A Journey with Arabic 

 رحلة مع العربية

By Haadiya Sajid (19)
Dated: March 2022

My journey with Arabic
I started learning Arabic when I was around seven, with Ustaadh Ibrahim (who later founded Using the Madinah Arabic Reader course and through engaging activities, he helped us develop a love for learning Arabic in the very early stages. We always enjoyed playing the “Bismillah Game” (an Arabic version of “Simon Says”) at the end of every class, as well as joining in on poem-singing sessions or even watching Ice Age in Arabic.

We saw him as not merely a teacher but also a friend, and his enthusiasm and passion for the Arabic language was contagious, Ma Sha Allah, so we never felt like we were being forced to learn anything. All in all, these classes developed our conversational skills a great deal and eventually made us fluent, Alhamdulillah. I personally have a lot of fond memories of those days because these teachers made them so lively, interactive, and joyful.

The depth of Arabic can be judged by the fact that it has two major branches of grammar – “ نحو”, the science dedicated to nouns, and “صرف”, the one dedicated to verbs. Our journey with صرف started when we began attending the “Understanding Quran Courses” organized by Al-Falah Manzil in Islamabad. I and my sister would be the only kids there in a big class of adults, but that didn’t faze us at all because we were so captivated by learning Arabic already, and Al-Falah’s signature “TPI” (Total Physical Interaction) method had us breezing through Arabic grammar and verb forms in no time. We covered the first stage of the course as a family twice, which strengthened our understanding of verb forms (صرف) even more, before doing the second stage in a couple of years’ time. At this point, we were able to understand around 80% of Quranic text directly, and identifying vocabulary and verb forms while reciting the Quran was an amazing experience. We would pick out familiar-looking verbs from our daily reading of the Quran and go through the verb exercises (گردان) for the root word, to apply and retain what we learnt.

Having familiarized with the basics of صرف, we soon started نحو with another Ustaadh, who went through the classical book “Aajurumiyyah الْآجُرُّومِيَّةِ ” with us. We also memorized some parts of the poetized version of the book, and that of تحفة الأطفال and الأصول الثلاثة , which is the traditional Arab way of learning a science. In addition, we started going through Arabic Tafaseer, such as Tafseer as-Sa’di and Tafseer Al-Waseet, which was an eye-opening experience, Alhamdulillah; reading Tafseer in Arabic helps you achieve a completely fresh and up-close relationship of the Quran. The experience with this Ustaadh was a serious one, and majorly that of finally using Arabic as a medium to learn Islamic sciences; he taught us the subjects of Tafseer, Aqeedah and Tajweed in the classic, traditional ways – of course, completely in Arabic. In addition, we embarked upon our Hifdh journeys at around this time as well. Having the understanding of Arabic and its grammar helped us immensely and made it incredibly easy to memorize as well as connect with the Quran, Alhamdulillah.

My parents made learning Arabic a collective journey for the whole family, so even though they didn’t know the language, they kept learning along with us. To reinforce what we learnt, we would play games in Arabic, or specify times in which we would speak only in Arabic (e.g. on road trips or drives). If we got stuck with vocabulary, we would use online resources or note words down to ask our teachers later. We would also get storybooks – and picture books for my younger sister – from Arab countries whenever we could (such as Kalimaat Group’s books), and read them again and again, from stories of Palestine to stories about animals.

One of our favorite shows to watch was Arabian Sindbad, which was structured in such a way that we easily understood plots and dialogues without subtitles. We would listen to Arabic nasheeds on repeat and bond over singing them together, as well as watching Arabic documentaries as a family. Now it’s amusing to think of our excitement to go and converse with strangers in Masjid al-Haram using whatever little we knew of Arabic! It was a very special part of our Umrah trips, to be able to connect with people using our newfound skills. My parents had a hard time though facilitating our global friendships with their newly acquired shaky Arabic 🙂

Teaching is the key to mastery when it comes to language, so we started teaching Arabic to kids around us in our early teens. My sister and I conducted on-site and online courses for kids, going through the same courses that we had studied ourselves, and attempting to give the same experience as our teachers had given us. This was definitely one of the most beneficial experiences for me that boosted my own understanding, confidence, and fluency a great deal.


