As women, we can have our social calendar planned a month ahead, from teas to luncheons and gatherings. But, as a Productive Muslimah, we need to go a step farther and organise “Productive” Parties as Allah says:
“I am with my slave when he thinks of Me and I am with him when he mentions Me. For if he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in a gathering, I mention him in superior gathering. If he approaches Me by a hand’s width, I approach him by an arm’s length; I approach him by two arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I hasten to him swiftly.” [Hadith Qudsi]
So let’s see how we can strategically accomplish a productive party worthy of a Productive Muslimah.
Fresh Ideas for a Productive Party
- Organise the party around an Islamic theme
When you sit down to plan it, think of a relevant topic that would be of interest and benefit to you and your friends. If you are stuck for ideas, you could ask for their opinions and conduct a poll to see if they’d like to discuss a Qur’anic verse, a seerah or a hadith.
- Make them potluck parties
The mercy of Allah is such that once these “productive parties” begin, the thirst for more becomes overwhelming. In rushing to organise and execute them more often, the cooking and hosting can become overwhelming. You can save a lot of time and reduce stress by cutting back on the menu planning. Conducting potlucks is a great solution to achieve this. Let the hostess offer her house and cutlery, while the rest of the sisters can volunteer to bring food and drinks.
- Fun for kids
This is a good opportunity to instil in children the love of gatherings for the sake of Allah . Make it fun for them by bringing crayons and colouring books of Arabic letters or the names of Allah . This will keep them busy during “deen time”. Reward the kids with stickers for their craftsmanship and their good behaviour during “deen time”.
- Hold these parties at the house of a disabled or chronically ill sister
Sometimes we have amidst us a sister who is disabled or chronically ill and cannot move out of her home. If she so desires, conduct these parties at her house. Organise and delegate the work among you. Some sisters can bring food, while others can help organize the house and the guests. Some sisters I know in Kansas are doing this regularly. In fact, when I moved out of Kansas, they even held my “Productive Farewell Party” at her place. It was enjoyable for her too for it gave her the opportunity to meet people. Her children also enjoyed it for they could invite their friends too. Best of all, we remembered Allah and also made dua for her.
- A productive party to celebrate the birth of a new baby or a new bride
We often hold parties before or after the birth of a new baby and before a friend is getting married. This is one of the best times to gather together and learn what the Qur’an and sunnah tells us about being a productive mother and wife.There is always something new to learn, even for those who already have many kids and have been married for some time. All the sisters could get together and compile a small handy book on the hadiths about motherhood or wifehood, and give it to the new-mother-to-be or the new bride.
- Impromptu productive party
We don’t always plan before meeting. It can often be a “spur of the moment”, such as a warm day that is fit for spending the day with a friend. Even these can be made productive.You can share whatever new you learned, such as perhaps a hadith that touched your heart. You could also discuss some ayah or surah in the Qur’an or share a new dua that you are learning, or maybe even share an experience of how coming closer to Allah changes you and brightens our lives. With the convenience of mobile devices and the internet, you could even play a lecture video on YouTube.
Hosting a Productive Party
- Inform the invitees about the topic before the party
A friend of mine wanted to have a discussion on how to give da’wah to non-muslims. When she invited us to her house, she asked us to look into the topic and come up with our own list of “Tips to Perform Da’wah”. The discussion was well organized and beneficial, as everyone had something to say and the amount we learnt from each other was incredible.
- Eat before the “deen time”
It’s always better to have your lunch and finish praying your salah before starting the “deen time”. Enjoy the food first, and before time starts to run out, settle down with your cup of tea and dessert to commence the “deen time”. This will help you focus more on the topic of discussion without the tantalizing aromas of the food or rumbles of an empty stomach to distract you.
- Have a format to the “deen time”
Always begin with dua and send blessings upon the Messenger of Allah and recite the dua:
اللَّهُمَّ أَرِنَا الْحَقّ حَقًّا وَارْزُقْنَا اتِّبَاعه وَأَرِنَا الْبَاطِل بَاطِلًا وَارْزُقْنَا hجْتِنَابه
O Allah! Show us the truth as truth and give us ability to follow it and show us the falsehood as falsehood and give us the ability to avoid it. [Iyyaka Nasta’een]
- Listen to the speaker.
Don’t interrupt the speaker. This leads to wasting time and also leads the gathering away from the topic being discussed. Instead, keep your questions ready. Ask them your question once the speaker ends her talk and continue the discussion. And always end with the dua:
سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَبِحَمْدِكَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْكَ
Purity belongs to You. O Allah , with Your praises, I bear witness that there is non-worthy of worship except You. I seek forgiveness from You and I repent to You [Tirmidhi]
- A knowledgeable person whom you can listen to
If you have some one knowledgeable amongst your friends to lead the discussion, then very good. If not, you could play Islamic lectures on YouTube. Alhamdulillah, there are many great speakers to learn from for inspiration and to increase your knowledge on the relevant topic.
- Give something to take back
Give some related duas or books for your guests to take back. One sister always gave us books at the end of her productive party. I still have the book with me and use it often to recite or look up duas. If you are organising or delivering the talk, then you can print duas on a pretty piece of stationary and give it to the sisters attending. They could stick it on their fridge to learn it, and even pass it on to someone else once they’ve memorized it.
- Have a schedule
We have a pretty organised way in which we run our “kitty parties”. To make the most out of your productive party, you too will need to apply organisational skills and plan ahead to schedule your productive parties. For example, you could plan printing out a roster with the topics to discuss and the hostess name on top. This way, everyone can easily stay on track with the topic when they arrive, take notes, and even bring it home with them as reminders.
All you need to do first is make the sincere intention :) So make one now and plan a productive party today!
Do you have any other productive party ideas for sisters? Share them with the sisters of your ummah by leaving your tips in the comments below.