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Sri Sathya Sai On: The Essence of Islam and Ramzan

All founders of religions have heard this impersonal Voice of God revealing the Atma that ac`tivates the entire Creation. Just as the Vedas (revealed sacred scriptures) were 'heard' and propogated as 'heard' (Shruti), the Quran too was 'heard' by Hazrat Muhammad. The Quran has Salat and Zakat as the two eyes. Salat means prayer; Zakat means charity. Those who consider charity as a high duty and elevate their consciousness through prayers and continuous meditation on God are Muslims. 'Islam' is a word which denotes not a particular religion but a state of mind, the state of total surrender to the Will of God. Islam means dedication, surrender, peace, tranquility.

Islam denotes the social community whose members have achieved supreme peace through surrender to the All-Merciful, All-Powerful God, and who have vowed to live in peace with their fellowmen. Later, it came to be applied to communities that considered themselves separate and different and so hostile to the rest. Islam taught something higher. It directed attention to the One in the Many, the Unity in Diversity and led people to the Reality named God.

The Atma can never be hurt by insult Every human being has three needs: food, clothing and shelter. Seeking to fulfill them, man has developed a variety of foods to fill his little stomach ignoring the purpose of eating them. Clothing has to be worn to protect the body from cold. But we are attaching enormously exaggerated value to clothing. Of course, one must have a house to live in and lay the body down for rest. The Muslim, Gibran, asks why build these gigantic dwellings then? They are erected not for oneself but to hoard one's treasure and riches. Gibran says these mansions are tombs erected by the dead for the living.

Hazrat Muhammad announced the message of God that he had heard to the townsmen of Mecca. At that time, people did not give heed to the Divine Declarations. They forced him to leave the place. But, Hazrat Muhammad knew that truth will win and God will prevail. He knew that the insult and injury were only for the body; the Atma can never be hurt.

The Ramzan month is set apart for the holy task of bringing into memory and practice the teachings that Hazrat Muhammad conveyed and attaining that stage of unity and purity which is truly Divine. Islam gives importance to the Moon which regulates the months. Hindus consider the Moon as the deity presiding over the mind. With the Darshan of the New Moon, the Ramzan fast begins and when the New Moon is seen again, the fast ends. 'Fast' does not consist in merely desisting from food and drink. The fast starts at sunrise and is broken' only after sunset and is observed most rigourously. The regime in the month of Ramadan includes waking as early as three or four in the Brahma Muhurta, prayer is started, and throughout the day, the constant presence of God is sought to be experienced. This is the meaning of Upavasa (fast). Also, during the Ramzan month, rivalry is avoided, hatred is suspended. Husband and wife live apart though in the same home, mother and children both follow the same spiritual regimen, and an atmosphere of brotherhood is maintained. The body, the senses and the mind are subject to rigourous discipline.

Periods of fast 'comprising a month are prescribed in all religions. The Hindus observe it in Magha and Shravana months. Zoroastrians and Christians have allotted for themselves months for the same purpose. The Quran lays down that all men should cultivate the sense of unity, of interdependence, of selfless love and of the immanence of Divinity. Generally, all men take food of some kind or other for the body five times a day: an early cup of coffee in bed, breakfast two hours later, a heavy lunch at noon, tea at four and a fat dinner at nine. Islam prescribes food for the spiritual nature of man and directs that it be taken five times a day, as prayer. For the arousal of the Atmic consciousness, for earning spiritual joy and for promoting the manifestation of Atmic illumination, prayer is prescribed as many as five times a day, from the dawn of discretion up to the moment of death.



Sri Sathya Sai seeing the Quran on the occasion of Ramzan Eid along with Muslim students of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning at Prasanthi Nilayam

Unity is the basic teaching of every religion. Prayer, in Islam, is also a congregational activity. Prayer in a group produces beneficial vibrations. Islam promises a greater flow of ecstasy when God is adored by a huge concourse of yearning hearts. All of them bow low at the sight of the Masjid (mosque). They sit in rows on their bended knees and lean forward until their palms and foreheads touch the ground in humble submission to God’s Will. Misunderstanding, conflict and enmity should not disturb the serenity of the occasion.

