85. Illuminated Quran: The Constellations

This is the 85th part of our series on the Tafsir of Quran for children.

This surah mentions the constellations or the mansions of the stars before warning that there will be punishment for the persecution of the believers.  

Discussion question: what are constellations?  What does it mean to persecute another person?  

Image: this image is of stars in the night sky.
Please share your ideas for teaching he Tafsir of Quran to children. 

84. Illuminated Quran: The Rending 

This is the 84th part of our series on the Tafsir of Quran for children.

This surah speaks about the moon growing full among other miraculous examples of creation and mentions an event where the heavens will tear apart.  

Discussion question: why does the moon grow full?  Has the moon been torn apart before?  When will the heavens be torn apart? 

Image:  for this surah I chose to show the phases of the moon.

Please share your ideas for teaching the Tafsir of Quran with children. 

Dervish Dolls:  Lady Doll Concept

This week I began working on a lady doll for the Dervish Doll series.  I think I will have her be a Scheherazade doll when she is finished but for now I am just adding to her costume.  

I purchased a basic Waldorf doll and then made a long gown.  Then I found some flowers for her headdress which I stitched onto her head by hand.

For a head covering I chose a flowered headdress and the next doll I dress I am planning to try a jewelled turban.  

We may be able to use this doll for a series to do with the Arabian Nights book my boys received as a gift for Eid.

Please share your ideas for using creative play to teach children about Muslim literature and culture.  

83. Illuminated Quran: The Fraud

This is the 83rd part of our series on the Tafsir of Quran for children.

This surah speaks about the people do not believe and commit fraud by cheating people.  Then the surah speaks about the people who do believe, behave accordingly, and are rewarded with paradise.  Paradise is described as a beautiful place with fountains.  

Discussion question:  what sort of things do you think you will find in paradise?  What do we do to deserve paradise?  

Image: this is an image of a traditional garden with a fountain. 

Please share your ideas for teaching the Tafsir of Quran to children.

82. Illuminated Quran: The Cleaving Asunder

This is the 82nd part of our series on the Tafsir of Quran for children.

This surah speaks about events of the judgement day and what comes after that judgement.  

Discussion question:  What is the day of judgment?  Why do you think there is a day of judgement?  

Image:  the surah mentions the seas flowing forth on the day of judgement.

Please share your ideas for teaching the Tafsir of Quran to children.

81. Illuminated Quran: The Folding Up

This is the 81st part of our series on the Tafsir of Quran for children.

This surah speaks about the folding up of creation or the end of the world and the judgement that follows.  

Discussion question:  what will happen when the universe collapses?  What will happen on the day of jusdgement?  Are there any similarities between the the two understandings of the end of time?

Image:  for this surah I chose an image of a super nova or the collapse of a star to represent the reversal of creation.

Please share your ideas for teaching the Tafsir of Quran to children.

Gardens of Islam: Honey Tasting

As a follow up to our field trip to the Intermiel honey farm we decided to have a honey tasting with all the varieties of honey that we brought home that day.

This last weekend my sons were recovering from strep throat infections and I trought this would be an ideal time to experience he healing benefits of Islamic medicine to aid their recovery.  We are hoping to have a more formal workshop on the healing benefits of honey with Hadiqat al-Azhar in the coming months.  For today the children were able to taste 7 different types of local raw honey which is an excellent medicine for a sore throat and especially a bacterial throat infection as honey has many antibacterial properties.

The boys distributed the honey to each family member and asked them what they could taste in the honey.

The boys had the opportunity to tell everyone what they learned at the honey farm about honey and beekeeping.

For our tasting we had clover, apple blossom, raspberry blossom, buckwheat, fir tree, blueberry and lavender honey.

Everyone loved the lavendar honey.

Their least favorite was the fir tree honey but we think it may be nice in tea.

We are hoping to make some recipies with honey soon for our Cuisine of the Muslims World Series.
Please share your ideas for teaching Muslim children about the natural world.

80. Illuminated Quran: He Frowned

This is the 80th part of our series on the Tafsir of Quran for children.

This surah speaks about a blind man coming to the Prophet (s) and says that the Prophet (s) frowned and turned away.  

What is less clear is whom the Prophet (s) is turning away from, a person who is literally blind or the unbelievers who are blind to the miracles of Allah (s).  

This surah presents an excellent opportunity to discuss which meaning can be taken here or in any other context.  Should we as believers try to see a higher meaning in things that are not clearly understood or should we take only literal understanding at every opportunity.

This surah reminds me of thr story of the elephant and the blind men.  The blind men came to learn what is an elephant.  One man took the leg and said an elephant is like a tree.  Another took the trunk and said an elephant is like a snake.  A third took the tail and said an elephant is like a rope.  

When reading and learning about Quran we are all like the blind men who have a very limited understanding.  This surah reminds us that our understanding is not complete and we must ask for guidance and not reject it like the Quraysh.  

Discussion question:  can blindness refer to people who are physically blind and people who choose to ignore the truth?

Have you ever had difficulty understanding something that you cannot see?  

When you understand and someone else does not see how do you describe it to them?

Please share your ideas for teaching the Tafsir of Quran to children.  

Where the Sahaba call Home

This is a craft project from one of our contributors, Wajiha.  

Wajiha is reading a book called Companions of the Prophet by Abdul Wahid Hamid about the lives of the Sahaba.  After reading about the Sahaba Wajiha creates a lesson plan for her children.  She summarizes the story for her children and then they have a project concerning the story.  

The craft helps the children to learn about the sort of houses that the Sahaba lived in.  This project particularly reminds me of the Waldorf lessons for the 3rd grade concerning the different types of human shelters: Humanity of Earth.  Projects like this one for the Sahaba are an excellent way to adapt the Waldorf curriculum for Muslim children.  

They begin the lesson with duas. Then they play the daff with songs followed by the story and craft.

These are her instructions for the craft: Take a manila folder and cut squares 5X5 two of them with windows one with door. Lay them all flat as the sides line up. Tape from the inside with masking tape, then raise the sides and tape. You can see in the picture of the layout above.  The structure is painted after the taping is complete.  For the roof cut a bigger size and lay it on top but leave it unfastened.  The kids can glue Popsicle sticks on top.

I want to thank Wajiha for sharing this craft with us and I hope we see many more projects from her here in the future.

Please share your ideas for teaching children about the Sahaba.

Sunnahs of the Prophet: Laundry 

Among the many know sunnahs or examples of the Prophet Muhammad (s) is his participation in household work like laundry.  This practice was observed by his wife Aicha (r).  

This aspect of the sunnah is often overlooked when raising children and particularly overlooked when raising boys.  So I have decided to start this series to help my sons understand some of the various sunnahs that they are able to emulate at this time.  

I started by telling my son that this was a task that the Prophet (s) did in his home and then I brought him the laundry basket.  I may have him help with other laundry related tasks soon but today we only folded laundry. 

My son took his task very seriously and did an excellent folding job before gathering and putting the laundry away where it belongs.

Please share your ideas for teaching the practices of the Prophet (s) to children.