Tonight we reviewed the lesson for 23. Illuminated Quran: The Believers .
I asked my son if he would be afraid if he were on the ark in the flood. He said that he would not be afraid. He said that if you slept and someone put you in a boat maybe you wouldn’t be scared.
I asked my son what the most important part of the story was. At first he said that the ark finding dry land was the best part. I asked why and he said because it gives us hope. After he said that the best part was when Nuh (a) made the ark. I asked him why that was important. He said that it was really clever to learn how to make a boat of wood and that it was more clever to build the boat before the flood came.
I asked my son what happened to the believers. He wasn’t sure so we discussed how they landed after the flood and started having families.
I asked my son if the earth is like an ark that carries life through the solar system. He said that sounded right and he wanted to know why he can’t feel the earth moving around the solar system. I explained that the earth is moving so fast that you can’t feel the speed and that gravity is pulling us down so we don’t fly off the earth. He then wanted to know why airplanes are not pulled down by gravity. I explained that airplanes travel so fast that as long as they have a certain speed they will not fall down. Like when we throw a ball in the air, it will not fall immediately but later once it slows down.
This surah speaks about the context of creation and biological life. For this surah I decided to talk about the ideal placement of the earth in the solar system to support biological life. First I played my son a short YouTube video about mars so that he could see the differences between a planet with life and a planet that appears dead. My son wanted to know “why the water is gone from Mars.” I explained that this is one of the things scientists are studying right now but they do not know for sure.
I asked my son where earth is in the solar system. He said he did not know so I pulled up a model of the solar system on my phone and showed him that we are the third planet from the sun. My son asked if there is life on other planets and I said that we think so but that we have not yet found proof. He asked if there is life on Jupiter. I said we do not know but that it was not likely because of the conditions there. He asked if anyone ever went to another planet and I told him not yet but that many people want to. I told him that people have gone to the moon. He wanted to know why they did not die. I explained that they brought water, air, food and warm space suits.
I asked my son if it would be hard to live on Mars or Venus. He wasn’t sure so I asked if you can breathe there; he said no. I asked if there is water to drink there; he said no. I asked if there is food to eat there; he said no. I then asked if the earth is special in that way and he said yes it is.
Please share your experiences with exploring the meaning of Quran with children.