When I was in my tweens, I free-styled a handmade 4-part workbook series with comic-style illustrations, “العربية للأطفال Al Arabiyyatu lil-Atfal”, for my little sister. I ended up selling photocopies of the series to her friends and more kids in the homeschooling community on demand. Eventually, I re-made the series with a few adjustments to the course as well as design, and made an accompanying set of readers, stickers, and magnets as well. Although I still sell photocopies of these resources, I’m currently looking for someone who can facilitate in getting this much-loved content properly published, in sha Allah! (If you think you can be of help in this regard, please drop me an email 🙂 )

In the recent couple of years, I conducted two runs of conversational Arabic classes for teenagers and adults using a combination of the Al-Arabiyyatu-lil Nashieen course, TPI methods, and some of my self-made resources; Alhamdulillah, I learnt a lot from the experience myself, and was able to help my students achieve basic fluency and a solid base for learning Arabic further.

After learning Fusha (classical) Arabic for all these years, I’ve started dabbling in other Aamiyyah dialects as well. I managed to give myself a basic understanding of the Lebanese dialect through social media, especially during the worldwide surge in Palestinian activism in 2021, by going through Arab creators’ posts and content. I’m grateful for this journey that made me passionate about this beautiful language and I’m looking forward to many more years of learning it and passing it on to others, in sha Allah!

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Posted by on March 31, 2022 in Arabic Arena


Education: A grave concern

When our time in this world has passed
In our grave, three questions will be asked
About our Deen, our Nabi and our Lord,
On them will depend the punishment or reward.

B.S., M.S., PhD, top grades,
Will they help answer the questions of the grave?
A status in Dunya we so crave, 
Forgetting the truth: we are slaves.

Time is our most precious gift
Yet in its wasting, we are so swift
The education system, we must admit,
Is the one causing this big rift.

We opt to learn math, bio and physics
But what about our Aqeedah basics?
Are we well aware of the Quranic ethics? 
And have any idea of the Muslim relics?

We know all about the Romans and the Greeks
We have rote learned the ten top peaks
To ace an exam we’re taught techniques
But a sentence of Arabic can we speak?

When it comes to Fiqh, we grow skeptic,
Being told, it only concerns a cleric.
We’re required to read that English classic,
Rather than Seerah or Hadith – how tragic!

We know not how to mend, sew or cook,
Our learning is confined to the textbook,
It seems that we have hardly understood  
The value of Islamic lifestyle and outlook.

Our ‘education’ becomes our disability,
Distorting our purpose and identity. 
To enemy’s plan, our conformity
Can only be labeled as insanity!

Our learning isn’t priortiesed well enough:
First Dunya, then Deen: is that not a bluff?
We’ve lost the way of Sahabah and Salaf,
Who were clear about ‘ilm and its hadaf. *

It’s time, now, to fix our errors,
And follow our pious predecessors:
Let’s put Deen first in all matters, 
High so shall fly Islam’s banners!

*Hadaf  is an Arabic word for goal, target. The Goal of seeking ‘ilm is to produce Allah’s Khashiyyah in one’s heart and to lead towards righteous ‘amal in all spheres of life.

(This is an old family effort of ours that was published in the Homeworks magazine many years ago under the pen name of Aneesa Qamaruddin).

Homeworks magazine is a unique resource presenting the Muslim perspective on education and examples from the local homeschooling community of Pakistan. It is available at Dawah Books:

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Posted by on January 3, 2022 in Uncategorized


How to take exams as a homeschooler

This is a common concern among homeschoolers as the children grow up. The following presentation covers:

  • The bigger picture
  • Is it necessary to take exams?
  • What factors to consider?
  • Details about taking exam from Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) as a homeschooler
    • Benefits, Challenges and Myths
    • Choice of subjects
    • Fee structure
    • Acceptability
    • How to register?
    • How to prepare?

Exams while Homeschooling(FBISE)


How to assess my child’s performance when I’m homeschooling

Homeschooling parents usually worry whether their children are learning enough and performing satisfactorily. This is because there is no system of standardized testing for them and many things don’t seem to be quantifiable.

While parents around you may be showing result cards and certificates of their school going children, you may be feeling at loss at how to judge your child’s performance and how to maintain your sanity with all this pressure.