Thus Islam emphasises the One in the many, the urge for God which manifests in various degrees in various minds. Unity is the basic teaching of every religion. Faith in unity is cardinal. Without it, no system of belief and conduct can be a religion. God is One and the teachings in all faiths that exalt Him are all on Love, Compassion, Tolerance and Sympathy. The tragedy is neither the Muhammadans, nor the Hindus, nor the followers of other religions are practising these qualities in daily life. Islam teaches that God's Grace can be won through justice and righteous living; wealth, scholarship and power cannot earn It. Holy Love alone can please the Lord. This is the message of every religion. But mankind has ignored this crucial point.

Ramzan brings together in bonds of love kith and kin, near and far, friend and foe. This type of negligence is happening in every religion. The followers adopt the rules they like and break those which they find exacting. So, they become narrow-minded and crooked. And, they rationalise their defects and justify their failings. They have become habituated to this practice of self-deceit. Demonstrate love and tolerance in daily activity. Since Islam means surrender to God, all who in a spirit of surrender and dedication, live in peace and harmony in society, do really speaking, belong to Islam. Islam insists on full co-ordination between thought, word and deed. Muslim holy men and sages have been emphasising that we must inquire into the validity of the 'I' which feels it is the body and the 'I' which feels it is the mind and reach the conclusion that the real 'I' is the Self yearning for the Omniself - God. The Ramzan month, the fast and the prayers are designed to awaken and manifest this realisation.

Whichever may be the religion, its emphasis is on unity, harmony, equal-mindedness. Therefore, cultivate love, tolerance and compassion, and demonstrate the Truth in every daily activity. This is the Message I give you with My Blessings.

Divine Discourse on the occasion of Ramzan, Prasanthi Nilayam, July 12, 1983

Adapted from: https://sathyasaiwithstudents.blogspot.com/2014/07/sri-sathya-sai-zgives-essence-of-islam.html?m=1

Maze Activity

    The Revitalising Ramadan & The Essence of Islam

    The month of silent and sincere remembrance of the lord is on. For the over 1.5 billion muslims across the globe, it is a time marked by prayer, penitence and the wilful sacrifice of one's personal comforts and pleasures in honour of the divine. At this point in time , one must know the exact meaning and essence of Islam. To make the understanding easier, let us go step by step:

  • Mohammed, The Prophet of Allah
  • The True Essence of Islam
  • The Five Pillars Of Islam
  • The Call Of Sai

Mohammed, The Prophet of Allah

Born in the year 569 AD in the city of Mecca in Arabia the Prophet became an orphan in childhood. He knew neither the care of a mother nor the protection of a father. And this experience was the first preparation for the child who was born to sympathize with the pain of others. As a boy, he was a cowherd and looked after his cows with intense Love. This reminds one of Lord Jesus who called himself “the Good Shepherd” and Sri Krishna who is adored as the Divine Cowherd Boy.

Once while looking after his herd, a cowherd came to him and said, “I will look after your herd; you may go to the town and enjoy yourself. And then you must take charge of my cows, and I will then go for a time.” Young Mohammed said, “No, I will take charge of your herd. You may go, but I will not leave my charge.” This same principle was shown all through his life.

The Prophet was not learned; he could neither read nor write. Yet he became the repository of all Wisdom because he realized That, which when known, everything is known, and without which all knowledge is a bondage; namely, the knowledge of Allah. To become a perfect model for the fullness of the Divine Message which he carried, the Prophet experienced all aspects of life - as an orphan, a shepherd, a merchant, a warrior, a politician, a King, a husband, a father, a brother, a son and even as a grandson.

The turning point in his life came when his life had taken a downward spiral, in spite of all it could offer. He then sought refuge in solitude. Sometimes for hours, at times for days and weeks, he retreated into a cave on the mountain of Gar-e Hira. There, absorbed in meditation and contemplation, he sought to enter the cave of his heart. Patient as the Prophet was, he continued the search for Truth. It was at the age of 40, in the month of Ramadan, that he received his first revelation from God. It came in the form of the Voice of the Angel Gabriel - that word of inner guidance in the heart of all. The Voice said, “Cry out the Sacred Name of Thy Lord.” (Surah 96:1)

The message filled him with awe, and he humbly said in reply that he was unlettered, and unable even to read. Then God opened his heart, filled it with Divine Wisdom and spiritual knowledge, and then illuminated his being with Divine Effulgence. And as he began to follow this advice he found the echo of the Divine Word in everything; it was as if the Sky, the Earth, the Moon and the Universe, all said the same Name that he was repeating.

