Reconciling Conflicts between Students with Spiritual Approach

Pre-teens vs Child
Have been being around and dealing with kids between the age of 11-12 for almost a year as a 6th-grade teacher, has led me came to know that, they are not less challenging than younger students under the age of 10. Despite the absence of noises, tantrums or common daily drama scenes, Subhanallah.

Pre-teen students are definitely different in how they perceive and how they react, like; while repeated direct orders or cautions are still needed in lower grades it less likely work on pre-teen students, rather it more likely develop reluctance on them. You would hardly find crying students or obvious fighting in a 6th-grade classroom because they are more able to take care of the situation among their peers than the lower grades. No wonder, those distinctions have to do with their transformation stage, from child to adolescent.

No more chaos and fighting. Instead, these common issues are likely to take place among the pre-teen students as per my experience, such as:
Bullying. It is sometimes so subtle. A student started being avoided by her/her entire classmates in the classroom and sometimes the matter is taken in the form of verbal attack through social media platforms
Cliques conflict among girls. This one is so complicated
Oh, and -this exists too- early opposite gender interest which involved texting (Sigh!), my classroom is mixed anyway.
There are so many causes behind students’ problems. The biggest influence comes from their closest ones; parents, family and then, their adult surroundings. Parents are responsible for providing good spiritual upbringing for their children. Furthermore, Islamic School should not only put importance on ritual worships (salah, shaum, hajj) and memorize the Quran and dua for assignments purpose, while Islamic Education is supposed to reach student’s souls to build Islamic values for their lifetime.

What actually is their conflict?
I sensed strange atmosphere in my classroom that recent week, there was a female student who usually is the chatter among her peers. She was silently seated in a corner and enjoying her own time during recesses, none of them spoke to her, but she pretended to be fine. Then another day followed another female student got the same treatment from her peers. Until I found the fact that apparently, they were attacking each other through social media platforms, with inappropriate words and  apparently it had something to do with the third problem I mentioned above as well. (Sigh)

There was almost a similar conflict that had happened earlier than this, but it was another different student. Based on previous teacher’s information it had been happening since they were in 5th grade that one of my female students had been being ostracized, so they brought it until they entered in 6th grade. This was upsetting to me. But Alhamdulillah, she no longer being ostracized after entering 2nd semester. Those problems that arose were usually triggered by a misunderstanding among them, so did the recent one.

When Teens TV dramas and Social media have become pre-teen students’ daily consumption, it’s no wonder if they gain its negative impact on their attitudes. Those dramas usually promote under-age romance, superiority and aggressive behavior, which are opposite of virtuous Islamic values. While social media misuse would occupy their time. I understood how most of their parents are not aware of the danger, by giving their kids freedom to watch TV dramas and handing over them a smartphone.

Conventional approach that only works on the surface 
Once I could fathom what was going on, I ask Allah SWT for the best way to reconcile them because I believe that conventional way (by direct advising and warnings) we were using before, won’t solve the problem and can’t guarantee such conflict from recurrence. The conventional approach tends to judge, warn and tell them what they should do as good students while their heart is still in annoyance. So, the students may involuntarily apologize and end the conflict to avoid the consequences, while behind their teacher/parent’s presence they may develop resentment. So it would only bring the matter even worse. I don’t want their temporary peace, only for the sake of teacher and parents. I believe advice only can be accepted when their heart has softened and opened with relief.

Spiritual approach
The following day after I could figure the problem out, on the morning, I called four particular students to the school’s mushola. I start the approach with leading them Dhuha prayer in a congregation (Dhuha prayer is part of our school daily program which conducted in a congregation, leads by a scheduled male student. I called these four girls earlier, apart from the rest big number of students, because I need a private time with these students). Then continued by dhikr and dua, I asked them to do Istighfaar a lot -quietly- and make a silent dua by themselves. Remained in shaf with my students, I whispered asking Allah SWT to open their hearts. After that, I handed them Quran to be read. My purpose was that I hoped it would soften their heart and they would gain peace and comfort before I addressed the main point. I recited the Quran as well.

Then, I started addressing the issue;

“Dear my students, I have already known everything what is going on between you all recently. I won’t be angry with or blame you. I know as human, sometimes we make mistakes but we should realize it soon and repent.”

“We have bestowed lisan (our tongue) by Allah SWT, we have just used it to read Quran, haven’t we? So, won’t we feel ashamed to use it for evil speech, foul language and mocking others after we recited the words from Allah?”

(they started turning their head down in silence)

“It is easy to be a Muslim. We pray five times a day, fast, and read Quran, because our parents and teachers told us to do so because we are a Muslim, right? And, Alhamdulillah you all already do that all, I know. But, is that enough to makes us (true) believer?……….. Is that enough?”

