An Imperfect Effort

It’s the middle of the night and I am attempting to complete an advent calendar for my son.  This Ramadan, for the very first time, my son will be fasting a few hours each day inshaAllah.  To encourage him, I decided to create a calendar that would contain treats for him to have with Iftar. I hope you’re not imagining a beautiful, hand crafted work of art.  Our advent calendar is a simple cut out of a crescent moon and star on which 30 plastic baby food containers have been glued and numbered.

I got started on the calendar about two weeks ago. I gathered the materials I would need and situated myself on the living room floor.  My son quickly came over to see what was going on.  My initial intention had been to surprise him with the advent calendar on the first day of Ramadan.  However, I quickly realized that I couldn’t possibly create the whole thing while he was sleeping and manage to keep it hidden from him until Ramadan, so it became an art project for the two of us to do together.  As we worked, I focused on the joy this was bringing to my son and ignored how imperfect the whole thing was turning out to be.

As I sat there with my son, trying to complete the project, as his little sister tried to “help”, I thought about how easy everything is for Allah, al-Baari, the Originator of all things.  “Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, “Be!” and it is!” (36:82)  Not only did He, Al-Baari, create us and all that exists out of nothing and without effort, He (swt) created it all perfectly.

Our calendar was something special, just for my little boy.  It wasn’t color coordinated or elegant.  I’m sure no one would ever “pin” or bookmark it if they found a picture of it on a website. I had made duaa for help in completing this task and for it to be something that would increase the love of fasting and Ramadan in my son’s heart.  That’s all that really mattered. Using the materials we already had on hand, we completed as much of our project as we could and left the rest of it for later.

So here I am, Ramadan having already started, one kid fast asleep, another refusing to sleep, trying to figure out which treats I can put in each of these 30 little boxes.  Allah willing, it’s going to be a great month.

Yasmeen Afsar

Yasmeen is a mother of two who enjoys reading to her kids and trying new things.

  • dove

    ooooh, how lovely :)

  • Yasmeen

    Dear Yasmeen,

    For a kid, it’s not only a piece of art, it’s a masterpiece! I’m looking forward to reading more about your Ramadan.

  • Doaa Mostafa

    I have been using a pocket calender with my girls to keep trake of Ramadan days.

    I would certainly love to pin your calender on my Ramadan board on Pinterest sister! :)))))))))))

  • Doaa Mostafa

    I have been using a pocket calender with my girls to keep trake of Ramadan days.

    I would certainly love to pin your calender on my Ramadan board on Pinterest sister! :)))))))))))

  • Farkhunda Ali

    Yasmeen,

    Wonderful story. For children, their artwork is merely a reflection of self and the best way of expressing their inner feelings. The more imperfect it is, the more it holds value to them and as you related it only Allah can create perfect things and there is a lesson in this that all human beings are imperfect and that it is okay to be like that because the world would not be interesting if everything was perfect.

    Farkhunda

  • Farkhunda Ali

    Yasmeen,

    Wonderful story. For children, their artwork is merely a reflection of self and the best way of expressing their inner feelings. The more imperfect it is, the more it holds value to them and as you related it only Allah can create perfect things and there is a lesson in this that all human beings are imperfect and that it is okay to be like that because the world would not be interesting if everything was perfect.

    Farkhunda

  • Yasmeen Afsar

    JazakAllah khair everyone. Alhumdulillah, he loves taking his treat out everyday. I put one of the following in each box: some stickers, a folded page from a book of puzzles, a slip of paper with an activity we can do (ex: bowling), a candy, and just a day or two had a gum.

  • Yasmeen Afsar

    JazakAllah khair everyone. Alhumdulillah, he loves taking his treat out everyday. I put one of the following in each box: some stickers, a folded page from a book of puzzles, a slip of paper with an activity we can do (ex: bowling), a candy, and just a day or two had a gum.

  • Abeer

    Mashallah this is an amazing idea! I will definetly be doing this for the next Ramadan inshAllah!

  • Abeer

    Mashallah this is an amazing idea! I will definetly be doing this for the next Ramadan inshAllah!


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