The following presentation covers:

  • What are the assessment methods?
  • How assessment in schools is made?
  • How to assess with homeschooling?
  • Easy indicators of learning

You can view the presentation here


My Rabb

Recently, I came across a talk where the speaker highlighted that studying the Beautiful Names and Attributes of Allah is one of the methods to face the Fitnah of Dajjal, as this greatly strengthens your Imaan. Made perfect sense Ma Sha Allah. So it occurred to me that one of the names we should study in the current times must be embedded in Surah Al Kahf. I decided to find out which Name that would be, and realised that it was the Beautiful Attribute “Rabb” which was very frequently occurring in this Surah. 37 times to my count! It occurs with different pronouns for example Rabbi, Rabbuhum, Rubbuna, Rabbuhu etc. I realised another unique thing about this Beautiful Name: that it never occurs with “Al” in the whole Quran, and that is why probably many people do not even realize that this is one of the Beautiful Names, rather one of the most encompassing and critical one. The next most frequent Attribute in Al Kahf is Allah and Ilah (which signify that our Lord is the only one who is worthy of worship and unconditional obedience).

Alhamdulillah the past week, we shifted our focus on studying and discussing the Beautiful Name Ar-Rabb, and trying to brainstorm how this is connected with the Fitnah of Dajjal. Some of the key points we discussed were:

Ar-Rabb signifies many meanings, some of which are:

  1. The Creator (Khaliq) – He alone has created you, and that is not without a purpose.
  2. The Master or Owner (Maalik) – You are the slave and He is the Master. He completely owns you and can do as He wishes.
  3. The Sustainer and Provider (Raaziq) – He provides for all your needs.
  4. The Mentor (Murabbi) – the one who lovingly takes you from one stage to another, providing just the right experiences at the right time. You may not like all of those experiences, but they are not without a reason.
  5. The one who rectifies and corrects (Musleh) – when you go wrong, He brings you back to the right path, sometimes through trials and tests.

Some natural conclusions of these facts should be that:

  • My Rabb is enough for me, as a supporter, helper, provider and friend.
  • I am nothing without my Rabb.
  • My Rabb is Raheem.
  • All my actions should be for my Rabb – I should achieve Ikhlas for such a Wonderful Master.
  • Nothing happens in the Universe without the will of my Rabb, who is also the Rabb of Al-Aalameen (all worlds).
  • At all times, I have to remain satisfied with the decisions of my Rabb for me and my family, as our Caretaker is Perfect in wisdom.

Possible connection with the Fitnah of Dajjal:

The fitnah of Dajjal will also happen by the will and wisdom of Ar-Rabb. But Dajjal will claim that he is rabb of the world – that he creates and provides provisions, that he rectifies the problems of the world, that he is the master of everyone’s fate! And then he will proclaim that he is the one who should be worshiped and obeyed. So he will first claim to be rabb and then claim to be ilah. No surprise then that Surah Al Kahf is filled with the Attribute Rabb and Ilah! It implicitly asks us to strengthen our belief in Allah being the only Rabb and Ilah to the stage that it becomes a part of our blood. A belief of heart so strong that enables us to deny what the eye will see – that is the feats of Dajjal. Not only to deny what the whole world will believe at that time, but also to be patient in bearing the consequences of that denying. The consequence of hardship and destruction which will be imposed upon those who deny Dajjal. This also will be a trial of MY RABB, and I will have to be satisfied with MY RABB in that situation! It is not an easy thing to achieve.

In the times of a trial, the greatest achievement is: Rabb say raazi rehna (to remain happy and satisfied with whatever Rabb chooses). Imagine if you are not prepared and protected against the greatest fitnah of history, how will you achieve this at that time?

In the times of ordinary trials, we are allowed to adopt all halal means to help us face that trial. For example, if we fall sick we are allowed to seek medical help and adopt safety measures. But I think the catch is that at the time of Dajjal, the means that people will be forced to adopt will not be halal (although they may appear to be so) and thus it will require to kind of go against all that programming of your brain and stick to the hard choices which will apparently look like Hell but will in essence be like Heaven, believing all along that your Rabb will suffice for you.

His Fitnah would be so sugar coated, that detecting it and staying away from it will be the biggest trial for believers since the creation of Adam until the Day of Judgment! No wonder that Sahaba- the strongest believers of the Ummah of Muhammad sallallhu alayhi wassalam were afraid of facing this fitnah and their expressions used to change on  its mention.

Imagine how unprepared, uninformed and vulnerable, yet how callous, indifferent and over-confident we are in comparison!

