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Let’s Learn About Trees

Fall is a great time of year for going on a nature hike to learn about trees. In this episode, trail guide Teresa D’Anna offers parents tips and tricks for teaching kids about trees while we’re out on the trail.

As you plan your hike, here are a some helpful hints. You can mix and match them up to suit you and your family’s interests and children’s ages:

Before You Go:

Books to Read

  • We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt – This is a fun read for kids K through 2nd grade. Use it to get kids excited about looking for leaves.
  • The Giving Tree– 2nd through 4th grades. This moving parable is a great read for kids and can help them start thinking about all the things trees give us: shelter, oxygen, things in our home (table, chairs, dressers, cabinets) and at school (desks, paper, books and pencils). This is also a good story to help kids make connections between nature and the larger world around them.
  • The Young Naturalist – grades 5 and up. This book offers kids more in depth learning about becoming a naturalist and looks at how trees are the base for the woodland community.
  • Fandex Family Field Guide: Trees – all ages. This handy guide will help you and the kids identify trees on your hike.

Make Your Own Trail Mix
Here’s a way to squeeze in some math skills in a tasty way. Kids and parents can mix up their own special blend of trail mix. Place bowls or bags of dried fruits, coconut, chocolate chips, and nuts on the kitchen counter or table; then have everyone place their own ratio, proportion, or, fraction of ingredients into sandwich bags.

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Zakat eligibility of The FYI

The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
(Al-Tawbah 9:60)

According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

About Shaikh Ali

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).