The angel came to Mohammed and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, "I do not know how to read". The Prophet added, "The angel caught me and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, 'I do not know how to read.' Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, 'what shall I read?' Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said, 'Read in the name of your Lord, who has created all that exists and has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous." (96.1, 96.2, 96.3) HADITH ‘REVELATION’ Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3: as narrated by Aisha.

Gradually, the Prophet’s heart became tuned with the Infinite. He realized his soul to be One, within and without, and the call came to him to go forward into the world and carry out the command of God; to glorify His Name; to unite those who are separated; to awaken those who are asleep, and to harmonize one with another. As it is written in the Holy Qur’an,

"Alif Laam Raa; This Book which we have revealed to you so that you may lead the people from out of darkness into light, into the path of the Mighty, the Glorious." (Surah 14:1)

sai
THE TRUE ESSENCE OF ISLAM

The term “Surrender” is the hallmark of Islamism. The word Islām is derived from the Arabic verb Aslama, which means to surrender. It means that a Muslim is one who has totally surrendered his entire mind to God. Anyone who has been able to realize this state of being with God is a Muslim, irrespective of the person’s creed, country, caste, or colour. The Qur’an gave examples of such Holy ones – Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jesus etc, who reached the state of complete surrender to God and referred to them as Muslims.

Abraham was neither Jew nor Christian, but he was sound in the faith, a Muslim and not of those who add gods unto God.” [Qur’an 3:60]

Thus, Islam is a word which denotes not a particular religion but a state of mind, the state of total surrender to the Will of God. The Prophet, therefore, did not see himself as founding a new religion, but as restoring the foundations of Islam which had been there from time immemorial.



“In Islam, the expression salaam is used as a form of greeting. “Sa” in this term signifies the combined expression of Saalokyam, Saameepyam and Saayujyam (Seeing the Divine, Being near the Divine and Merging in the Divine). When these three expressions are combined and merged into one – “La” signifying merger – you have Salaam (the merging of the many in the One)"

– Divine discourse of Sri Sathya Sai Baba on 25th December 1991

“The foremost need today is for everyone to realise that God is One. This is what Jesus and Mohammed proclaimed. The word "Allah" really means the One Supreme which contains everything in the Universe. This is the primary message of the Vedas …The essential truth of all religions is that God is one. Jesus proclaimed the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. One can have only one father, not two." – Sathya Sai Baba

THREE POSSIBLE MISCONCEPTIONS:
The First Misconception: "Your God is different from my God"
The Second Misconception: "God and His Creation are Separate"
The Third Misconception: "I am Different From God"

“God is One; there are not many Gods, one for each tribe among men! Love is One; it transcends caste, colour and creed, if it has to be genuine. Truth is One; there cannot be two. For, two can only be One, occurring twice. The Goal is One; for, all roads must lead to the One God. Why then should men quarrel and fight over the Eternal and the Absolute?”

- Sathya Sai Baba (Divine Discourse 12th October 1983)

The Five Pillars Of Islam


  • Shahadah which relates to Truth
  • Salah which relates to Peace
  • Zakat which relates to Right Conduct
  • Sawm which relates to Non –Violence and
  • Haji which relates to Love

Beloved Sathya Sai Baba tells us that these five spiritual pillars which are the bases of the inner and outer worlds are: Truth, Peace, Love, Right Conduct, and Non-Violence.

The Call Of Sai

Hear the clarion call of Sai. Awake! Arise! Realize your Oneness with Allah. Sai Baba has come to lead us to the sublime heights of Islam. Sai Baba has come to take us to that complete surrender to the Will of Allah. Sai Baba has come to teach us the art of "Die-mind" whereby it is not possible to create images of that which has truly, in its essence, cannot be confined to an image.