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Posted by on April 23, 2020 in Quran with Heart


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Studying the Beautiful Names and Attributes of Allah

The importance and virtue of a field of knowledge is directly proportional to the subject matter covered in that field. For that matter, which field of knowledge can be more important and virtuous than the study of Al Asmaa wal Sifaat, as the subject matter here is Allah Almighty Himself – the Lord of the Universe.

Very unfortunately, this is somehow a neglected field of knowledge in our part of the world. People either do not understand the critical importance of this subject or they do not know how to go about it, many times at a loss for resources on the subject. At the most, the subject is usually “covered” by memorising a list of Beautiful Names and it is thought to be sufficient effort and learning to have achieved this. No doubt, memorising Allah’s Beautiful Names is a blessed activity, but certainly that is not enough.

In order to understand our Creator, our Master better, we need to delve deeper into the meanings of each Beautiful Name and see what are the implications of each in our lives. What does each Name demand from me? How can I perfect my Tawheed through understanding and accepting all the Beautiful Attributes of my Lord? How is each Name different from the other? Why are certain Names mentioned at the end of certain ayaat? What is that connection which can help me better understand, accept and implement the message of that ayah? Surely, nothing is random in the Book of Allah. Everything has a place and a purpose. It’s up to us to decode and enjoy the beauty of Allah’s Kalaam, of course by referring to authentic explanations, but also by using Tadabbur of our own. The more you engage the faculties of your heart and mind in trying to understand the Kalaam of Allah, the more personalised the experience becomes and thus something that you truly internalise and cherish. All this happens by the will of Allah, as no achievement is of your own.

و ما توفيقي إلا بالله عليه توكلت و إليه أنيب

Sad indeed is the affair of that slave who has no interest in knowing about the qualities of his Master. And when he doesn’t strive for that, he fails to establish a relationship from his end. Obedience to the Master then becomes a burden  instead of a pleasure.

Some ideas on how to cover this subject:

Al Asma ul Husna has been a subject close to my heart Alhamdulillah. Though I have made little effort, but whatever little we managed to do greatly benefited us Alhamdulillah.

The first round was done some ten years ago when H and A were around 8 and 9 years old. We used a simple and concise book, which was the only resource I could find at that time. The girls used to take notes and it was really heartwarming when I rediscovered those notes

Another round was done by Allah’s Mercy about 4-5 years ago, where we were able to use better resources and methods of learning eg self developed worksheets. By that time my third one was in the age bracket 8-9. We were blessed to study a few Names in detail in a circle of friends Alhamdulillah. The sessions turned out to be interactive and I hope the children will carry good memories like I do.

During the recent lockdown, we picked up the subject again. Now all three are Alhamdulillah able to delve deeper in understanding and discussion, so the resources and methodology is again evolving. Note taking is involved again. We try to make dua with the Name we are studying and consciously think about that Sifah and repeat it during the day.

The resources we have used in our journey are listed below. I hope that the ideas and experiences shared here will inspire every reader to start the study of this most beautiful and blessed field of knowledge in sha Allah.

Where to start: If you are wondering from where to start, a roadmap can be:
To cover the Names mentioned in Al-Fatiha, then Ayat ul Kursi, then Surah Al Ikhlas, Al-Falaq and An Naas….. Basically the oft repeated potions of the Quran in our daily routine. Then you can move on to the last Ayaat of Surah Al Hashr and to the Names mentioned in daily azkaar etc. (The same strategy can be used for covering the Tafseer of Quran with children, that is, to start from the portions which are to be recited on daily basis. Here is an excellent roadmap for this: My Quranic Cornerstone)


1. Who is Allah? By Umm Abdur Rahman Sakina (English, IIPH) — an easy to read book for young adults and adults. Also covers important basic principles on the topic.

‎2. فقہُ الاسماءِ الحسنیٰ
Fiqh ul Asma il Husna by Shaikh Abdur Razzaq Al-Badr (Arabic, Urdu, ICAR) — an excellent scholarly compilation on the subject referring to classical sources. Suitable for adults.

‎3. تیرے نام تیری پہچان
Teray Naam Teri Pehchan by Sajida Naheed & Bushra Tasneem (Urdu, Muslim Publications) — a beautiful book which explains 32 selected Names in detail, with action points at the end of each discussion. For adults and youth.

