Friday, September 24, 2010

Asma Al-Husna

Today I am writing about something I do as part of our morning group routine with my younger children (10 and under). It's memorizing the 99 names Of Allah (swt). Originally I worked on one a day but I found once you start to get a very long list for recitation, it becomes more difficult for them to remember the older names and revise the newer ones, so now we do a new name twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) while using the other 3 days simply for review of recent attributes. The concept is very simple, try to learn 1 new name or attribute at a time while constantly re-enforcing the ones we already know.

So on day one you would learn one new attribute. We generally start the session by reciting All the names we know until we get to the new one. Sometimes I jumble the order up a bit just to test them. I found my son(8 Years) did not think through his answers but just said whatever was next on the list so this forces them to think a little harder and really learn the corresponding name, Insha Allah.  I will generally say the Arabic name and they reply with the English equivalent. Sometimes I might say the English name and ask for the Arabic equivalent. This they find harder to do. Then I  generally read a passage describing the new attribute while they colour in the corresponding name. We discuss the new name and it relevance to our lives. That obviously varies depending on the attribute. The colouring allows them to recognise the name in written format, Insha Allah. I have my 8 and 6 year old identify the letters in the name. My 10 year old writes the new name on our 99 name revision board. There is only a few on at a time as its a small white board.

On our revision days we simply review any names on the white board and if we have time the longer list or play a game or other activity. (I will post about that another time Insha Allah).

For reading about the attributes I have 2 books. One is The Most Beautiful Names By Sheikh Tosun Bayrak Al-Jerrahi Al-Halveti and the other is  called The Most Beautiful Names of Allah By Samira Fayyad Khawaldeh. The first one I feel is more indepth, probably too indepth for young children. It also has The names and attributes of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) which I feel is an added bonus. The second is very brief and to be honest I feel some of the names have a weird translation, by that I mean they are not the standard translations we have become accustomed to, for example Al- Haleem is translated as The All-Clement instead of The Forebearing, While Al-Sabur is The Forebearing And Not The Patient as is the more generally accepted translation.Now I know that Allah's Attributes can not be translated with 100% accuracy but if you are use to the more traditionally accepted translations this book is a little awkward. I had my 12 year old go through and write the more traditional translations under each name.

If you don't have access to either of these books there are various websites that give a very brief introduction to the attributes. Just do a web search Insha Allah. My favourite for reading to young kids was actually printed off a website many years ago, they tend to be more simple and to the point.

Insha Allah (if you haven't already) you will enjoy learning about Allah's Asma was-Sifaat as well.

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