Greatest), let them start by saying Bismillah (I begin in the name of Allah) etc. In this way they will be making zikr (remembering Allah). To be physically fit is part of Islam. Swimming, Archery, Horse Riding, Athletics are strongly recommended. The Messenger of Allah(pbuh) even raced with his beloved wife Aisha(RA).


HOUSEHOLD ACTIVITIES- Parents can motivate their kids to bake, clean the garage, re-organize their rooms, help set the table for guests etc. If necessary a roster can be drawn up.


ZIKR(remembering Allah)- Let them spend time making Zikr, Reciting Quran, Making dua etc Let them practically do it so they get accustomed to making zikr. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) informed us that we will not regret about anything in this life accept the time spent without zikr. Verily, in the Zikr of Allah do hearts find peace." (Surah Ra'd) ... "Verily, the remembrance of Allah is the greatest." (Surah Ahzaab-Qurán)


PLAN AN EVENT- Try organising one weekly treat that you all do together. Ask your kids where they want to go this weekend. It may be the zoo, it may be an outing or it may just be going shopping. But it is a great idea to go on an outing with them on a regular basis. These little treats will be exciting for your kids and will remind you that it can be fun to be a parent. Organise a family gathering, Go as a family out in the Path of Allah, a picnic, a sightseeing tour, a day to the zoo, stop off for ice cream or to feed the birds in the park, visit the local orphanage, a visit to the kiddies section in the local hospital etc. Be innovative (within the rules of Islam).


GARDENING- Gardening is an excelling way to keep them occupied and bring them closer to Allah. Let them have their own vegetable patches, let them plant flowers etc. Explain to them about Beauty of Allah in His Creation.


PLAY-  Play with your children. You could play ball, colour pictures, build toy houses from blocks, or do whatever they like. Let your children help you with simple tasks. There are loads of activities that are cheap , simple and can be done together. The Noble Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) was especially fond of children and used to get into the spirit of childish games in their company. He would have fun with the children who had come back from Abyssinia and tried to speak in Abyssinian with them. It was his practice to give lifts on his camel to children when he returned from journeys. (Hadith-Bukhari).


LOVE- Show your children in simple ways that you love them. Some parents try to appeal to their children by showering them with gifts rather than giving of themselves. This may cause more harm than good. The simple example of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh).When his daughter Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) would come to him, the Noble Messenger (peace be upon him) used to stand up, kiss her, take her hand, and give her his seat. Later in life, this personal type of affection will be much more memorable to children than receiving a gift that anyone could have given them. Don't buy their love- Win it!!!


SIN: Ensure a sin free vacation. Cinemas, Movies, Immoral PC games, Haraam Chat Rooms, Discos, etc will harm their Imaan. Instead of playing haraam music rather buy some good Islamic CD's(nasheeds, lectures etc) for them.


FRIENDS-The most important element of a successful vacation from an Islamic perspective is the company that our kids keep. Friends will either make or break our deen (religion). If a kid finds himself hanging out with non-Muslim classmates who are doing haraam it will have a negative bearing on his Imaan. Company of deeni (pious) and knowledgeable people are a great boon. For boys going out with other youth in the Path of Allah is an excellent way to be in good company. The Family could also go out together. In an authentic Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: "A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look at whom you befriend." Tactfully persuade them to choose such friends who will positively and Islamically influence their character. The company our kids keep will have a profound effect on their imaan and personality!


So mums and dads be cheerful and positive for indeed vacations can be joyful and spiritually enriching for both you and your kids. It is an excellent opportunity to utilize our kid’s time productively and simultaneously develop their character and uplift their Imaan!


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We are Muslims wherever we are - Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel (Rahmatullahi 'alayh)
Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
Wherever you go, the Hukm (Order) of Allah Ta’ala accompanies you.
There are so many who, when in their home-town, will be recognized as ‘Deendaar’, performing 5 times Salaah, daily, in Jamaat and even standing in the first Saff, wearing the dressing of the pious, etc. …However, when traveling on holiday, Salaah is left at home, the dressing of a Muslim is left at home, the Taqwa is also left at home. ...That which offers us protection is left behind. 
The person will be on the plane, watching the films or cartoons, or admiring and even flirting with the air-hostesses. When at the holiday destination, he is sometimes at cinemas, or taking a ‘survey’ of casinos or even trying his luck on slot machines. Adding to all that spiritual harm and damage, the person freely allows his wife and children to dress as they want, go where they want to and do as they want – because they are on holiday. Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi ra`jioon.
This is a clear indication of weakness of faith, and hypocrisy of all that we project. We should fear Allah Ta’ala.
Holidays do not mean we throw Islam out of the window. Being on holiday does not give any license to disobey Allah Ta’ala. Islam is for every moment and every breath of life. We are Muslims wherever we are.
 By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi Alayh)
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Productive Holidays
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam has stated, “There are two blessings which many people waste: health and free time.” (Bukhari)
The holiday period is generally a time when people have time to spare. We can while away that time in frivolous and at times sinful pursuits or we can utilise such opportunities productively.
The holidays are an ideal opportunity for spending quality time with our families. Sitting in front of the television together does not count as quality time. Engaging with our families in physical activity, in laughter and clean fun is part of quality time. The Hadith encourages horsemanship, archery and swimming amongst other physical activities.
Take your family out to explore the beauty of nature, and ponder over Allah’s magnificence that He displays through His creation. This will bring us closer to Him and humble us in awe of His majesty.
Most importantly, sit with your family and talk about Allah Ta’ala and the beautiful Islam he has blessed us with. Discuss the life of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam and relive with them the history of Islam. Talk to them about the real life challenges that we face and how to navigate them.
We live in a time when families are fragmenting and contentment seems a distant dream. A holiday spent productively will, insha-Allah, bring the family closer together and leave us with a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction.

