Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ready, set, let’s go!

Field trips have always been an essential part of the educational system. In this, new concepts have emerged, thus making the process of learning closely associated with travelling. Experts in the field believe that students develop life skills in a fun and challenging way through educational trips that provide them with an opportunity to broaden their horizons.

“Field trips aid in the development of skills in students as well as give students a chance to socialize with each other. They learn numerous things, such as, how to deal with different situations, plus they become more active,” said Dr. Sadik Dahlan, director general of Coral International School in Jeddah.

Students are taken to academic and non-academic trips. The academic trips offer students deeper subject learning and an increased level of self-confidence.

“Our education is usually based on textbooks. Students are taken on academic field trips that are planned in accordance with what is being taught in the classroom so that they can learn and easily relate their experiences. We hold discussions with the schoolteachers about what topic they are teaching so that we can organize a related field trip. For example, on the environment day, students were taken to a park,” said Dahlan, adding that students at his school have also visited colleges, universities, libraries, etc.

Seconding Dahlan, Huda, principal of the Learning Oasis School in Riyadh, gave another example of subject-related academic trips.

“Field trips related to science or social studies subjects are common. These include a trip to the zoo if the children are studying about animals,” she said.

Non-academic trips allow the students to escape for a while their accustomed studying routine. Students are taken to malls where there is usually a small play land, where they can indulge in some physical activity that otherwise is limited due to the lack of parks and playgrounds in Jeddah. Students visit sports centers as well as nearby cities as part of their school trips. “Children at our school have virtually visited every new mall in the city, and are updated with different aspects of the place they visit, such as, its management, etc.,” said Dahlan, adding that other activities, such as, swimming, barbeque, etc., are also included in the field trips. For more read here.


Talking in mosques

Q- Is it permissible to talk about worldly matters inside the masjid and at a time other than the salah?

A – All praise is due to Allah. It is not permissible to use the masajid as places of selling, trading, or other worldly affairs. The masajid were built for the remembrance of Allah, recitation of the Qur’an and offering prayers.

However, it is permissible to speak a little about worldly matters as long as it does not distract the reciters (of the Qur’an) or those praying.

– The Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Verdicts

Preaching without practicing

Q- If after repeated attempts, a person is not able to apply something that he exhorts others to do, is it still permissible for him to call others to do that action? What if he does so supposing that the person he is calling will be able to apply what he failed to apply himself?

A – When one is inviting others to do a good thing that he himself is not capable of doing, then yes, he should call others to do it. An example of this is if someone calls others to pray late at night while he himself is not able to do so or if someone calls others to give charity, but he himself has no sufficient resources to give charity, then we tell him to go ahead and invite others to give charity. But as for him calling to something that he is capable of doing but doesn’t, then this is foolish in intellect and going astray in religion.

– Sheikh Muhammad Bin Saleh Al-Uthaymeen; Fatawa Islamiyah, vol. 8, pg. 56

Get used to harsh conditions

COMMENTING on Sheikh Bakr Abu Zayd’s advice, “...and do not indulge in luxury and comfort...”, Sheikh Muhammad Bin Uthaymeen said: “This is a piece of advice that should be given to both students of knowledge and (common people). This is because indulging in luxury and comfort contradicts the guidance of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He forbade excessive luxury. He would sometimes enjoin others to be barefoot. A person who becomes accustomed to comfort will find it difficult to face situations that may not come with the comfort he is used to.

Let’s take the hadith of occasionally being barefoot for example. Some people never leave their feet bare. They always have to wear socks, khuffs, or shoes. If you were to suggest such a person to walk 500 meters without wearing anything to protect his feet, it will be extremely hard for him. His feet might even start bleeding from the harshness of the ground! If one makes himself accustomed to harsh conditions by avoiding constant comfort, you will find such a person blessed with much good.

If the body is not accustomed to such conditions, it will not have immunity to pain. So, a person accustomed to comfort will be hurt at the slightest of things, while a (strong) person will be immune and he won’t feel pain at all. This is why the hands of laborers are much stronger and firmer than the hands of students of knowledge.

There is nothing deterring or preventing a laborer from doing any type of job, since his hands have already become accustomed to these conditions. If you touch their hands, it will feel as if you are touching a rock because of the roughness. There is no doubt that being accustomed to comfort and luxury will harm a person extensively.” – Sharh Hilyat Talib Al-’Ilm, pg. 43

Benefits Blog: Jarir – a notable legend in poetry

MOST people who come to the Kingdom carry back fond memories of a chain of bookstores called ‘Jarir’, yet not many of us know much about the eponymous poet after whom the chain of stores is presumably named.

He was Jarir Bin ‘Atiyyah Bin Huthayfah Al-Khatfi Bin Badr Al-Kulaibi Al-Yarboo’i, Abu Hazrah, from Banu Kulaib, a sub-tribe of Banu Tamim.

Born to a humble family in Yamamah during the reign of Caliph Uthman Bin Affan, he later moved to Damascus where he lived through the era of the Umayyad Caliphs (648 to 722 CE). It is said that he succeeding in impressing the tyrant governor of Iraq, Al-Hajjaj Bin Yusuf, with his fawning verse, subsequently made a living by penning eulogies in praise of some of the other Umayyad caliphs.

According to an account in Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, Jarir was the only ‘court poet’ who was granted an audience by the ascetic Caliph Umar Bin Abdul Aziz. On the occasion, Jarir recited a few couplets of extempore verse, praising ‘Umar Bin Abdul Aziz for his generosity and comparing him favorably with some other past Caliphs, but he was admonished by Umar Bin Abdul Aziz to “stop lying for a living.”

On hearing this, Jarir asked ‘Umar Bin ‘Abdul-’Aziz for some money, since he was poor and had no other means of sustenance. Umar Bin Abdul Aziz said, “If you could prove to me that you are included among the list of people mentioned in the Qur’an who should be helped with alms, I would be the first person to do so.” When Jarir insisted on receiving some money, pleading his poverty, Umar Bin Abdul Aziz gave him 200 Dirhams from his own pocket, taking care to clarify that it was not from the public exchequer. Jarir later said that those two hundred Dirhams brought him such plenitude, that he was not reduced to begging for money ever again.

For more read here.