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Printable Family Conversation Cards

Since I last posted about family meal time conversations, sharing ideas from the Childhood 101 Facebook community, our dinner time conversations have evolved to include Immy sharing the highlights of her day at school and us all taking a turn to share the best and worst parts of our day. Sometimes we mix it up to include something we learnt or a mistake we made, and other times one of us asks a special question all of their own that each person takes a turn to answer. It’s a lot of fun and it provides us with valuable insight into what Immy is thinking and how she is feeling.

In talking with friends, I know that not all children are as forthcoming when it comes to sharing information, especially when asked about their day at school. I imagine it is a large part personality but I do believe including regular time to slow down to talk together meaningfully in your family’s routine can also make a big difference. While dinnertime works best for us, maybe another meal in the day, or one meal a week where everyone is expected to sit down together, or even some special quiet time just before bed provide a workable alternative, depending upon the age of your children and your family commitments.

Our asking of one off, special questions led me to the idea of making a printable set of conversation question cards. Each card includes one question, with topics related to the individual, friends, family, school and general life choices. There are 30 questions in total and while some cards may be best suited to older children (mid to late primary/elementary), many of the questions can be answered by preschoolers and those in the early grades (and the printable also includes one blank page of cards so that you can add further questions all of your own).

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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).