Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) IYGers,
One of the best memories kids usually have from their childhood is getting to take part in a sleepover at a friend’s home. From the practices of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), especially in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan, is to perform itikha’f in the masjid. Itikha’f in some ways is like a sleepover – you spend the night in a different place from your home, typically you have a few friends who join you, and you typiclaly are up all night. However whereas a sleepover is a social event primarily, the purpose of an itikha’f is to seclude oneself in the masjid to perform more worship. From reading/reciting the Qur’an, praying extra nawafil, listening to beneficial lectures/reminders, and making du’aa, an itikha’f is an opportunity to spiritually get closer to our Creator. To help our youth practice this great sunnah, our youth took part in our annual IYG itikha’f at the ISGL yesterday evening. After standing and praying Isha + taraweeh prayers, our youth took a short break to enjoy a fun activity before continuing on the main program. Our program included a reminder by Br. Nouman Ali Khan about the story of the young people in the cave (Surah Kahf), private time to read and reflect upon the Qur’an, and late night (tahajjud) prayer. After a long night of worship, we helped our youth to re-fuel their bodies with a delicious suhoor (which included Mickey Mouse pancakes!!!) before heading home for some much-needed rest. A quick snapshot of the night’s program is captured in the images below:
Tonight’s first task…get yourself in order (QUIETLY!) by age from oldest to youngest…
A new IYG record…it took our youth only 2 minutes and 15 seconds to get organized by age!
Our younger youth start the night off with a good deed by making date jars to give as gifts to their parents…
Aladdin and Mohammed proudly display their finished products…beautiful!
Next, Hasan and his buddy Ahmed prepare cookie dough for a late night snack.
The finished products…is that a snowman?!?
As our mini-men wait for their cookies to rise up, they enjoy a fun game of tic-tac-toe (the fancy version)…
Their friends try their hand guessing what’s written on the card on their forehead. I see a “bee!”
Meanwhile upstairs, our older youth enjoy a competitive game on NBA 2K14 post-taraweeh…Michale Jordan came back from retirement to defeat the world-champion Spurs…Omar appears to be enjoying a nice dream as he sleeps in the vertical position.
Afterward, Br. Nouman delivered a powerful reminder from Surat-al-Kahf to our youngsters.
Moving on to late night tahajjud prayer…
…followed by a delicious and nutritious suhoor prepared by our head chefs whom we like to call S-squared – Brs. Salah and Samir!