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Put a stop to sibling bickering: Make a get-along jar

Sibling bickering isn’t fun for anyone – not for the kids and definitely not for Mum. Maxabella shares how can you end sibling frustration … and all it takes is a jar and some sticks!

My children’s bickering was like a not-very-musical accompaniment to daily life – all day, everyday, nah, nah, nah. “It’s my shirt, no it’s mine, I got it for Christmas, no you didn’t, it’s mine, it’s mine, Muuuuuuum it’s my shirt, Muuuuuuum …”

“It’s my turn to choose the show, it’s mine, you chose the show yesterday, she did it the day before it’s my turn, it’s mine, Muuuuuuuuum it’s my turn, Muuuuuuuuum …”

“You’re looking at me, no I’m not, yes you are stop looking at me, I’m not looking at you, yes you are stop doing it, I’m not looking at you, Muuuuuuuuuum he’s looking at me, Muuuuuuuum …”

Sound familiar? To be honest, I rarely used to even let them get to the “Muuuuuuuum” part because just the sound of the three of them arguing over the most petty, mundane things would gnaw away at my brain until I would shout, “Stop bickering! STOP IT!”

And before you knew it, I’d be in there bickering away with them about whether or not they were bickering in the first place. Sigh. Being the parent is hard, isn’t it? That’s why I want to introduce you to the get-along jar. It has changed the way my kids behave towards each other and I hope it can work its magic at your place, too. The get-along jar is basically just a jar of craft sticks that list ideas for things siblings can do together instead of fight and argue. So every time you catch them launching into a bickering fest, instead of playing referee, hand them the jar and ask them to select a stick.

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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).