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)

Council of Muslim Theologians

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Advice for Intending Holiday Makers

By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh


It is a common trend in this day and age for people to take a break for recreation, including going on holiday. Undertaking leisure activities, such as travel, are regarded as promoting general wellbeing. This concept is not inconsistent with our Dīn, as from amongst the commands of Allāh ta‘ālā is the safeguarding of one’s health, both physically and mentally. Alhamdulillāh, as with all areas of life, we find guidance in our Dīn for this aspect too, so we can make our actions a means of acquiring the pleasure of Allah ta‘ālā.


Be a Healthy Believer

Health and strength are from the blessings of Allāh ta‘ālā that help us to excel in Dīn and in this worldly life. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has stated:


A strong believer is better than a weak believer. (Muslim)


We can understand from this Hadīth that a believer who looks after his health and wellbeing, will be able to perform those good actions, which a believer weaker in health will not. Health is of such importance that we find in another Hadīth Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam lamenting a sahābī radhiyallāhu ‘anhu who was neglecting his health:


Verily your body has a right upon you (Al-Bukhārī)


Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has encouraged us to give our bodies rest and relaxation, so that a person remains motivated and does not fall prey to boredom or exhaustion. This will enable one to maintain enthusiasm and energy to carry out the Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā and perform good deeds. It is related by Anas ibn Mālik radhiyallāhu ‘anhu that once Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam entered the masjid and found a rope hanging between two pillars. He sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam asked, “What is this?” The Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum replied, “It is for Zaynab. When she feels tired (whilst praying), she holds onto it.” Nabī sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “No, untie it (i.e. this is incorrect). Pray as long as you feel energetic; when you become tired, you should sit down.” (Al-Bukhārī)


Stay Focused

Like the need for a good balanced diet, sleep and exercise, a break from one’s daily routine, if spent in line with the principles of Sharī‘ah, can help to enhance a person’s health both physically and mentally. However, it is important to remember that in fulfilling this necessity, we do not take a break from our religious obligations, nor cross the boundaries laid down by the Sharī‘ah. Precautions must be undertaken to ensure that whilst engaging in any leisure activity, a person does not become heedless of the remembrance of Allāh ta‘ālā and compromise his religious and spiritual obligations, thereby causing harm to his eternal life of the hereafter.


The following advices will inshā’allāh help us achieve a balance and make our ‘time out’ fruitful in this world and the hereafter.


1. Intention and Objective

The intention for taking a break must be correct; it should not be to merely follow the prevalent culture of the day. Our every action should be to fulfil the objective of our existence and creation, the worship of Allāh ta‘ālā. Allāh ta‘ālā states:


I did not create the Jinns and the human beings except for the purpose that they should worship me. (56:51)

In light of this, if one’s objective for taking a break is to rest and refresh the body and mind, in order to return home and thereafter exert more effort to perform good deeds and fulfil the rights of the Creator and the creation, then this will be a rewarding action. Similarly, the aim to spend quality time with the family is also a worthy intention.


2. Ensure Suitability

We must ensure that the trip we are undertaking is in compliance with Sharī‘ah. Many are those who, without having undertaken research, book a holiday package. Only after arriving at their destination do they realise that they have arrived at an unsuitable place; an environment of irreligiousness, obscenity and nudity. On returning home, they are regretful and concede that the environment was such that they were unable to refrain from sin.


If one intends to travel abroad for a holiday, then it is not necessary to visit those places where everyone else is going. To avoid finding oneself in an unsuitable situation, thorough research should be undertaken on the proposed destination and to only proceed to such places wherein the disobedience of Allāh ta‘ālā is not taking place.


3. Shaytān’s Ploy

As stated earlier, during any leisure activity or holiday we should not overlook our obligations. Shaytān places into the mind this thought, ‘We have come here for rest and relaxation, there must be total freedom from every type of restriction’. Those on holiday therefore absolve themselves from tilāwah of the Glorious Qur’ān, dhikr, ma‘mūlāt etc. Only salāh remains and that too is of the lowest standard. In this respect, we should ask ourselves the following questions: Do I reduce the hours of my sleep while on holiday? Do I reduce the amount of food that I consume? When we do not reduce our sleep nor food intake, there is no excuse for reducing or altering one’s ‘ibādah.