Many devout muslims who have recognized the resonance of the Islamic wisdom in the teaching of Sathya Sai Baba believe that now is the time to come to terms with ourselves by the signs of God which we have been witnesses:

Say He is Allah, the One and Only. Say He is Allah, the Absolute Eternal. Say He is Allah, He begets not nor is begotten. Say He is Allah, there is nothing like Him. Say He is Allah, He says, “Be” and it is!

Not only this! Sai Baba leads devotees world over to an experiential awareness of the Oneness of Allah; to a lived example of His Omnipresence; and to the pragmatic import of His Omnipotence.

Based on their first-hand experiences and the revelations they have received, they strongly believe and urge others to adhere to the call of Sai:

Here is yet another experience of Professor Abdul Razak Baburao Korbu who is one of the witnesses to these signs of God.

Say He is Allah Who Holds the Heavens and Earth in One Finger and Who says ‘Be’ and It Is


Sai Baba called me for an interview. Within the interview room, beloved Swami put a question to me which captured me fully:

Baba: "I know that you have faith in Me, but you do not believe in My power with which I create articles. is it not so?"

I could not think of anything to say. In a way, I was happy that finally this topic has surfaced as I was still not fully satisfied on this account. I wanted to see and experience it myself. During the past five years, I spoke of Baba and about Baba to scientists, doctors and other learned persons.

I could not answer their questions on creation of objects from sheer Will. I felt it maybe because I did not experience it or I had no adequate knowledge about it due to my half-hearted efforts.

Abdul: "Forgive me, Baba. It is so."

Baba: "Your absence of belief in my power of creation is genuine and inquisitive also. I like your frankness and love you. It is very good that you do not take anything for granted. Your faith in Me is not blind; very good. Now I am telling you to ask Me for anything and I shall give it to you here and now. Take your time and ask for anything you desire."

Now I had a break. I had seen a number of objects created by Baba and handled them also. I was convinced about the genuineness of the articles, but I was not sure whether Baba Himself created them. After thinking for a while, knowing very well that there were very few Muslims among Baba's devotees, I decided to ask for an impossible article no one has seen so far!

Abdul: "Baba, please give me such a thing which embodies in it the entire Universe and only my own religion is shown on it."

Baba: (With a sweet smile) "Abdul, do you really think that you have put an impossible request before Me?"

Without a reply, I kept on staring at Baba.

Baba: "Look at My Palm. Do you see anything in it? Nothing is in My palm or behind it. You can verify it."

Baba turned His Palm upside down, His cape was above the elbow. I could not dare to hold His hand. Then Baba caught my wrist forcefully and moved my palm from around His palm to His elbow.

Baba: "Now, go on looking at the centre of My palm for some time."

The revealing ring materialised by Swami for Abdul within seven to eight seconds, the skin in the centre of His palm opened up and I saw a round large sized object coming out of it, soon the skin became normal as before and there was a beautiful luminous ring there.

Baba: (In Hindi) "You pick it up and give it in My hand. Before that have a careful look at it."

As ordered by Baba, I picked up the ring and inspected it very carefully. It had a crescent moon and a star engraved in gold. I put it back in Baba's palm.



Abdul: "Baba, I cannot understand anything about this ring. Please explain."

Baba: "You are only born as a Muslim. You do not understand anything about Islam."

That was the truth. I am not a religious person in the true sense.

Baba: "I have made this gold ring in Asta konas (Octangular), embedded Nava-ratnas (nine gems), both represent the Universe, and in the middle of the navaratnas I have put the Islamic symbol of the star and crescent in emeralds (green gem stones.)"

Abdul: "Baba, where is the Muslim religion on this ring?"

Baba: "Look at these green stones. That is your religion. Now I will put this ring on the fourth finger of your left hand as your right hand finger is disfigured."

With this talk, Baba put the heavy ring on the said finger. Ah! It fitted perfectly. I bowed down again at His feet, now with plenty of tears. After a few minutes, I followed Baba to the outer chamber. Baba told the nine foreigners, who were waiting in there, about the ring and described me as "My naughty devotee?"

I came to the outer veranda. The fourth finger of my left hand became heavy with the ring which had a heavy sparkling beauty.