‎4. بچوں کے لئے شرح اسمائے حسنیٰ
Sharh ul Asma il Husna for children (Urdu, Bait ul ilm) – brief explanation, with stories duas and lessons learnt based on each Name. — 3 vols
Nice concept and appealing format for young children, but attention is needed towards authenticity of narrations, which are referenced but not graded.

‎5. آسان اسمائے حسنیٰ
Asaan Asmaa-e-husna (Urdu, Bachon ka kitaab ghar) — a compact and doable book for young children and beginners.

6. The Most Beautiful Names of Allah – Gift of A Lifetime By Samira Fayyad Khawaldeh (English, Goodword)
I used this book with elder two when they were small, because I didn’t know of any other resource. It’s concise and doable though I’m not a fan of Goodword publishers.

7. Explanation of Allah’s Beautiful Names and Attributes by Tim Humble (videos on youtube)

8. A writing exercise for small children: 99 Names of Allah workbook (1)


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Mar 11, 2020: Upon waking up today, I took the kids’ tablet, their common cell phone, put them in a cupboard, locked it and put the key in my pocket. After breakfast, I muted all my WhatsApp groups, turned all its notifications off, pushed the WA shortcut away from the main screen, and put my phone on a far off shelf. I plan to inform close friends and family members to call me (preferably on my landline) if there’s something urgent, and not to expect a quick response on WA. Enough is enough!

For the past couple of weeks I have found my head full of random thoughts during Salah and kept getting distracted when reading the Quran. It became a challenge to revise the memorized portions and recite them. I have not taken the initiative of calling my family and have missed on following up some work related issues. My kids have struggled to gain my attention and at dinner the other day, I realized that I needed some more kitchen time. Things are getting serious! Obviously I need better time, thought and spiritual management, and some sanity in my life. And so do my kids, by reducing their screen times.

In the afternoon, I found my youngest daughter digging up the forgotten badminton racquets and playing on her own. Her eldest sister joined soon. I found the middle child working on her Urdu story-writing. I found myself in somewhat better mental health.

Mar 30, 2020: Two weeks later, we have made it a habit to lock all our devices away at the day start, until after lunch when we all have an hour of social media time (Instagram for H, Twitter for A, G-chat for H2). Only essential calls for Hifz recitation or office-work are taken/made in the lockdown hours. Ideally the devices are put into lockdown again until after dinner, when everyone can have another episode at social media. The second half of the day is still a little bumpy but at least there is an effort and everyone knows the rules. We have fixed our study schedule for the first half of the day and Alhamdulillah have been following it diligently and making steady progress like a good homeschooling family 🙂  This has also helped us to indulge in better activities, for example badminton, knitting, book reading, writing, baking and crafting have been rediscovered, all with an air of more serenity in the household. Actually, we all are enjoying the rediscovered sanity and freedom from social media!

I avoided using WhatsApp for the longest possible time – I wasn’t there until 2017, having switched to smartphone only in 2016. I didn’t turn out to be a fan even after joining the platform. Some of my grudges are:

  • There is no logout! (MY BIGGEST GRUDGE)
  • Can’t open two chat windows at a time.
  • No sent message editing feature (like in Skype)
  • It has an addictive feel to it. So many times you find yourself lost for no reason and scrolling without purpose. I call it the WhatsApp Jinn that has possessed us. Many times you open WhatsApp for messaging or calling someone, but before you get to it, the inbox messages confront you and make you forget what you had to do!
  • The forwarding craze has great potential of overcoming good sense – after all, it feels good to come across as a well-informed, well-educated visionary.
  • It has an impulsive nature because of the Read Receipts and other features, and haste usually makes waste. Its demanding nature makes you ignore your real surroundings and tasks. I wish we could concentrate as much in Salah!
  • It gives you a superficial feeling of being connected while you may practically be missing out on more important aspects like voice-calling your loved ones especially parents and siblings.
  • Precious ideas written as posts easily get lost as they have very short lifespan.
  • WA groups are a mess, because the admin has literally no role other than creating the group and adding people. No function to moderate, approve or delete messages can cause social disasters at times.
  • New members can’t see the chat history even if the admin wants them to.
  • You can’t inactivate a group and re-activate it as and when required.

