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February 3, 2005

The Idea

Recently, I was listening to a Shaykh Muhammad al-Ya`qoubi CD wherein
he was talking about the lack of general knowledge amongst the Muslims
in these times.  Specifically, he mentioned how everyone is
interested in the latest fatwah or relating political events with the
Signs of the Day of Judgement or interpreting “x” text or arguing with
“x” scholar… yet they lack the basic knowledge of certain things,
such as reading the Qur’an properly with tajweed and knowing basic
Islamic history is woefully inadequate (liberal Muslims certainly fall
under this category…).

The current methods of educating our youth is essential Sunday schools
and full-time schools that use texts (some well written, others not…)
and the classroom setting to impart this vital knowledge to the younger
generation. And well… let’s face it, these schools have been great as
a positive influence in many kids’ lives, but for some, they haven’t
been as effective. The question then arises is how do we reach those
kids and make sure they’re learning some of the basic knowledge that
every Muslim ought to know?

The idea that I have to help educate kids about basic Islamic history
actually was inspired by studying for med school (gasp!)… we have
these cards called “PharmCards” and “MicroCards” that have a given
drug/microbe on there with relevant, hi-yield information on it. So
then I thought back to my days as a young lad and remembered how crazy
a lot of us were over baseball and others sports cards. So the idea
that I’m proposing now is to make these similar type of trading cards
for Muslim kids, but instead of athletes on the card, we’d put
Prophets, Companions, and great scholars on there instead. Certainly,
we wouldn’t put pictures on the front of the card, but instead, we
could put certain images that could be associated with a given person.
For example, for one of the Prophet Musa (`alayhi al-salaam) cards
(we’d have to have multiple versions of certain Prophets cards since
there’s so much to know about them…. just like they make different
versions of a player’s card), we could have a picture of a staff
turning into a serpent on the front… on another card, we could have
the Red Sea being parted, etc. As for the back of the card, just as
kids love to memorize stats about their favorite player such as how
many home runs he hit or how many touchdowns he threw for in a certain
year, the back of these cards would have hi-yield information such as
biography and “stats” for a given person.

The other great thing about sports cards was that when you bought a
pack, the pack of cards was randomized, so you never knew which card
you’d get. You’d always buy packs in the hopes that not only would you
get that one great card, but so that you could collect all the players
on your favorite team.  And if your friend had a card that you
really wanted, you’d be willing to trade some of your cards away…
that was the greatest part: negotiating with a fellow 9-year old about
the value of a certain card; trying not to show the other guy how badly
you wanted his card so that he wouldnt demand too much from you; hiding
some of your most precious cards so that he wouldnt ask for them to
part of the trade. Kids today could not only be educated, but could
have the same type of entertainment we had back in the day. Imagine the
following scene:

Ahmed: “Man, I’ll give you an Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, an `Abdullah b.
Mas`ud, AND an Ibi Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani for that Imam al-Ghazali
card…”
Bilal: “No way dude, this Ghazali card is worth much more than that!”
Ahmed: “Come onnnn…. look, fine, I’m throwing in an Ibn Taymiyyah too, but that’s as far as I’m going.”
Bilal: “You got yourself a deal.”

Bilal, you fool! How could you trade away that Ghazali card! Anyway, so that’s what I have to offer. Feedback is welcome.

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15 Comments
  1. i think its a good idea, but i think there might an issue of getting kids excited about it.  like baseball/pokemon cards, they see on TV, and their non-Muslim friends get into it as well.  mass excitement needs to be there.  i do think however its got huge potential esp for the educational value.

  2. Anonymous permalink

    this entry made me really happy =Done of the comprehension strategies for reading that i learned was making character plots, but after a day of sitting in a desk working on handouts and projects, no kid wants to go home and fill out another worksheet. since yu gi oh (sp?) cards are so hot right now, we decided to change it up and try “character trading cards;” have the kids make their own trading cards of the characters in the stories they read. this way, they have to study the story and decide for themselves what information is “cardworthy.” students can make different cards of the same character (“rookie card” = how the character was at the beginning of the story, other cards show how the character grew/changed). i think if u promoted it the right way it would work, i mean, even if it didnt gain much popularity, it would totally work as an educational resource.

