God in Life:
How can one pursue a Godly life? How does remembering God, and pursuing in the path of God taste? God, is not just a mere name that one has on their tongue and believes with their heart, but rather He is our Master and Lord that our spiritual joy and good destiny depends on His mercy, and He will bestow more benevolence to those who remember Him more often and have Him in their thoughts in every step of the way in life.
Religion, a Lifestyle
Religion, is a path that which the Merciful God has revealed by His prophets before human beings, so every action they take in life they know what the right choice is to achieve a better result. Religion is a model for a good life, for all dimensions and aspects of life, both spiritual and moral dimensions, beliefs, and insights, ethics, behavior and customs and life skills in the family and the community.
What Does It Mean to Be a Muslim?
Muslims in the West know that living in the Western countries have great attributes. Many virtuous social morals in these societies have become part of the moral and ethical fabric of the Western civilization. These virtuous moral qualities are part of the message of the religion of Islam that the inhabitants of these countries implement by conforming to their wisdom, which is a divine spokesperson from within.
Of course, along with many behavioral well-being in these communities, we also witness some imperative weaknesses in the Western lifestyle, such as drowning in hobbies, individualism, neglecting God and the divine instructors and many other spiritual matters.
This means that we, as a community of Muslims living in the West, need to attain a better understanding of God’s desirable paradigm in our lives, implement it ourselves, and introduce it to our children. In fact, it seems that the conduct of Muslims today has deviated from the best role model of humanity, the Prophet of Mercy, and it’s time to bring ourselves closer to the pure and beautiful religion of Islam.
Need and Necessity!
By looking at the Islamic community, we noticed a pervasive need regarding the matter of education and nurturing, particularly from parents. Many times, we have witnessed a lack of observance of a simple moral issue, that has had irreparable effects on the ethics, behavior, or beliefs of children. While this could have been prevented if the parents had adequate knowledge and information.
On the other hand, there is a serious need for Islamic education and nurturing in the Western societies, because kindergartens and schools have a common agenda for all children from every background and culture. Hence, it is not possible for them to teach about the Islamic culture. In addition to schools, other cultural factors such as movies, computer games and social networks can be pointed out, and the issues regarding them invites us to ponder and work in the way of education, and nurturing. Truly, who is the best and most sympathetic person for our children than us? Who should take action?
The best approach in Islamic education, is role modeling. The best teacher of our religion, was the Prophet of Islam (Peace Be Upon Him and His Holy Household) who in the best possible way, acted according to Islamic teachings all his life, and was a guide for all mankind. The Book of God also focuses on this concept regarding nurturing humans. Although in some cases, the Qur’an enjoins and prohibits us from the right and wrong path, but in many cases by narrating the stories of the predecessors, and even the Prophet of Islam, it recounts for us the practical examples of a Godly life. And this is the method of nurturing through role modeling.
The Foundations of Religiosity
Our intellectual foundations and principles are as follows:
Our criteria and principles for our contents encompass the notions mentioned above. Hence, we have tried as much as possible to base the teaching of Islam by choosing authentic primary religious sources. But also, evaded from using any intellectual traditions and or sectarian attitudes.
There have been numerous Muslims and compassionate scholars during history and in present time whom have contributed profoundly to the field of Islamic education. We have believed and are proud of their contributions. And in this group, we have tried to employ their experiences, particularly the institutes involved in Islamic education, and present a collection of their worthwhile achievements to those who are interested.
In addition, we consider the experiences we gain in this path and based on that, we also prepare contents. After receiving the corrective feedback of experts and specialists, we offer them to enthusiasts and cultural activists, and seek their guidance and proposal. At this moment, we also humbly request your suggestions and guidance in this endeavor.
Every person is willing to spend on their desires and welfares. We spend on the academic achievements of our children, how are we not willing to spend time, money and our experiences on the religious education and eternal bliss of our children?! If our child suffers from a disease, we will sacrifice everything for their cure. Then how can we not be concerned of the uproot of spiritual disease in them and for them to attain a correct lifestyle??
This website, introduces the achievements of the collective efforts of Muslim men and women who spent a portion of their spare time with a great deal of faith and hope for the special blessings of the Most Merciful God in both worlds and like to share what they have prepared for the nurturing of their children with their brothers and sisters in faith. A group that is not affiliated with any institution and organization, like to be run by volunteers, with sincerity and by refraining from showing-off, and just devoting time and service to their fellow friends. In this way, they could have done something rather small in appreciating God, for all the great blessings He has bestowed upon us.
One of the merits of the contents prepared in this group, is that it can be executed in the least costly manner. Certainly, wherever the program is held at, faithful believers will fund the cost of the program, and in return will be rewarded by Almighty God for their good deed. The Almighty God has promised in the Holy Qur’an that He will return a reward of ten times greater to those who spend their wealth in His way.
Since 2010, by the grace of God and by seeking help from the Prophet of Islam and his immaculate Household, our group has been successful in designing, and implementing attractive and productive religious ceremonies to foster our children’s religious beliefs and Islamic morals. These diverse programs, which encompass the matters of religious, moral, historical and Islamic jurisprudence required for children’s needs can currently be found under the “Educational Content for Islamic Events” section of our website.
Since some children, and their parents showed continued interest in the maintenance of the programs in the form of weekly classes; for this purpose, we have prepared appropriate content by carefully selecting certain children’s literature, to provide a platform for the continuous communication between Muslim children and faithful teachers.
Although the created content can be easily implemented by most interested young educators; however, alongside these contents we have proceeded by holding “Pedagogy and Teacher Training” courses for this sacred purpose. These training courses include topics such as: Islamic pedagogy, Islamic epistemology, and teaching skills. The content for these courses may also be found on our website.
The Road Ahead
What we have accomplished thus far, is only a small portion of the vast journey that lie ahead of us. We still yet must experience, improve, and enhance our achievements. We ourselves need to expand our knowledge, accomplish more, apprehend other people’s achievements, and benefit from their efforts. What we have prepared so far is only our initial efforts. Overtime, we must seek to test, and enhance both the quality, and quantity of our endeavors. Furthermore, we must localize our work in a manner that suits the culture of our audience. So, they may also experience the beauties and teachings of their religion without offering any resistance, and it closely correlates with their nature and culture.
Since our achievements have been possible by the contribution of a group of volunteers; we also invite you to join us and embark upon this journey and assist us in improving the existing content, creating, implementing, and expanding the use of these contents and make it into a culture. Thus, together by collaborating, and cooperating, we can establish a model for the nurturing and edification of Shia children, establish unity among them, and depict an appealing representation of the valuable religion of Islam to all those interested in such cultural activities. We request from God to assist us in this luminous journey, distance us from the temptations of Satan, and accept our endeavors in this path in the service of the Imam of Our Time (PBUH). May God hasten his reappearance!