Honestly, discussion forums used to be so much better in every respect! Categorized, purposeful, long-life discussions. Or even Facebook was not that crazy. WhatsApp and its likes – Instagram, Twitter etc have only caused information overload and social disruption. More evil than good, for sure.

So how can you become #WhatsAppWise? 

Other than adopting the lockdown strategy, there are some other tricks that work to make you a smarter and wiser user – one who enslaves social media instead of becoming its slave. Try these:

  • Make a daily schedule for social media: 1-2 hours of usage is more than enough.
  • Make your daily schedule for other real-life tasks so that you know that you have other things to do in life 🙂
  • At non-scheduled hours take only important WA calls e.g from parents and parents-in-law.
  • Keep study and work totally separate from WA. Skype is a better option.
  • Put a password on WA, push it to a secondary screen, mute all its notifications…. anything that makes you do more taps to reach there and makes it less visible.
  • Many a time you will think of doing something on WA during the lockdown times. Make a list of those tasks on paper and refer to it next time you open WA, before opening any inbox messages. For example, my task list from one day was: ask Bro about dua writing for mom, send craft ideas to  cousins, inquire Jv’s health, check BL progress, call FR. It really helped!
  • Tell your friends about your new resolutions: build some pressure for your own conformation!
  • Make your Last Seen visible 😉 Don’t try to hide your over-usage.
  • Forward only those posts which you feel have some real value for someone. Ask yourself this question before forwarding: will it make any difference to the recipient if they do not know this? Don’t try to compete with others in breaking latest news.
  • Forward only verified news if it’s important enough to be forwarded.
  • When it comes to Islamic messages, resolve to forward only the authentic ones. For this you should have some base knowledge to judge a post and it’s always a good idea to research or ask a more knowledgeable person. Realize the gravity of circulating false information on Islam. It’s not a light matter!!
  • You’ll notice that when you start forwarding carefully, you’ll receive lesser forwards too.
  • When you feel like writing your thoughts on a topic, BLOG! You can copy/paste or refer to the post in WA, but please don’t waste all that wisdom to be lost after a few days in the WA jungle!
  • Turn to Google or related websites before turning to WA for answering your queries.
  • If you have a religion related query, do some research on websites run under scholars like or, instead of posing the question in a WA chat/group. Believe me, you’ll feel more educated and assured in much lesser time, while also saving other people’s time.
  • Avoid getting into arguments on groups….it can spiral out of control and eat up your precious time and mental energy. Find better things to do.
  • Refrain from responding needlessly, especially on bigger groups where each message lands in a dozen inboxes. I mean, value other people’s time as much as you value yours.
  • Reply to people in private whenever possible to reduce message pollution on groups.
  • Exit unnecessary groups, especially high traffic ones.
  • Turn off WIFI on your phone for as long as possible, eg in the night hours, and turn it on only when you are ready to receive messages. This is the only hack for WA not providing a logout feature. Some people diligently follow a schedule for wifi hours, and it works perfectly for them.
  • Call people, instead of messaging, whenever possible. This will save a lot of time and keep things easy.
  • If you want to share a nice link/image/post with many people, just post it on your status, instead of forwarding individually.
  • Sometimes, deleting WA from your phone and using only the web version from your computer may provide a befitting solution.
  • Never open WA on computer when working or studying.

All in all, use social media and cellphones like a fitnah (trial) – carefully and sparingly instead of indulging into them like a pastime or a habit or a luxury. As a teacher said: “The Bani Israel were inflicted by frogs which contaminated everything around them, doesn’t it feel like we have been infested by cellphones in the same way?”

So yes, you can reclaim your sanity and #BeWhatsAppWise! It’s not that hard after all.



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Artfully Yours

It’s humbling to acknowledge the self-taught artist that my middle one turned out to be (besides a budding writer). This is a child who learnt at her pace and with her wish. She was a reluctant learner to start with and hated being pressured (see her earliest piece on learning here), but Alhamdulillah dua and homeschooling brought out the best in her. It was definitely not an easy journey but surely a rewarding one.

So Cheers! all those who have reluctant learners out there…… just be patient with them after you’ve exerted yourself in dua and all possible efforts, and they will make you happy in sha Allah. All praise belongs to Allah alone.

And no, she has not failed the standardized testing :). She did, however, turn out to be quite a critic.