  3. great idea, barakAllahu feek…  I think point would be not to trade them, but to collect each member of the ‘series’.  unless you had more than one of the same card, i see that.  You can have the the ulema’ cards based on the century they lived in… on the back have a section “look for his/her contemporaries: shaykh(a) fulaan(a) etc.” well done kr, when are you going to launch it? count me in. (insha’Allah)  — im serious.

  4. Anonymous permalink

    dude…i shudve got co-credit on the cards…cmon kr…

  5. Anonymous permalink

    haha, leave it to boys to try to publicize islam via ‘baseball’ cards. you can thank hishashish for these eprops, because he told me all the credit for the “hisham” blogring belongs to you.

  6. This same idea was used by the Industrial Design Society of America to promote historical awareness of our design predecessors.  They were marketed as collectors cards and were well-designed.  They were cool, I bought some. 
    The next step in putting this together is linked with the idea of Muslim Artists National site in which designers would submit designs according to certain parameters (this would be sponsored, etc) and then the cards would be field-tested for appeal. 

  7. Anonymous permalink

    The Benedictine University Muslim Students’ Association cordially invites you to attend…..
    Islam Awareness Week 2005.  February 7-11. 
    http://www.ben.edu/msahome/iaw1.htm
    Please honor us with your presence as we attempt to strive in the path of Allah (SWT) with this dawah effort.  
    As we conclude the week, we cordially invite you to attend the Islam Awareness Week dinner on Saturday, February 12, Illuminating Hearts…One Campus at a Time.  Speaker: Shaikh Hussain.  Time: 6:45.  Tickets: $10 ($12 at the door).  Contact Brother Altamash Iftikhar, (630) 290-9383, or Sister Sadaf Cassim (me) IM me at platanos129 for my number (or email me… scassim129@hotmail.com)
    Jazak’Allah Khair

  8. damn you! when i agreed to speak at IAW i didnt agree to have my picture up! argh

  9. that’s what you get for watching Scrubs.

  10. Anonymous permalink

    I dunno why i should give you 2 eprops. youve deserted my xanga and havent left me comments in three days…
    Nevertheless you look like a stud and although you ear lobe stroking needs work… I love you

  11. Anonymous permalink

    yo that picture make you look like a broke ass nigga too…lol

  12. Anonymous permalink

    haha i took that pic when we went ta eat….we had to cut out the part where kr was throwin up westsiiiiiiiiiide…

  13. Good idea KR. Let me know when you want to try and implement it. Props. By the way, the profile you have on BU’s website makes you look like a good guy. But we all know that KR156….is a bad guy. Right?

  14. Salaam,I’d have to agree with ‘sannashine’. Unless you have these cards produced by Fleer or Upper Deck plus have special inserts, hologram cards, a stick of bubblegame maybe?, and an endorsement by Azhar Usman (or insert popular muslim figure here) or something its going to be hard to get kids into it. But if you do it right it might just work…Since your idea is based off of a certain existing product(trading cards) the quality of your cards would have to match in order to get kids attention. I’m sure you’re not planning on using construction paper, glitter, and elmers glue but I’m just suggesting that if you take this project up please find some serious funding for it and do it on a professional level. There is a huge market for childrens products. If you go to any islamic bookstore all those Iqra books sell like crazy. I am always ordering them for my Mom’s quran students. Another point of concern is… if it looks educational kids will run away from it, and maybe even make fun of kids who like it. If it looks fun kids will get into it. If it looks like a sunday shcool lesson pasted on a baseball card they wont fall for it. Harry Potter Books for instance are the cause of childrens reading abilities to have increased nationally. Kids thought it was so cool they would push themselves to read the entire series (you can find many articles on this in major magazines). Also about Pokemon cards there is a game associated with it, you might want to look into that. ‘Magic’ cards had that as well. Azeemhttp://blog.azeemkhan.info

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