Friday, 28 July 2017

Summer holiday 2017

Bismillahir Rahmaneer Rahim  In The Name of Allah the Most Merciful the Most Beneficial

Alhamdulillah the summer holiday has started in London. Although we can't really call it a summer as it is raining a lot which means I don't need to water the garden. As Muslims,we say we are content in every situation alhamdulillah. I have been looking forward to some break from daily school runs. Our holiday started on Friday 21st of July. So we have started with a lovey picnic at the park on last Friday. We had pizza, chips, egg noodles, fish fingers, cakes and biscuits with drinks, alhamdulillah. We are so blessed to have some beautiful parks around our area. One of the reasons I feel so blessed to be a Londoner, is the sheer amount of parks in this city alhamdulillah. 

I see an unhealthy trend of parents getting so stressed about what to do during the holiday season. It seems like we as parents are obliged to entertain our kids 24/7. This attitude creates a sense of entitlement in our kids. I see lot of parents spending a fortune on expensive holidays abroad, summer activities run by local organisations which costs a lot ( given we have three kids to pay for) and so on. Our new generation is unfortunately so engulfed with so much (useless/meaningless) activities, they miss out the joy of childhood. Childhood supposed to be a time of carefree, unstructured games and plays. They are suppose to roam around the nature and enjoy the environment around them. Soak up the sounds and smells around them. But how many children in this postmodern era really enjoy their childhood? Most of the young children around me are plugged into their gadgets. They are so hooked on to their electronic devices that they look like zombies. As adults, you literally have to take the gadget from them to make them do their daily tasks such as eating, getting ready and so on. When I am on tube, I see the same trend followed by adults, so lost in their phones and tablets. But its not all doom and gloom. We as parents can make a big difference by Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala's grace. We are in control of their gadgets. We must confess that it is us who provided these weapons of great distraction to them and to us. So it is us who need to do something before it goes out of hand. There should be a balance. We should not let technology rule our daily lives and take over. 

The change starts within and that's why I believe I  must start digitally detoxing myself first. I have a weakness for Facebook and I was hooked on to my phone because of that addiction. Alhamdulillah I have uninstalled the Facebook, Instagram, Viber apps on my phone and hey presto! I am not staring at my phone that much anymore. 

I am cutting back on screen time. Our kids have to buy their TV time with homework. They have really surprised me yesterday by tiding up the whole house while I was having my afternoon nap. Moments like this makes me so content as a mum of these three precious bundles of joy alhamdulillah. Most of the time, they are playing with their toys ( to be precise, Legos and cars) , playing in the garden or at parks, socializing with family and friends. They are also reading books, writing their own books with illustrations. I am also reading books with them. I am trying to know them by having meaningful conversations with them. I am trying to have more one to one time with them ( not an easy task if you have three very different personalities). Trust me, kids really appreciate these quality time.

My daughter and me had a great time shopping at Asian lane. We initially started with the intention to do window shopping but as ussual ended up buying a beautiful outfit to wear for a family wedding in sha Allah. I really enjoy our girly outings. Boys hate shopping aimlessly, I understand. So we love our girl time while boys have a great home time playing wii games with their dad. 

Please let them be bored. Boredom is a great way to find passions in life. I cant remember having a boring, dull day as a child. Childhood was so full of exciting adventure for me. I can't recall my parents planning my day to day activities for me. As long as I did my daily homework, I was free to do whatever I wanted. Alhamdulillah for having a magical childhood which I will be cherishing for the rest of my life in sha Allah and I hope to relive the snippets of that life when I am in heaven In sha Allah.