Prof. Kasturi's attention was drawn to it at first. He raised my palm, examined the ring minutely and exclaimed, "I have never seen such a beautiful creation by Swami so far! These are navaratnas (The Nine Universes). But what is this in the middle green portion of the ring? Is it Aum?"

Dr. V. K. Gokak, who also examined it, said, "It is not Aum certainly. Whatever it may be, this ring is an exquisite beauty. I am also witnessing such a creation by Swami for the first time." A few other devotees also saw this ring and touched it to their foreheads and eyes.

I had almost lost my speech, finding it difficult to utter even a single word. As I came into the Darshan hall, a very large number of devotees surrounded me, amongst them were many foreigners.

One of them was a bearded American devotee. He came near me saw the ring closely, took my hand with the ring, put it on his chest and said, "All Hum do Allah!” (Oh! God, your pastime is fathomless).

I was astonished by this and asked him to tell me more. He answered, "I am a Muslim. The ring reveals that you too are a Muslim." I asked him again, "How did you make this out?". He said, "Can you read Arabic?" When I answered in the negative, he clarified, "It is inscribed in the middle all in green." I further asked, "What is the meaning of the inscription?" He answered: "It is ‘Allah’ in Arabic."

At that time I came to know that Baba has inscribed the word "Allah" in the centre of the green emerald stone. I had asked Baba for my religion, and Baba blessed me in this wonderful manner! Who else but Allah that can Say, ‘Be’ and It is! To Him we bow down in worship.

He declares:

I have not come to speak on behalf of any particular religion. I have not come on any mission of publicity for any sect or creed or cause; nor have I come to collect followers for any doctrine. I have no plan to attract disciples or devotees into My fold or any fold. I have come to tell you of this Universal unitary faith, this Atmic principle (principle of the Oneness), this path of love, this Dharma of Prema (nature of love), this duty of love, this obligation to love.” – Sri Sathya Sai Baba "Each should practice his own religion sincerely. A Christian should be a good Christian. A Hindu should be a good Hindu. A Muslim should be a good Muslim. Let each one be a true practitioner of his religion" – Sri Sathya Sai Baba

"Each should practice his own religion sincerely. A Christian should be a good Christian. A Hindu should be a good Hindu. A Muslim should be a good Muslim. Let each one be a true practitioner of his religion" – Sri Sathya Sai Baba




“All who in a spirit of surrender and dedication, live in peace and harmony in society, do really speaking, belong to Islam. Because Islam means surrender to God.”

Abou Ben Adhem - Introduction


A miniature depicting the visit of angels to Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham of Balkh between 1760 and 1770.

Ibrahim ibn Adham also called Ibrahim Balkhi is one of the most prominent of the early ascetic Sufi saints.

The story of his conversasion is one of the most celebrated in Sufi legend, as that of a prince renouncing his throne and choosing asceticism closely echoing the legend of Gautama Buddha. Sufi tradition ascribes to Ibrahim countless acts of righteousness, and his humble lifestyle, which contrasted sharply with his early life as the king of Balkh (itself an earlier centre of Buddhism).

Abou Ben Adhem

A Poem by Leigh Hunt (1784-1859) 

"Abou Ben Adhem" is a poem that tells a story of Ibrahim’s conversation about the importance of loving one's fellow human beings.

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!) 
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace, 
And saw, within the moonlight in his room, 
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom, 
An angel writing in a book of gold:— 
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold, 
And to the presence in the room he said, 
"What writest thou?"—The vision raised its head, 
And with a look made of all sweet accord, 
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord." 
"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so," 
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low, 
But cheerly still; and said, "I pray thee, then, 
Write me as one that loves his fellow men."
 
The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night 
It came again with a great wakening light, 
And showed the names whom love of God had blest, 
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest. 

Baba's Storytime - Abou Ben Adhem


Students, you might have heard the story of Abou Ben Adhem, who always offered sarva bhuta daya pushpam (compassion on all beings) to the Lord.

Every day he would go round the streets to serve the destitute and the handicapped and return home late at night. Once, when he returned home, he found in his bedroom an angel writing something. When he asked her as to what she was writing, she replied that she was making a list of those who love God. He wanted to know if his name is in the list but the reply was negative.

