.بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Photo Creds: Miss Shahanaz.

So I seem to really enjoy annoying my brother sometimes. He gets annoyed. And then when he annoys me: he says I’m really ‘fun’ to annoy. Because he thinks I look ‘funny’ when I’m angry at him, apparently.

I love it when we ‘forget’ that we have this ‘antagonistic’ thing to uphold. My baby brother is still my baby brother. In anybody, in certain moments: you’ll likely witness these flickers of truths, showing you that they’re just grown-up versions of when they were two or four. You can’t ‘outgrow’ yourself somehow.

Like the other day, when my brother really wanted a blue slushie. And how he wanted something on his PlayStation for 79p. And then he got out his coins in his palm, started counting them; said he’ll pay me back.

Yesterday, my brother started telling me about the ‘Forest School’ at his primary school. I’d been at the same school, some ten years ago now.

Forest School‘: a pond. And they’re planning to put some fish there. And some dens. Maybe: a bee-keeping section. Something for foxes and moles, I think he’d said. Some tarpaulin to cover the place, maybe, for when it rains.

Forest School is an incredible idea. It’s outdoors, it’s experiential. It’s sensory learning. It opens up the eyes, hearts, minds, of young children. It gets them outside. I don’t think we ever do particularly well with… sitting on a chair, behind a table, for too long.

My brother told me that in Reception, he’d found a frog in the school pond. And the class got to keep it as a pet. He (س) also used to call a squirrel he’d seen from our balcony at our previous house: ‘Percy’. ‘Percy the Squirrel’.

I really do think that children learn best when they play. Explore the whole entire world, have a real adventure. Play sparks such positive emotional experiences as: curiosity, wonder. Fascination, social bonding.

Asking questions, feeling accomplished. Feeling valued and important. Getting lost in something, in a good way.

And these positive experiences are memorable.

As Muslims, and as per what Allah tells us in the Qur’an:

There are such wonderful signs, for us, in the Heavens and in the Earth. آيَاتٌ.

There is also:

Healing and goodness, in honey. And one of my Arabic teachers taught us an eloquent Arabic analogy:

How a good lesson can be compared to honey: sweet, beneficial, and easy to digest.

So much of goodness can be extracted from ‘the natural world’. Certainly: from the Qur’an, from Islam. From being with good companions. From being magnetised towards what you have been made to love, and find unique wonder and ability in.

اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ 

خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ 

اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ 

الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ 

عَلَّمَ الْإِنسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ

1. “Read (Proclaim!) In the Name of your Lord Who created”
2. “Created man, out of a clot (of congealed blood).”
3. “Read (Proclaim), and your Lord is the Most Generous,”
4. “Who taught by the Pen,”
5. “Taught man that which he knew not.”

— Qur’an, (96:1—5).

All these things. Like: mathematics. People, socially, and individually. Plants. Animals. Fish.

The stars. The human body. Nutrition. Cars. Speech, writing, language. And whatever else.

.إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ ۚ وَمَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ

“Indeed, to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He gives life and causes death. And you have not besides Allah any protector or any helper.”

— Qur’an, (9:116).

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