“We need Emaan in our heart. You know my dear students, Emaan will be reflected in our acts, attitudes, and speeches toward others. A person who has Emaan will be kind toward others, their family, their teachers, their friends, their classmates and people whom they meet. The Prophet Salallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam said: None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself. [Bukhari & Muslim]. What have you done? Look, my students, who are sitting next to you? she is your sister in Islam, she is your classmates who have been together with you for almost six years since you were in first-Grade.”

(They kept their heads turned down and started weeping)

“Is it right to give a silent treatment to our sisters more than three days? (they shook their heads slowly). Yea, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible for a man to forsake his Muslim brother for more than three days, each of them turning away from the other when they meet. The better of them is the one who gives the greeting of salaam first.” (Bukhari and Muslim). You had already known that hadith, hadn’t you?”

“My students, it hurts to be forsaken. Can you imagine if everyone forsook you and left you alone? Or, if everyone bullies you? Now imagine that you are in her situation……(they cried) Well, it’s okay, it’s okay, you may cry just try to remember anything that you have done to your friends”

(They started turning their head down and crying. It made me a bit surprised and relieved at the same time. I let them cried and told them that we have asked Allah’s forgiveness, InshaAllah He would forgive us, Allah is The Most Merciful)

“My dear students, I believe you would never hold grudges towards each other. Can you feel? Actually, deep down you love each other. Those thoughts were just your temporary emotion due to misunderstanding. But, I hope this would never happen again. You are not a child anymore, so you are responsible for any of your action”

“We as your teacher and your parents will never always know anything you do. You might do inappropriate things behind us, like talking rudely towards each other, maybe. But Allah is The All-Knowing, All-Hearing, and Al-Watching. He is watching you. He knows everything you do. If you fear Allah, you would feel that He is watching you”

I felt a heartwarming scene when finally they were apologizing and forgiving each other with tears in their eyes. One by one, I held two students’hands together and told both of them to acknowledge any of their wrong saying or wrongdoing towards the opposite one who sat in front of them. Alhamdulillah.

Joyous and Peaceful Classroom more than before
After that moment I left them alone and allowed them to have some free time if they wanted to. My purpose was to let them start talking to each other. When the recess time had come, I observed them from a distance and, MashaAllah I noticed that the situation had turn 180°. My classroom had turned into spring again.

Seeing how they were overjoyed and seemed celebrated their reconciliation made me realized how was actually only a very thin unseen layer that had separated them. Now, the layer had been broken by sincere apologies and forgiving. Furthermore, they did it purely from their heart instead of being told to do so, no fear of consequence affected their reconciliation.

So, what should parents do with their underage-smartphone-user kids?
After I discussed the issues with the parents, Alhamdulillah they themselves finally decided to be cautious and limit the use of smartphones in their underage-smartphone-user kids. We should think twice before handing smartphone to kids, do they really need it in such age? or it is just to make them happy along with great risks await? Because it can be tools to bring evil for their well-being, both physically and spiritually.


Children’s soul -be it pre-teens, they are children though- is still pure. It is what they hear and what they see that bring either good or adverse effect on their attitude and behavior. They may be in conflict but deep down they would never hold grudges. Judgment, warnings, and lectures are not what they need to solve the problem. There is something that lies inside them that need to be touched. We feed their tummy with food, and brain with knowledge but we should not neglect to feed and water their souls as well.

All praises to Allah Subhanahu wata’ala Who has made everything easy for us.



Dear Heart….

Dear heart how are you today…?

What have filled you today? What is the most occupied you today? Is it remembrance of Him? or just merely worldly things? That’s why it seem cracked?..Allah ya Jabbar!

It is ok, say istighfar, take a deep breath.. let ‘them’ flow from the lids…

Listen dear heart, you are the most powerful organ that Allah has bestowed upon me. I have the responsibility to take care of you….

I know that today the good intention is being misunderstood badly… but it is not one’s capacity to direct other’s understanding and perception towards them…

I know that today the plan is being shattered…. but no one knows what is best for themselves, Allah is the best planner….

Don’t you know dear heart that you must not be occupied by the things that should not be there… ?

Just leave everything to Allah SWT. Put trust in Him.






A Blessed Night with A Heart in Turmoil

“…Remove the humiliation..The shadow which follows us…And say, those who follow His guidance do not suffer…” (Ahmad Bukhatir’s Nasheed : ‘Iqra’)

I couldn’t explain how much I love this beautiful Nasheed. ‘Iqra’, the most beautiful nasheed that I ever heard. Since the first time, until now, I find my hands wipe my eyes whilst my heart deep inside feels the spirit of faith, when listening to this Nasheed.