The following night, when he returned home, he again found the angel writing something. He queried, “Mother, what is it that you are writing now?” She said, “Son, I am writing the names of those who are loved by God.” He again wanted to know if his name figured in the list. She replied that his name was on the top of this list.

The essence of the story is that God is pleased when you serve your fellow human beings. The scriptures have prescribed nine paths of devotion, namely, sravanam (listening to the Lord’s stories), kirthanam (singing His glories),vishnusmaranam (remembrance of the Lord’s name), pada sevanam (service to the Lord’s Lotus Feet), archanam(worship),vandanam (salutation), dasyam (servitude), sneham (friendship), atmanivedanam (offering oneself to the Lord) i.e., complete self-surrender. But the path of service is the greatest of all.

Penance, pilgrimages, reading scriptures alone will not help cross the ocean of worldly life; One can redeem one’s life only through service.

Abou Ben Adhem became the recipient of God’s love because he spent all his time in the service of his fellowmen. God loves all, for He is the embodiment of love. But He will give Himself to those who show compassion to all beings." (From the Divine Discourses of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba)
- [Adapted from : radiosai]


"Ramadan for Human Excellence" (Drama)

Islamic Prayer - Audio visual




LYRICS

Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim (3x)
(I begin with the name of God, most gracious, most merciful)

La ilaha illallah, Allah Allah (4x)
(There is no god but God. Nothing exists except Him.)

Ramadan Lanterns - Paper Craft

Aum Sri Sairam !

Lanterns are typically lamps with a case of transparent material to protect a flame or light and is used to illuminate the surroundings. They usually have a handle and can be carried. Let's watch this video to learn to make a garland of colourful lanterns.

So why wait children? Grab your scissors and your favourite colour papers. Start making your own colourful Ramadan lanterns with your Balvikas friends and enhance the beauty of your classroom!

Like the lanterns, let us strive to spread the light of love and joy around us!

Pin-up star to the crescent - Game(Demo Video)

The symbol of Islam, a star paired with a crescent, indicates the unwavering nature of the star. Here is an interesting blindfold game for the students:

Dear Gurus, watch this special Ramzan video and encourage your students to play the fun- filled blindfold game in Balvikas class. Let the children take turns and try to fix the star inside the crescent Moon. This game also helps improve the child's observation and memory skills. Let the students attempt to fix the star in position 3 times. The winner of the game will be the child who fixes the star at the right place or closest to the crescent Moon.

Like the star, let's have steady faith in God and never waver from the path of righteousness. Let's inculcate this value in the young minds through this exciting game !

Sai Emnahny Alhobo (Bhajan in Arabic language)





As a Ramzan offering, We are delighted to share this music video where a Balvikas student from Kuwait has sung the very popular bhajan "Sai Prem dey... Shanthi dey... Anand de...." The unique charm to this bhajan is that it is in the sweet language of Arabic. So dear gurus, parents and children, please take time to enjoy and learn this soulful bhajan that has been sent across the seas!

Crescent & Star Mobile
(Ramadan Decoration)

Ramadan will soon be coming to an end with the celebration of Eid ul fitr, the festival of Joy from Charity. Here is an interesting video that shows how to make a colourful Crescent and star mobile. Let's take part in this festival by making this lovely mobile and spread cheer and joy.

5 PILLARS GAME

During the month of silent and sincere remembrance of the Lord, by way of Fasting, Prayer and Charity, let us try to understand the true essence of The Five Pillars of Islam and how our beloved Swami has related these pillars to the Five Basic Human Values.

  • Shahadah (Faith) which relates to Truth
  • Salah (Prayer) which relates to Peace
  • Zakat (Charity) which relates to Right Conduct
  • Sawm (Fasting) which relates to Non –Violence and
  • Hajj (Pilgrimage) which relates to Love

VALUES INCULCATED
  • Deep understanding of the essence of Islam
  • Understanding the fact that 5 Human Values are the basis of all religions

MATERIALS REQUIRED
  • Chart Papers or Cardboards
  • Sketch Pens
  • White rangoli powder or white chalk to draw line on the ground

PREPARATORY EFFORT
  • Gurus to explain about 5 pillars of Islam & 5 values that Swami has related them to.
  • Prepare cards for 5 pillars & 5 values

