Ramadan and some news of the campus vivant’e

The last days of Ramadan are here… spirituality can be felt everywhere, also during work at our campus, subhanallah.
We are approaching the end of the school year, many things need still to be done and this period is special and full of sentimentality and memories, because our first generation of pupils will leave us soon after nine years at the campus vivant’e, inchaallah.
I am happy to share with you here some pictures, new videos and links to see more of our work.

some insight in our work at the campus vivant’e:

more on facebook, our blog and on our youtube channel.

Are you looking for a good cause to give your Zakaat to?
Please donate to the campus vivant’e!
and help us to continue the important work of our holistic center of education and growth for the Berber people of Ait Bouguemez

write me or click here for more information on how to donate! 

Jazaak Allahu khairan!

Blessings of the early hours

The very earliest hours of the day carry a lot of blessings… subhanallah.

In Ramadan I can feel this more than any other time during the year.
We rise up long before the first light on the eastern horizon appears…
actually after only 4-5 hours of sleep, at about 03.00 a.m.,
to take our breakfast, the Suhoor, before we then pray Fajr and begin to fast until the evening.

Many people go after eating and praying back to sleep until the sun shines…
but it was recommended by the Prophet (sas) to stay awake after the morning prayer, to read Qur’an and to take benefit of the blessings of these early hours.

And this is so good and so true!
Yes, it needs some self-discipline, but if you manage to fight your inner little bastard (your weakness/lower nafs’/Schweinehund), to resist the lure of your warm bed and begin to read Qur’an until the golden morning light appears, God blesses you with a very clear and fresh mind, with deeper understanding of His words and with vitality throughout the whole day, inchaallah.

I’ve tested it now several times:
I went back to sleep at 4.00 a.m. because I thought I have to catch up some sleep to avoid sleep-deprivation, thinking that my body would need this, because I normally sleep more than 7 hours to feel well.
But everytime I went back to bed in the early morning, I dreamed strange things, I woke then up with a very uncomfortable heavy feeling, like being smashed, mashaallah. And I always felt tired, irritable and quickly exhausted during the whole day, in the need of lots of sleep and with very low energy.

On the contrary to when I stay up after Suhoor, I lways feel very quiet and full of joy and light, being able to read Qur’an with a clear mind until nearly sunrise, ahamdulillah.
Then I often go into our garden to enjoy the work in the fresh air, accompanied by the singing of the birds, subhanallah. Or I sit in my studio, doing some office-work – much more productive than later in the day.
And the surprising thing is that I do not feel tired or exhausted, even later in the day… I barely need a sleep in the afternoon and feel quickly refreshed after just a little power-nap.

To me, it really feels as if Allah acknowledges and rewards our worship and positive intention with a boost of energy and improved efficiency during this sacred month, subhanallah… despite the common scientific opinion on how much sleep we normally need, He gives us strength and endurance.
Try it out, you won’t regret…

as people say: “The early bird catches the worm” (Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund)

as Allah says in the Qur’an:

“So be patient over what they say and exalt [ Allah ] with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting; and during periods of the night [exalt Him] and at the ends of the day, that you may be satisfied.” (20:130) 

“Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.” (17:78) 

great read on this: Khurram Murad “In the early hours”.

wishing you very peaceful and blessed last nights of this Ramadan!
salaam aleikoum.

Striving for righteousness

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Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.

(Quran 2:177)

Mothering and spiritual growth

I am willing to change. I am ready to re-educate myself –

as a mother of five children, subhanallah, with such big age differences, from eleven months to fifteen years old, I have to be very flexible in my thinking and acting.
Sometimes I sit there, eyes and mouth wide open, asking myself how to respond to all the different needs, thinking how can it be?
there is the little one growing her first teeth, and there is the oldest one growing a beard, mashaallah. And in between, there are so many different phases of development, so many different questions, moods, areas of interest from toddler to puberty age…
some of the things are kind of repeating and well known, others are very very new to me.

Especially with the oldest one I recognize that time for educating actually is over… now it is time to trust, to have confidence, to let go.
Time to stop myself, hold me back (in fears, advices and doubts), to observe, and finally to enjoy the fruit of previous years of mothering…

As Jesper Juul so beautifully writes in his books “It is time to become a sparrings-partner, a source of feedback, trust and encouragement, someone who clarifies the rules, limits and boundaries of life without hurting or commanding.”
That’s what I am actually learning.
Sometimes this is painful, sometimes full of joy, but in any case, it is never boring and full of possibilities of growth for myself, together at the side of our eldest, alhamdulillah.
Thank you my dear son, tbarakallah!


very good book from Jesper Juul for parents of teenagers 

“My spiritual growth often comes to me in strange ways. It can be an incident with a child, a chance meeting or an accident, a dis-ease or the loss of a loved one. Something inside urges me to follow, or I am forcefully prevented from living in the same old way. It is a little different for each person. I grow spiritually when I accept responsibility for my life. This gives me the inner power to make the changes in myself that I need to make.” (according to Louise Hay)

Spiritual growth is not about changing others.
Spiritual growth happens to the person who is ready to step out of the victim role,
into forgiveness, and into a new life.

None of this happens overnight. It is an unfolding process. Loving myself opens the door, and being willing to change really helps to be a better parent too. Inchaallah.
On to new adventures!

Friday’s Couscous and more

In Morocco, it is a wide spread tradition to eat Couscous on Friday noon, together with guests and family – that’s what we also do most Fridays, and here I share some pics of the meal and preparation at grandpa’s house.
Happy blessed Friday to you!

The Prophet Mohammed (sas) advised others to eat together as he never ate alone when he had the opportunity to eat with another person:

When a food possesses four qualities it becomes perfect:
being halal, eating it with other people, having started with the name of God, and having ended with the praise of God. 39

 

    

He (sas) also said:

The best food in the eyes of God is that food which has many hands (i.e. many people) involved in eating it.  40

Eating food with people brings about abundance.
One person’s food portion is enough for two people, and two people’s food portion is enough for four.  41

And here you find some recipes on how to make the real steamed moroccan couscous and another quicker way.
Yummy! Bismillah!