Back to our summer holiday adventures...
Kids enjoying their blackberries they collected themselves
So far we have been to couple of picnic trips to the parks around us with friends and family. We also been to the couple of museums around South Kensington area which you can easily guess, I believe. Alhamdulillah I managed to drive the kids to the other side of river Thames for the first time. Given I have started driving quite recently. this has been a big achievement for me alhamdulillah. We went to see a very close friend of mine. Kids are also very close to her kids too. When she moved from our area in 2015, I was in tears. I don't like saying good bye to loved ones but the older I am getting, it seems like a very normal part of my life. So please enjoy the moments with your family and friends. We don't know how long we can enjoy each others company. But at the same time, be hopeful that if you love someone for Allah's sake, the friendship will last forever in sha Allah and we can eventually be together in the heaven in sha Allah. So there will be a happy ending by His grace. Having said that, during the holiday, please try your best to socialize with family and friends even if they live far away. Make an intention and Allah will make it happen in sha Allah . 

Alhamdulillah I took the kids to my weekly halaqa. My beloved teacher told the story of our father Adam (Alaihes Salam) and Iblees ( Satan). Although they knew the story, it was great to listen to the story again. We adults also learnt some great lessons from the story alhamdulillah. Some lessons kids have learnt from the story are:

  • Never be proud ( due to your race, colour, upbringing, wealth etc and humble yourself in front your Rabb Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. He sees our hearts and souls not our physical appearance.
  • We may make mistake just like our father Adam( Alaihes Salam) and mother Hawwa ( Alaihes Salam). But as long as we say sorry to Allah and do our best not to make the same mistake, we are forgiven my our Rabb. He will also help us to live a good life on this earth and in hereafter.
  • Never be like Satan. He blamed Allah subhanau wa ta'ala for his arrogance towards Adam (Alaihes Saalam). He also had the audacity to challenge Allah that he will lead human races to hell fire, which is his ultimate destination due to his sheer disobedience. 
  • Satan is very ancient. He knows how we behave. He know what button to push to make us do wrong things. But don't be afraid of him. As long as we believe and listen to Allah by holding to His rope, the Qur'an and Sunnah of our beloved Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam, we will be saved from his evil plans in sha Allah.

When we came home, we discussed about the lessons we have learnt. Kids are into Lego ninja go and Star wars. So I use the characters and stories from their favourite programmes to reflect on these stories from the Qur'an. One of them told me that our ancestors are from the heaven so we beong to heaven too. In sha Allah we will go back to our ultimate home, the heaven .

So here are some photos of our summer adventures so far...

The Natural History museum entrance is being refurbished so we had to use the back entrance.

The blue whale skeleton ( the biggest mammal in the world) Reminds me of our prophet Yunus ( Jonah) and his time inside the tummy of a giant fish 
I was really excited to see the skeleton of the whale as it is a real skeleton. Apparently the dinosaur one wasn't real. 

This giant sequoia slice was taken from 100 metre tall Mark Twin tree. It dates back to the beginning of Islamic era.
Robina the Robot from Japan ( as a sample of intelligent assistant)

Beautiful ( but I am guessing quite an uncomfortable) dress made out of straw
At Hyde park ( number of statues reminding us the imperial past of Britain)
Can you spot the Muslim guy with the camel?
One delicious dessert at Creams. Normally I avoid going to Creams because of loud and inappropriate music videos on the screen. Alhamdulillah the Creams (East London) we have been to had Sami Yusuf nasheed on and Zootropolis film on the screen , can't complain, life is sweet!
Alhamdulillah so far we have had a lovely break. As you can see, we can have lots of fun without breaking the bank. Alhamdulillah London has a lot to offer. Parks and museums are great places to create some beautiful memories with family and friends. And most of the time these places are free. Try to go early to the parks, then you can enjoy the playgrounds properly. I love going early as I can enjoy my swing time alhamdulillah. Also having people around as well as visiting family and friends are a great way to spend the holiday and keep the relations flourishing in sha Allah. Hope I have inspired you to have great fun in sha Allah. I am looking forward to hear what you have been up to ! Thanks a lot for reading my posts. Wish you a great summer In sha Allah! Happy holidays ! 

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