METHOD
  1. Divide the children (Group II) into teams of 5.
  2. Draw 3 lines; Start line, Values line and Pillars line.
  3. Make the team members stand in line one after the other. All the teams have to stand in start line with a gap.
  4. Keep a bowl of value cards on the second line (values line). Place the Pillar cards separately on the Pillar line in order.
  5. Once the whistle goes, one person from each team will run to value line. Take one card at a time, run to the Pillar line, match with the right pillar card & come back to take the next card. All 5 cards have to be placed on the right Pillar cards.
  6. Once he/she finishes, he/she will go & stand last in the queue. The next person runs straight to pillars line, takes one Pillar card at a time and puts them back in value cards bowl (One after another). Runs back to the queue.
  7. The next one would arrange again. All the 5 members will do their turn of activity, whether to match or bring back. Whichever team finishes this first is the winner.

VARIATION

I – If the number of children is less, the same game can be conducted between individuals instead of teams
II – If the same is going to be played out door, we can play this as “Finding the Right Partner”. We need to make 5 kids stand in Values Line holding value cards and another 5 to stand in Pillars Line with Pillar cards. The runner has to pick each one of the Value Line child and take them to the right partner.

PAPER FLOWER HANGINGS
(PAPER CRAFT FOR BALVIKAS STUDENTS)

Ramadan is a holy month for all Muslims and awaited by everyone all around the world. With the arrival of Ramadan month, we discover new ideas to embellish our homes and streets commemorating the holy month. Street, stores and homes are embellished with lighting, lanterns and some kinds of ornamental paper throughout the month. Check out this easy ‘DIY Paper Flower Hangings’ to set your home/Balvikas centres for Ramadan.

Values inculcated:
  • Appreciating festival celebration
  • Learning to work as a group
  • Team Building
  • Creativity

Materials required:
  • Colour papers (A4 size)
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Ribbon
  • Cello tape
  • Glue

Method :

1.Cut out paper strips (½, 1/3 or ¼ of A4 Sheet).



2.Fold the strips to make frills.




3.Make 4 frills per flower.



4.Join them lengthwise.



5.Bring the ends and staple to make a circle.



6.Gather the frills in the centre.



7.Cut out a small circle and stick in the centre as shown in the picture. Press the circle for some time.



8.Colourful paper flower is ready !



Children can work as a team and decorate the Balvikas centre or home. Few decorations are shown below.

Flower Decoration 1 :

1.Take different size strips to make different size of flowers.



2. Stack the flowers from big to small and stick together as shown.



3. Decorate your doors or walls.


Flower Decoration 2 :

Stick/staple the flowers on a ribbon to make hangings.




Decorate your walls.



Flower Decoration 3:
Decorate the entrances.



-Paper craft by
-Kshiraj Sai, Charvi, Samiksha and Vidarshana
(Balvikas Group I students)

Eid-Ul-Fitr Around The World



Eid-ul-Fitr is the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal. It marks the end of Ramadan, which is a month of fasting and prayer. Many Muslims attend communal prayers, listen to a khutba (sermon) and give zakat al-fitr (charity in the form of food) during Eid ul-Fitr. When the new moon is seen after month of Ramadan, the next day is Eid ul-Fitr. After the Eid Prayer, the Muslim greets each other by saying "Eid Mubarak". It is a festival of love and goodwill and gives us a message to love all and hate none. It exhorts us to bid goodbye to hatred, jealousy and enmity and bring in an era of love, sympathy and brotherhood.

Middle East
Saudi Arabia And Iran

Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated with great pomp in Saudi Arabia and Iran. Saudis and Iranians decorate their homes and prepare sumptuous meals for family and friends.  In the spirit of Eid, many Saudis go out of their way to show their kindness and generosity. It is common for even complete strangers to greet one another at random.  It is traditional for Saudi men to go and buy large quantities of rice and other staples, and then leave them anonymously at the doors of those who are less fortunate. In the major cities of Saudi Arabia, every night there are huge fireworks shows. Iranian Muslims take part in the Eid ul-Fitr special prayer that generally takes place in an open field or a large hall with a congregation in attendance, and pay the Zakat al-Fitr.