Tonight, on the seventeenth day of Ramadan, in this beautiful and blessed month, I find my self sit alone peacefully with a heart in turmoil along with this nasheed humming on my ears, and..

“…Remove the humiliation..The shadow which follows us…And say, those who follow His guidance do not suffer…” my eyelids couldn’t resist the feeling inside…I let ‘them’ fall.

A lecture that I love from Yasmin Mogahed, “The Attribute of Patience”  suddenly recalled on my mind…I come to understand that”Sabr”,perseverance, is a profound ingredient to follow His guidance. It is something that we can’t just do…we need to strive in order to follow His guidance. Something that we believe, something that we hold as our principle, may don’t suit with what happen in our reality. Our society, our friends and even our family sometimes may not hold the same.

The turmoil inside leads me to ask myself…. Am I crossing His boundary? I started questioning my own happiness that has been happening recently. The happiness that should not stain the purity of my intention. The happiness that should not influence the important decision that I should make. Yes. the greatest test sometimes come in the form of happiness. May Allah always guide us all.

I will never be able to expect what Allah (SWT) had written for me. But I always put my trust on Him that He must have planned the best for me. Allah is Ar-Rahman Allah is Ar-Rahiim, The most gracious and The most merciful. He understands me more than I understand myself, He loves me more than I love my self…this is something that I try to penetrate deep into my heart.

“Oh, Allah I seek goodness from You because of your knowledge (of what is good for me) and I ask You to grant me the ability (to do what is best) because of Your power and I ask You (to grant me) of Your great favour, because You have power and I do not, and You know (what is best for me) and I do not, and You have full knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If You know that this matter is better for me with regards to my Deen, my worldly life, and the outcome of my affairs, destine it for me, and if You know that this matter is bad for me with regards to my Deen, my worldly life, and the outcome of my affairs, then turn it away from me and turn me away from it and destine for me good wherever it may be and then make me pleased with it” 

4 Things on Preparing Ramadan


Marhabaan…Ramadan is in the air!

I feel sort of an excitement inside –something special that I always feel when Ramadan is about to come. The taraweeh prayer at the Masjid, suhoor, iftar, the reverberating taddarus from the Masjids, the wandering children playing ‘klotekan’ (a percussion random instrument made by bamboo and drums) to wake people up whole village house to house, and (I know this is not a good one) yeah, the rumble of fire crackers! Those are the things that made Ramadan definitely special.

Ramadan has become like an oasis month after eleven-months of hustle-bustle overloads regular activities. If we want to get the most out of this blessed month we need to prepare it.

Here, I compiled and listed 4 things that (I think) necessarily need to include in Ramadan preparation, which are not only spiritually but also physically. Some articles I read (which I will mention here) provided some amazing tips and guides, Masha Allah. Those are really helpful and worth applying!


Everyone can arrange their own Ramadan projects which are some spiritual goals that want to achieve during Ramadan. Having Ramadan projects written out is a first step that will boost our spirit of Ramadan. Here, I listed some that can be included for our Ramadan Project:

1. Build khusu’ in Salah

Perfecting Wudhu

“The key to the prayer is the performance of ablution, the opening of the prayer is the exaltation of Allah (takbeer) and the closing of the prayer is the invocation of peace (tasleem)” . (Ibn. Majah).

I found a wonderful article from  J. Samia Mair“Treasuring Wudhu” that explain 5 steps to performing Wudhu well.

Learn about ‘khusu’ and apply it

“It is the believers who are successful: those who are humble in their prayer….” (Q.S. Al-Mu’minun (23) : 1-2)

We can learn about and how to be khusu’ in our Salah from a book by Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali, The Humility in Prayer.

2. Get closer to the Qur’an

Memorizing surah Al-Mulk

Try to memorize an ayah a day, so at the end of Ramadan, Insha Allah we can memorize the whole 30 Ayahs of the Surah.

Jazakallahu khairan sister Um Yusra Gilded Dunya for the article ‘Project Surah Mulk: Memorise it!’ which presenting 30 Days Surah Mulk Challenge. It is really a nice idea and a motivating way to memorize this surah.

Learn Quranic Arabic Words

Some time ago I came across a social media post from Islamic Experiences fanspage and I still saved that post until now. It’s a beautiful artwork by Tahir Chaudhry presenting 100 most frequent Quranic Arabic words in an understandable way which can help us to understand Qur’an better.  It’s worth memorizing!


