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Summertime: Keeping It Fun and Productive

ImageAlthough summer is still officially a few weeks away, many of these ideas require advance planning, so let's get cracking! Remember not to stay idle when the time is there. Although it is very tempting to stay cooped up in our beds all day, sometimes doing productive things can open our eyes to new experiences in which we can grow upon. Take the time to give back in whatever way you can, and enjoy the summer ahead!

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Helping clean up the mosque is one way to be productive this summer.

School is out. Air fare is high. The sun is out. Summer is almost here!

It's usual that most of us get really excited that we can bum around all day, those of us who don't have work or summer school anyway, and then after about a week, we wonder…what next?

For those who are staying put in their hometowns, there are many things that can be planned to do in the community to make your summer productive and fun-filled!

Giving back to your local center is a great idea to start off with. Organize a Center Clean-up Day, where everyone gets together and helps to clean up the high corners and untouched rooms of the center. Make it fun by dividing into teams and seeing which team can collect the most trash bags, or finish cleaning their area the fastest! Don't forget to have an official inspector (or the resident scholar!) to decide which team wins. Afterwards, have a nice lunch together.

Another fulfilling activity to organize is a volunteer effort – either a long term one, or different activities every weekend. This is the time for those who usually feel they don't have time during the rest of the months to get involved. Visiting a children's hospital or a nursing home can be a first time experience. Food banks are also very good ways to get the group together and get some positive work done. Food banks usually have training sessions before allowing groups to volunteer, so make sure you call ahead before you plan your trip. A volunteer group in Houston bags lunches every Sunday morning after Fajr prayers and then takes them to downtown to pass out to the homeless; the results have been great!

Don't forget to have some fun Islamic social events. Organizing a picnic is always a lot of fun. Providing drinks and asking everyone to bring food to share are usually easy ways to cut cost. Organizing field day activities, like tug of war, water balloon toss, potato sack hop, and the infamous three-legged race, are usually a lot of fun for the community. Passing out awards to the top winners is also a great way to get the younger kids involved and excited!

Game nights are also fun ways to get the community together on weekend nights. Playing a good game of Scrabble, or chutes and ladders, and even introducing games from each other's native cultures are great ways to enjoy a good Saturday night at the center, and introducing fun, healthy ways to keep families happy. There are also movie nights, and debate nights that can be followed with dinner to make it a nice event. Selling tickets for a few dollars can help raise funds for youth groups or for the center in general. Raising funds for things like youth trips to Ziyarat, or even Hajj or Umrah, are long term projects but also wonderful goals that can be met with countless blessings in return.

It is also very important to keep the oppressed in mind. We have recently seen many protests and rallies against the Zionist regime, against the Danish cartoons, or against any kind of oppression we are seeing in the world. Summertime is great time to keep it up. The times when most people are around in public are the best times to spread true Islamic messages.

And of course, just because school is out doesn't mean learning cannot take place. As Muslims, we have been encouraged to seek knowledge no matter where or when. Take the opportunity of not having tests to study for or no homework assignments due and get in some good Islamic readings. Brushing up on Fiqh, history, and Tafseer of the Qur'an is very beneficial. Make it fun by creating interactive quizzes or modeling game shows to make the learning process more fun for the younger ones.

Although summer is still officially a few weeks away, many of these ideas require advance planning, so let's get cracking! Remember not to stay idle when the time is there. Although it is very tempting to stay cooped up in our beds all day, sometimes doing productive things can open our eyes to new experiences in which we can grow upon. Take the time to give back in whatever way you can, and enjoy the summer ahead!

About Madiha Zaidi

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  • A.

    Center cleanup day sounds like a very fun idea! its a great way for many ages to get together and work in the center.

  • cleanwithsheen

    as long as there are no intrusive uncles or aunties hanging around the Husseiniya. They can be a major turn off with their nosy, probing natures.

  • AMR

    Or you could come up with fun and creative ways to get the intrusive uncles and aunties involved, so they can get part of the sawab as well. 🙂