Category Archives: Children

Ramadan, rukus & Qur’an

Yesterday, Youngest & I were discussing how to complete the Qur’an in 30 days. I started by saying there were just over 6,000 verses in Qur’an so if we divided that by 30, we’d have to read about 200 verses a day, which we could do if we read 50 verses after each of 4 salaat.  My very logical Youngest said you mean 40 verses if you read after each salaat. Well, yes. That devolved into a discussion about rukus, another ‘divider’ in the Qur’an. My children have been exposed and acclimatised to words like ‘juz’ ‘para’ ‘sipara’ & ‘ruku’ with respect to recitation of al Qur’an. I have not, and I have to rely on them to translate. I’m good with juz as I understand that to mean 1/30 of the Qur’an. But juz can be further subdivided. A ruku is one of those sub-divisions, but I couldn’t get a grasp of how many verses comprised 1 ruku. (Please note that this is not to be confused with the ruku position of salaat, but you will see that that position lead to its name).

So off we went to Google. After reading quite a few entries/posts, this is the explanation for a ruku in Qur’an:

Neither the Rasool saws nor his Companions ra divided the Qur’an into parts, and it seems that up to contemporary times, Arab-printed Qur’ans do not show the sub-divisions.

“Around the 4th century of the Hijri calendar the Ulema of Bukhara, Russia divided the entire Quran into 540 Rukus for Taraaweeh purposes. They reckoned that if one Ruku is recited in each raka’at of the Taraaweeh salaah the Hafiz will finish the Quran exactly on the 27th night of Ramadaan. The equation is as follows:

1 ruku per raka’at x 20 raka’ats = 20 Rukus per night x 27 nights = 540 rukus.

When devising these Rukus the Ulema made sure that Rukus contained aayats of the same topic and theme.

They named it Ruku because the Hafiz goes into ruku after reciting it in one raka’at of Taraaweeh salaah.”

However, searches for the number of rukus in Qur’an will also yield the number 558. Huh? The explanation lies in the the ulema of South Asia (according to my quran online):

“In South Asia the tradition is to complete recitation of the whole Qur’an in 27 nights. This required partitioning of the Qur’an in 27 x 20 = 540 sections excepting the Surah al-Fatiha. When such partitioning was done they ended up with 556 (+1 for Surat al-Fatiha) sections. Evidently, they did not go back to redo the partitioning to come with 540 sections. The Qur’an copies printed in South Asia have Ruku’ or Section markings showing number of the ruku’ within the Surah, within the Juz and ayah number within the ruku’.”

In Qur’ans which carry the ruku markings, the end of each ruku is marked on the margin of the Qur’an with the letter ‘ain, with the number of the ruku over it.

Read it in smaller more manageable portions, my respected brothers & sisters. And persevere.

PS: There is no compulsion to perform a ruku (as in salaat) after recitation of a ruku of the Qur’an. This is completely different from reciting an ayah of the Qur’an which requires that you perform a sajdah (as in salaat) at the end of the ayah.


Sabr & Shukr – Parent of the Year

Again, much time has passed since my last burst of enthusiasm (March) to post here. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) my ideas and blogs in my mind do not immediately transfer onto wordpress, so here I am once again.

In January, I played in the Annual Lawson Nurse Scrabble Tournament, and brought home another trophy! I have since lost the photograph of same. However, NoS and Youngest and BH each brought home a trophy on the same day. (And apparently I have also lost those photos). (This blog needs emojis).

BH was awarded ‘Parent of the Year’ and the other muslimah mother was also awarded ‘Parent of the Year’. So while I could crow about my word tiles, I would rather cite some scripture on parenting:

“…kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them”. (Quran 6:151)

[Quran 25:74]…..”Our Lord, let our spouses and children be a source of joy for us, and keep us in the forefront of the righteous.”

[Quran 14:40] O my Lord! make me one who establishes regular Prayer, and also (raise such) among my offspring O our Lord! and accept Thou my Prayer.”

Prophet Muhammad saws said, “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.  The ruler is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.  A man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock.  A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s household and is responsible for her flock”.

The Prophet (s) said: “Allah (SWT) will ask every caretaker about the people under his care, and the man will be asked about the people of his household” (Nasa’i, Abu Da’ud)

O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded” (Qur’an 66:6).

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi va sallam) said, “The best gift to children from parents is their correct training”(Tirmizi).

Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:“Upon death, man’s deeds will stop except for three deeds, namely: a continuous charitable fund, endowment or goodwill; knowledge left for people to benefit from; and a pious righteous and God-fearing child who continuously prays to Allah, for the souls of his parents” (Muslim).

Another walk


BD’s charity walks are well documented by now. This Gregorian year marked the celebration of Barbados’ 50th anniversary of independence from its colonial master, and Youngest and his school participated in a slew of activities. Not being a helicopter mother, I sent him and BD off to the annual Nation funathalon walk where his school copped the prize for largest number of walkers from a school. Also included in the prizes was the youngest ‘walker’ in his perambulator!

Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said,

“Any action without the remembrance of God is either a diversion or heedlessness excepting four acts: Walking from target to target [during archery practice], training a horse, playing with one’s family, and learning to swim.” At-Tabarani

Station 88



On Monday 28 November 2016, Barbados attempted for the second time to have a human chain link around the 166 square mile island. The first attempt was made in 1979 and BH participated then. This time around, he was a marshal (and we think he was Chief Marshal). And the product of his loins (being BakerDaughter (I may have to change that appellation again), NoS, and Youngest) and his spouse and their mother (being me!) also participated.

Although participation sometimes needs to be defined. The intent was to line the street along a particular kilometre (assigned to schools, so while NoS went off to the GAIA strip, BD, Youngest and his raging fever, and I went off to Station 88 – pay close attention to the golden number on the roadway). Then at a particular time, you link hands, sing the national anthem, say the pledge of allegiance, and sing ‘Let’s Join Hands to Show We Love Barbados’, while miniature broken tridents (the insignia on the national flag) was passed along. Well, while there was lots and lots of ebbing and flowing for us to spread along the kilometre, our Station (according to BD’s rant to ‘What Drives Me Crazy’ the following morning) did not get any closure (other than a burqa tan:)). Times were not stuck to, and the new timings were not effectively communicated to the bystanders who had been standing in the sun for over 2 hours. The singing of the anthem passed us by. I and 6 other women sang the anthem lustily by ourselves. Arggh. But that is feedback for the next attempt.

The other golden symbol in the photo was Barbados’ official 50th anniversary of independence logo.

As Muslims, we do not live in isolation, our community includes our neighbours, our parishes, our country.

Vegan franks – another Ramadan bite

This Ramadan, we’ve found ourselves eating lots of different foods. Five different palates in my household, and five different tastes.

This morning for sehri, Youngest, BakerDaughter & Number One Son ate (ewwww), hot dogs. The toppings are horseradish mustard, cheese, sweet relish & ketchup.

I saw ewwww because I really cannot abide the sight or the smell. Although I know it’s vegan. At school, I would remove myself from the vicinity of anyone eating hot dogs. The smell would make me quite nauseous. Having disgusting children who actually like the stuff, I forced myself to cook them. The scent still sets me off though. Thankfully, BH does NOT like them either. (And I have acclimatised myself to his like for corned beef).

The vomiting fasting footballer – the Rule

Yes, we’re still writing about Number One Son. And Youngest, who is not yet considered mature, is fasting too. And practised football while fasting last Friday.

NOS practised Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Thursday and Friday would have been just before iftar. Saturday was in the hot hours of the morning to just about midday. So he vomited when he got home. “Mum, did this break my fast?”

For years, I’ve ‘known’ of this rule – fast is broken if vomiting more than a mouthful. Didn’t make sense to me. But here goes….

The Rule

The intestinal tract running from the throat through stomach and ending with the end of the intestine is the critical tract. Entry of anything (other than the air one usually breathes) through the mouth, nose, a perforated eardrum, or the anus, breaks the fast.

At age 45+ all is made clear to me by the communication of this simple, logical explanation. (This was explained at the Sisters’ talk given on Sunday last).

The spewing of the vomitus doesn’t break the fast. What might break the fast is whether any of the vomit was swallowed (yes, it sounds gross). There are two schools of thought on that, and depends on volition or not, and amount.


Fasting and football – Qadha & Kaffarah

So, Number One Son has oodles of football practice before jetting off to play in some international tournament. Oooh, goodie, says you. Well, yes. But, 1. he is muslim, 2. he is considered mature although under the age of majority. And? you say.

Well, you remember that it is Ramadan, don’t you. So what? say you.

Fasting during this month is compulsory for him. Unless he was ill, or traveling (more than 48 miles although that criteria differs from my personal view, and away for less than 14 days). Football practice does not fall under either exempted head. I see, you say, slowly. I can see that you are a tad befuddled. Does that mean that he cannot practise? No, it means that his fast is his priority and all other things are secondary. Uh huh, you say.

Okay, to fast or not to fast is never a question. Unless ill, or traveling, or insane, or pregnant, or breastfeeding, or too old, or too young. Or your work is too hard.

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous [Qur’an 2:183]

[Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] – then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] – a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess – it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew. [Qur’an 2:184]

The question is really, how can you play football and fast. This question isn’t new. It came up in the last Olympics – visit fasting in olympics.

And lest we forget the sanctions – if you unintentionally break the fast, you must make it up after Ramadan (as in fast for a day). But if you break or miss the fast intentionally, then that ‘ransom’ is to fast for 60 consecutive days, or, feed a poor person per day for 60 days or feed 60 poor persons in a day.

He fasts. As he is commanded to.