Improve Tajweed Understanding

A little note taken from the tajweed book about some particular rules which often being forgotten to hold along with when/to read a moment before reading the Qur’an. It’s just a simple way which hopefully will be helpful to read the Qur’an with the correct recitation.

3. Nafil prayers


It’s more likely need to put more effort for waking up at the last third of the night to perform Tahajjud prayer in regular days. In Ramadan we wake up for Suhoor so it can be effortless, Insha Allah. Take the chance to get closer to Allah at the last third of the night in this blessed month.

Taraweeh at the Masjid

Even though the Taraweeh prayer can be done at home Taraweeh at the Masjid has become one of acts of worship that makes Ramadan so special. People from elders until children, men and women, all come flocking to the Masjid for Taraweeh, this is the spirit, the beauty of Ramadan which so precious to be missed.

4. Adhkar and supplications

Forty Rabbana Dua

There are 40 beautiful du’as in the Qur’an which start with Rabbana (download the e-book). Some of them have become familiar as we had been taught at School and may be recited daily. In this Ramadan, try to recite at least one Rabbana du’a a day. I read a post from Gilded Dunya, that Umm Yusra high-lighted the dua’s in the Qur’an by marker and write the meanings next to. I think this is a good idea to apply which we can be reminded by the du’as when came across with those Ayahs whilst reading the Qur’an.


Subhanallah Alhamdulillah laa ilaha illaAllah Allahu akbar and Subhanallah wabihamdihi  100 times (Less than 10 minutes of worship for a mountain of rewards)

5. Improve Islamic knowledge

Take an Islamic online course

For ones who obtained degree or currently study in this field this is may be inapplicable, but as the one who don’t study in this field taking these courses is quite significant for me. Some free Islamic self-paced non-degree courses are available online, why not take this Ramadan to start seeking knowledge and deepen understanding in our deen with this beneficial resource?

Read at least an Islamic book during Ramadan

It doesn’t have to read a 300/400-pages-book completely. Just collected some selected books in a special Ramadan shelf/box or – if those are e-book –in a special folder which can be reached by hands and read whenever possible during random times along days of Ramadan.

6. Leave and avoid trivial things

Excessive social media use, idle talks, and TV.

Get caught up in idle talks, lounge around TV and social media will only soak up our time whereas that spare time actually can be invest on other beneficial acts/deeds which can brings rewards during Ramadan.


Take a daily light exercise (early-morning stretching and walking)

Besides to maintain our health, having the plan to do exercise at the early-morning is also a way to avoid taking nap after Fajr prayer which is commonly happen at Ramadan. It should not a heavy exercise or running, but stretching and walking outside home at the park or yard for about 20-30 minutes and take a deep air at the morning is enough to help us feel fresh, fit, and positive to start our day instead of sleeping right after Fajr prayer and then waking up at mid-morning with the fatigue feeling. So, after eating Suhoor and perform Fajr prayer, spend time peacefully to read the Qur’an. Then, take a light exercise outside for 20-30 minutes.

Good Quality and Quantity of Sleep

Maintaining a good quality and quantity of sleep during Ramadan can be a challenge. It’s better to plan our sleep immediately after Taraweeh and wake up with following sleep cycles (I find an article-series from Productive Muslim which gives a practical guide to master our sleep during Ramadan is really helpful). Besides, to recover our lack of sleep we can take nap before and/or after dhuhur.

Proper healthy menu for Suhoor and Iftar

Having a proper healthy menu in Suhoor and Iftar each day is necessary to maintain our health as well as to support our body to keep being productive during Ramadan. It’s more likely can be easily obtained by preparing 30-days menu plan in advance.

It’s also important to list all kind of food which is good to include as well as to avoid for Suhoor and Iftar.


Being fit and well (above) is the first step for being productive in this Ramadan. Besides, make schedule and a daily checklist for the Ramadan Projects as well as the daily activities which need to accustom during Ramadan.


Make a Journal

Recording those days in a special journal actually is not only can be applied in Ramadan but also in regular months which is important to track our healthy period cycles.

In Ramadan this journal will be important to help us count and remember our fasting debt. It also will remind us automatically to make up our fasting as soon as possible.

Keep doing the Ramadan projects which still can be able to do during period

Even though we skip our fasting, Salah and reading the Qur’an in this period we still can be able to do the other Ramadan projects that we planned and gain rewards from Allah (SWT) in this blessed month.

Those all are 4 things that (I think) necessarily need to include in Ramadan preparation. May Allah (SWT) make easy for all of us to do our best and get the most out of this blessed month. Ameen.

Ramadan Mubarak   🙂