Africa
Egypt

Eid ul-Fitr is a three-day feast in Africa. Egyptians like to celebrate with others, so the streets are always crowded during the days and nights of Eid.  The Eid day starts with a small snack followed by Eid prayers in congregation attended by men, women, and children in which the sermon reminds Egyptians of the virtues and good deeds they should do for others, during Eid and throughout the year. Afterwards, neighbours, friends, and relatives start greeting one another. The most common greeting is "Eid Mubarak" (Blessed Eid).



South Africa

In Cape Town, hundreds of Muslims will gather at Green Point in the evening of the last day of Ramadan each year for the sighting of the moon. The gathering brings together people from all walks of life, and everyone comes with something to share with others at the time of breaking the fast. The sunset prayer is then performed in congregation and the formal moon-sighting results are announced thereafter. The festival of Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated by first attending the mosque in the morning for Eid prayer and then they exchange gifts.



South Asia
Afghanistan

Eid ul-Fitr holds significant importance and is celebrated widely for three days. This Eid among the Pashto-speaking community is called Kochnai Akhtar. Afghans start preparing for the Eid ul-Fitr festival up to ten days prior by cleaning up their homes. On the day of Eid ul-Fitr, Afghans will first offer their Eid prayers and then gather in their homes with their families, greeting one another by saying "Eid Mubarak" and usually adding "Eidet Mobarak Roza wa Namazet Qabool Dakhel Hajiha wa Ghaziha," which means "Happy Eid to you; may your fasting and prayers be accepted by Allah, and may you be counted among those who will go to the Hajj-pilgrimage."



Pakistan

On the day of Eid ul-Fitr, people wear new clothes to get ready for Eid prayer. People are supposed to give obligatory charity on behalf of each of their family member to the needy or poor before Eid day or at least before Eid prayer. This will allow everybody to share the joy of Eid and not feel depressed. For Eid prayer, people gather at large open areas and After Eid Salat people meet and greet each other with traditional hug of friendship and the greeting "Eid Mubarak". Before going home people give charity to needy and the poor, to further make it possible to have everybody be able to enjoy the day.



India

Celebrations in India and the rest of the Indian subcontinent share many similarities with regional variations, because a large part of the Indian subcontinent was ruled as one nation during the days of the Mughal Empire and British. The night before Eid is called Chaand Raat, which means, "Night of the Moon". On Eid day before prayers, people distribute a charity locally known as fitrana. Many people also avail themselves of this opportunity to distribute zakat, an Islamic obligatory alms tax of 2.5% of one's annual savings, to the needy. Zakat is often distributed in the form of food and new clothes. Muslims turn out in the thousands, as there is a lot of excitement surrounding the celebration of this festival. It is common for some Hindus to visit their Muslim friends and neighbours on Eid to convey their greetings.



Bangladesh

The morning of Eid begins with men and woman taking a bath, wear the newest clothes and head for Eid Prayer. Then people exchange hugs and head home where a large banquet of food would be prepared. In Bangladesh family and friends visit each other's houses over the course of the 3 days and 3 or 4 houses are visited a day. During the days of Eid, children receive lots of money by relatives and family friends. For Bangladeshis Eid ul-Fitr is the most awaited holiday.



Southeast Asia
Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia.

In countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei the Eid is known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Hari raya Pusa. The word means the day of celebration. The festival of Eid is the biggest festival of Indonesia and one of the major festivals of the countries like Singapore and Malaysia. The night just before the festival is filled with recitation of the holy scriptures in a musical note from the mosques. The people of Indonesia greet each other with Salemat Idul Fitri and the people of Malaysia greets each other on the festive occasion with the greeting Salemat Hari Raya which means Happy Eid. The non Muslims living in Malaysia prefer to dress themselves in the traditional Muslim out fit to show their respect to their Muslim colleagues, friends and relatives. This practice is very common in Indonesia where the family may have people belonging to different faiths and beliefs. An Indonesian family may have believers of Christian religion, Hindu religion, Buddhist and Muslims believers. It may have the different sects of Christianity in the same family. The practice of open house is more common in the big cities of Indonesia.