It is therefore of paramount importance to prepare a timetable, so that one will remain punctual in all of one’s a‘māl. It should also be noted that, just as supplications made during travel are more accepted, similarly there is greater barakah in the dhikr and ‘ibādah performed while on a journey.


4. Avoid Extravagance

We should avoid unnecessary expenses and extravagance. Allāh ta‘ālā states:


Surely, squanderers are brothers of satans, and the Satan is very ungrateful to his Lord. (27:17)


As it has become common to take a break by travelling abroad, all too often people go on holiday packages that they cannot afford by taking out loans. In their desire for a luxury holiday, they become embroiled in unnecessary extravagance. It is incorrect to believe that rest and relaxation can only be achieved by travelling abroad for a holiday. Even if one cannot afford a holiday due to financial difficulty or is unable to identify a suitable destination, then what is the harm or loss? People in the past did not go on such holidays, yet arguably had greater peace and happiness in their lives in comparison to ours.


Beneficial Guidelines

In order to safeguard one’s time and a‘māl, in particular during a holiday journey, some further beneficial guidelines should also be borne in mind:


1.  Always remain engaged in the remembrance of Allāh ta‘ālā. Keep this thought in mind that my Allāh ta‘ālā is watching me with love.

2.  Maintain modesty and be mindful about unlawful gazes, dressing appropriately in accordance with Sharī‘ah and injunctions relating to contact with non-mahrams.

3.  Take out some time for muhāsabah (taking account of one’s past actions) daily. In particular, ponder over how much of life has passed and how much more remains.

4.  Make firm resolutions for the future by thinking about what one needs to and what one intends to do from now to make amends for the past.

5.  Refrain from the disobedience of Allāh ta‘ālā at all times. Stay away from places of sin and indecency and avoid unnecessary extravagance in spending.

6.  Abstain from all non-Islamic practices.


Spend your time in such a way that when you return, it is with both a healthy body and a healthy soul. May Allāh ta‘ālā safeguard us all and grant us the correct tawfīq. Āmīn.


© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 25 No. 3, Mar 2016)

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Holiday @ Home

A person’s home is their ultimate sanctuary and place of comfort. Hence, when a child feels threatened, his first instinct is to run home, as home is the place of safety. As our homes are our private places, meant for our comfort and happiness, we tend to spend both time and money on ‘doing up’ our homes until they meet our desired level of safety, comfortand beauty. 
This is easily witnessed in the large amounts of money that we spend on painting, tiling, installing alarm systems & electric fences, buying state-of-the-art appliances, furniture, linen, Italian flooring, granite counters, German bathroom fittings, air-conditioning, and the list goes on. In fact, some people are so particular in this regard that every room of the home has its own theme to which the curtains, carpet, BIC (built in cupboards), linen and even light switches and plug points have to match!
After all the effort is undertaken and money is spent, the result is a home that is ‘tailor made’ to the exact ‘spec’ of the family living in it. Their home is exactly as they designed, providing peace, comfort and security. Some families will even ensure the home comes with a swimming pool for relaxation, fun and entertaining! 
In the light of the above, why is it deemed ‘sad’, ‘unfortunate’ and ‘depressing’ if a person enjoys his holiday from home? If we honestly ponder over the reality, not many hotels in the world boast the combined comforts that some enjoy at home, and even those hotels that do have the comforts charge a small fortune! Even after paying the price we find the pillows are notwhat we are used to, so we wake up with a stiff neck. The wall between the rooms are too thin, or the corridor is too busy, so the noise disturbs us and we cannot sleep comfortably. The shower curtain is too small so every time we shower, the entire floor is flooded. All the lifts are full, as its peak season, so it takes 20 minutes just to get to the lobby from our floor.
If we feel for something as small as a cup of tea and are not prepared to pay the exorbitant room service rate, we are left with the option of making it ourselves in a plastic kettle that threatens to rattle its way of the counter as it boils, after which we have to resort to creamer in our tea instead of milk. Sometimes, due to flight schedules, we arrive at our hotel before the check-in timeand are forced to spend precious hours of our time waiting in the lobby, unable to even rest or freshen up after our long journey.
And if we holiday at home, do we face even one of these inconveniences? The purpose of a holiday is to recharge and relax. With a change of mind-set, we will realize that for most of us, our home with its comforts is actually the place most conducive to achieving that purpose. Hence, it is not necessary for us to spend a small fortune and fly off to foreign destinations whenever its holiday time.
May Allah Ta‘ala give us a true understanding of Deen and make our homes a place of peace, comfort and solace, Ameen.

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)
Council of Muslim Theologians

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