Today I am posting the introduction to the Pool of Paradise project for those of you who will are interested in participating in the project this Ramadan. I will post the invocation as well and the first chapter that concerns the Nightingale when the moonsighting occurs. This porject was a smashing success with some famlies last Ramadan so please so send us a note about how it goes for you. There have been some changes since last years edition so you will see the updated versions of each bird’s story posted on the website main page the day before you will need it each day of Ramadan.
THE POOL OF PARADISE INTRODUCTION
This book is as a very simplified interpretation of the Conference of the Birds originally written in the 12th century by Farid ud-Din Attar. It can be used as a teaching tool for the Holy Month of Ramadan.
When Allah (s) created the Will, it was found to defiant and disobedient. After many failed trials, at last, the Will was placed in the Valley of Hunger and after 1,000 years of exile the Will recognized the Creator of All Things.
Some may be familiar with the fasting of Ramadan. They may be aware that those who practice this fast are hungry and thirsty but they may not know why they choose to engage in this practice. The Will gives many excuses for its disobedience but there are times when the Will can choose the Right Path. Harness the energy of courage to represent the struggle of the ego.
This text is written to accompany a project for Ramadan where the student adds a bird to the Pool of Paradise each day. Each bird is assigned a distinguishing character or aspect of their Will. Each bird is also assigned a phase of the moon in its progression.
It is hoped that at the end of this project the student will have a greater appreciation of the purpose of fasting and the Will that can be tamed and guided to a goal greater than its own satisfaction.
When the birds reach the Pool of Paradise on Mount Qaf they look into the silver pool at their mirror image. They have lost themselves along the way and are annihilated in their cause to reach the Simourgh. In the pool they see their True King and not themselves as their reflection.
With this image we wish to describe the concept of fannah or annihilation.
The language of the episodes is at times above the comprehension level of younger children so this can add to the lesson. The overall goal is for the student to have a sense that each bird is facing a challenge just as we are challenged by the fast each day of Ramadan. Wherever possible in the narrative the stories of the prophets are used as examples.
Please share your ideas for teaching children the rites of Ramadan.