For more assurance on self-paced learning and homeschooling, visit her blog Aymun Thinks

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Posted by on March 31, 2020 in Artistic Adventures, Homeschooling


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Revival of Iqbal’s poetry by homeschoolers

Revival of Iqbal’s poetry by homeschoolers

Alhamdulillah, when it comes to Urdu we have come a long way. And it has been happy learning 🙂

Also see

Must mention an excellent resource on the subject: ERDC books “Mera Iqbal” – a series of five wonderful, lively and creative workbooks. Must haves for the subject.

Hanaa's Blog

Recently, a group of us homeschooling kids (age range 5-18) have been studying some of the great poet Allama Iqbal‘s poems. We take on one poem every week. Here’s how we do it:

We have a WhatsApp group which is kind of like an online class – more like a study group. After a new poem is announced, the participants choose activities for themselves, for example:

  • reading the poem aloud (a few of the kids really are brilliant at this, rhythm, echo and all)
  • copying the poem in writing
  • finding difficult words’ meanings from an Urdu dictionary (no Mr.Google support!)
  • doing some artwork based on the poem
  • coming up with the poem’s central idea or important points
  • relating the poem’s message with relevant Ayaat or Ahaadith
  • extending towards scientific knowledge if possible (eg. in the poem ‘Makra and Makkhi’)
  • video presentation in the form of puppet show or digital…

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Posted by on March 31, 2020 in Homeschooling, Urdu Odyssey


For the love of letters!

Haadiya Sajid, 17

I’ve always had a thing for letters – I’ve always been fascinated by their curves and strokes for as long as I can remember. In the winter of 2015, my mom’s friend, who is a professional graphic designer, gave us a short lesson on typography which really boosted my interest in lettering. I began doodling different fonts everywhere, and I stared at Times New Roman until I’d memorized the shape of every letter and all the ratios. I lettered a lot of quotes and random words all over my sketchbooks, just teaching myself by studying the type and then copying it.

Here’s some of my embarrassingly old type work, from back when I didn’t own any brush pens… just to give a little demo on how I started off:

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When I started using social media avidly in 2018, I discovered the world of brush lettering and I was absolutely fascinated. I didn’t have any brush pens then, so I would just watch brush lettering videos for hours on end and I imitated the look with a regular pen (later I found out that this was a separate art called faux calligraphy!) Later that year, I finally got my first set of brush pens and by then, I’d watched enough videos and done enough faux calligraphy that I was able to start lettering the alphabet almost straight away as I held the pens.

After that, I was hooked. I bought more and more brush pens and experimented with different styles and designs, continuing to teach myself shading, connecting and blending. Lettering is super addictive, and I can never get enough of it. I started integrating my hand lettering with my mandala art, art journaling and scrapbooking. I still do a bit of typography here and there, but mostly I’m obsessed with brush lettering. Recently, my younger sisters (16 and 11) also started brush lettering as I rubbed off on them 🙂 Here’s some of my recent work and theirs.

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A lot of people started asking me to teach them brush lettering, or where/how I’d learnt it from. It was actually tricky to teach anyone because I kind of had no idea exactly how I’d done it myself or where to start.

So when I finally decided to conduct a hand lettering workshop, I had to do a bit of research and learnt a lot of basic terms that I was previously totally unaware of because of being self-taught. Funnily enough, I knew how to hand letter without knowing the 7 basic strokes or the fancy terminologies. But the basic strokes were definitely a very good way for beginners to get a grip on transitioning from thick to thin and vice versa.

I was quite nervous about the outcome of the workshop – I was teaching formally for the first time and had around 10 people ranging in age from 7 to 30-something – but Alhamdulillah, it turned out to be a success. Along with brush lettering basics, I also gave a quick lesson on composing quotes and typography, and giving tips on how to place and size words for maximum impact and visual appeal. I compiled folders for all the participants with practice sheets for letters, basic strokes, dot grid paper, and their very own brush pen. As it was my first time, I underestimated the time we’d need and I had to drop out a few things, but I was happy that at the end, all the participants had lettered a quote on their own, a bookmark on which they’d lettered by themselves, and hopefully a new-found passion for letters!

You can view more of my art on my Instagram profile: @h._scribbles .

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Posted by on March 20, 2020 in Artistic Adventures, Homeschooling


Through the eyes of a Muslimah


Heart, Homeschooling, Happiness

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Aymun Thinks

The creative journey of a homeschooled graduate