This is the twenty first sample of The Tree of Light: The Lives of the Prophets for Young Muslims available now on Amazon. This is the first volume of a three volume series with maps, pictures and paintings of important sites and Maqams related to the stories of the Prophets. This series would be an ideal source for the Tree of Prophets project featured here on our website. In this adaptation of Hajiah Amina Adil’s comprehensive history of the Prophets a sage grandfather tells the stories of the Prophets to his two adventurous grandsons who learn that the stories of the Prophets have come to life.
“Why did Allah (s) let Iblis get on the boat?”
“Hmmm.” Grandfather smiled. “That is a very good question. Why do you think Allah (s) let Iblis sneak into the boat?”
Sulayman thought for a moment; it appeared to be painful to think so hard.
Grandfather chuckled. “Sulayman, when you are in a dark room with no light can you see where you are going?”
“If you are in the dark and come out in the sun where it is very bright can you see anything before your eyes adjust?”
“Everything that Allah (s) created has its purpose. The light and the dark make a shadow that allows us to see the shape of things. You must contemplate these things. It is the work of your life to understand them.”
This sample is the second chapter of our new book The Illuminated Quran: Curriculum for Children available now on Amazon. Please add to the discussion by sharing your lesson experiences and artwork the children make for each lesson.
2. THE COW
This second surah is the longest chapter in the Quran and contains many ideas that can be used to encourage analytical thought with children. There are some very important points about belief and then a summary of prophetic history from Adam(a) to Dawud(a).
Within this summary is a parable about the sacrifice of a cow that loosely means we cannot hide our errors from Allah(s).
The first point you can share with children is that the Quran was sent for people who believe in things they cannot see.
Is there something you believe in that you cannot see (in addition to Allah(s))?
The second point is that people who do not believe cannot see the truth.
Is there anything that you do not understand (like why the sky is blue etc.)?
How would you feel if you could never find the answer to your question?
The third point is the story of the fall of Adam(a). Adam(a) and Hawa(r) were in paradise until they were tempted by Iblis to eat what Allah(s) had forbidden. They were sent down to earth as a punishment.
Have you ever broken an important rule?
What happened when you broke the rule?
The fourth point is a recount of the Exodus where Prophet Musa(a) and his followers leave Egypt and the Red Sea is parted (2.51).
Can you think of any other miracles like the parting of the Red Sea?
Why do you think miracles happen?
The fifth point is the sacrifice of the cow for which the surah is named. The text refers to a sacrifice of a cow in the time of Musa (a). The people tried to delay the sacrifice by asking many questions about the cow because they felt guilty about the bad thing they had done. The parable indicates that it is not possible to hide our errors from Allah(s). There are many instances where the Quran recommends a sacrifice in order to correct an error.
Have you ever done something wrong?
Have you ever tried to hide it because you were afraid of getting into trouble?
The sixth point mentioned are the rites of Hajj and Ramadan. The importance of the Kaaba is discussed and the construction of the Kaaba by Ibrahim(a) and Ismail(a).
What is the Kaaba?
Why is it important?
Why do we fast in the month of Ramadan?
The seventh point is that there is no compulsion in religion (2.256). As much as Muslim parents and educators want the children to believe it is very important to discuss what it means that no one can be forced to believe or to practice religion.
Why is it that we cannot force people to believe or to practice Islam?
How would you teach your children about Islam; what would you tell them?
It may not be possible to cover all of these points in one lesson because the younger a child is the shorter is their attention span. You can pick and choose which points may be more significant to the children and perhaps review the parable of the cow for the illustration.
The image for this surah is of the head of a golden cow to represent the cow mentioned in the parable.
The is the twentieth sample of The Tree of Light: The Lives of the Prophets for Young Muslims available now on Amazon. This is the first volume of a three volume series with maps, pictures and paintings of important sites and Maqams related to the stories of the Prophets. This series would be an ideal source for the Tree of Prophets project featured here on our website. In this adaptation of Hajiah Amina Adil’s comprehensive history of the Prophets a sage grandfather tells the stories of the Prophets to his two adventurous grandsons who learn that the stories of the Prophets have come to life.
Nuh (a) knew that the sign of the flood being near would be that water would gush up from the bread ovens. The unbelievers did not see how that could be in a land with no rain.
When the sign appeared the boarding of the ark began. The animals boarded the first tier of the boat. Iblis took hold of the donkey’s tail to stop him and Nuh (a) urged the donkey to get in by calling him a “damned one.” In this way Iblis was invited onto the ark as he is damned indeed.
The human beings boarded the second tier of the boat and the birds boarded the third tier. There were 80 believers and the family of Nuh (a) who boarded the ark. After the doors were closed water came from above and below.