This sample is the fifth 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.
5. THE FOOD
The fifth surah of the Quran contains some information about food and food laws, a description of wudu/ablution, and a miracle. In this surah, the rules for permitted and forbidden food are established.
What foods do we eat and what foods do we not eat as Muslims?
Have we ever heard another story where there was a forbidden food?
There is a description of the ritual ablution that we perform before prayer.
What is wudu?
Why do we make wudu before we pray?
In this chapter, the miracle of the table is described where the people asked Prophet Isa (a) for a miracle and Allah (s) sent the table down with food.
When Prophet Isa (a) asked Allah (s) to bring down the table as a miracle what happened?
What would you think if a table came down with endless food?
This is an image of a traditional table covered with food.
Please share your ideas for teaching children about the meaning of the Quran.
This sample is the third 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.
3. HOUSE OF IMRAN
The third surah of the Quran concerns the House of Imran – the family of Zachariah (a) and Sayyidina Mariam.
The surah mentions the dedication of Sayyidina Mariam to the temple and a miracle she experienced there. If you would like to read about Zachariah (a) to the children there is a chapter concerning his story in My Little Lore of Light by Hajjah Amina Adil.
When Zachariah (a) saw that Sayyidina Mariam had fruits from Allah (s) in her prayer niche why did he decide to ask Allah (s) for a child?
Another miracle mentioned in this surah is where Prophet Isa (a) made a bird of clay and brought it to life which we now know as the bat.
Why do you think Prophet Isa (a) created a bat?
What do you know about bats?
The illustration for this chapter is a painting of the prayer niche of Sayyidina Mariam.
Please share your ideas for sharing the tafseer of Quran with children.
This is the twenty third 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.
After some time, the ark came to rest on Mount Judi on the Day of Ashura. Ashura is also the name for the sweet pudding they made from all the leftover food on the ark.
This is a photo of Ashura pudding that
is still made to celebrate the holiday.
After they had landed Nuh (a) found the earth to be white from all the bones of the drowned creatures. Nuh (a) wept at the vastness of this destruction. Allah (s) instructed Nuh (a) to take clay and make earthenware vessels and pile them up high.
Then he was told to pull out the pot on the bottom, so causing all of them to fall and break. Nuh (a) was anguished by the destruction of all his hard work. In this way Allah (s) showed to Nuh (a) what it is like for a creator to destroy his own creation, as when Allah (s) accepted the prayer of Nuh (a) and destroyed the unbelievers and their world. Nuh (a) was warned not to pray against anyone ever again or his name would be erased from the book of prophets.
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.
This sample is the first 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.
The first surah of the Quran speaks about Allah’s grace and mercy. We are asked to follow the straight path and not the crooked path. Children can understand the concept of being lost so in this instance it would be useful to discuss how Allah(s) wants to help us find our way.
These lessons are meant to encourage analytical thought where the instructor leads a discussion about the text but allows the students to work out the answers for themselves in the course of the discussion.
For this surah, you can discuss what “grace” and “mercy” mean.
Can you think of an example of graciousness, and an example of mercy?
Next you can look at what the text means by “worlds.”
What worlds are there?
Can we think of an example of how the worlds are supported by Allah(s)?
Next you can discuss the phrase “guide us to the straight path.”
What is a straight path?
How does Allah(s) show us this path?
The image for this surah is of a path surrounded by darkness to illustrate the Siratul Mustaqueem. The students can explore the idea of a path or darkness and light in their composition.
My son has been studying Quran for nearly 3 years and the thing that I felt was missing in his Quranic education was an explanation of Quran that he could understand and relate to.
After struggling with this question and begging his Quran teachers to address this concern I have finally decided to prepare a lesson plan myself. My goal is to provide an illustration for each chapter of Quran that relates to the story or information in the text. I know that these images will require more explanation but those conversations will Inshallah lead to a better understanding for my children.
The completed project of all 114 chapters will be hung together in my sons’ room and provide a snapshot of the whole text. It is also my hope that seeing this project will lead my son to have a greater interest in the content of the text he is memorizing and in learning more surahs and their meanings.
A note on the illustrations: I have mostly gleaned the illustrations from examples I found in Persian miniatures and others are the best approximations I could make of other images and ideas. In each post I will try to give an explanation of the image I chose and why. I will also attempt to summarize that surah in a way that is relatable to children. The materials used are watercolour paper, watercolour pencils, watercolour paint and gold antique acrylic paint.
If you have ideas to help children learn about the meaning of Quran please share them with us.
We read the story of Adam (a) in My Little Lore of Light by Hajjah Amina Adil because his story is explored in this surah.
For this surah I asked my son why Allah (s) told the angels to bow to Adam (a). He said that he did not know. We talked about how Allah (s) was maybe testing the angles.
I asked my son why Iblis refused to bow to Adam (a). My son said that it was because Iblis thought he was better than clay, the clay that Allah (s) used to make Adam (a). My son asked if Iblis was jealous of Adam (a) and I answered that Iblis was jealous of Adam (a).
My son asked if Iblis was an angel and I said that I did not know but that angels are made from light and that Iblis is made from fire.
My son asked if Iblis was good in the beginning, when he was a baby. I said that is did not know if Iblis was ever a baby but that he used to pray all the time before he was cursed. My son asked if Iblis had prayed to Allah (s) and I said yes, there was a time when he did.
My son asked why Adam (a) is higher than Iblis. I said that I do not know for sure but I asked what did Allah (s) use to make Adam (a). My son said clay and water and I added that ruh/breath was the third ingredient. I asked my son if he thought that ruh was the secret ingredient and he said yes.
Please share your idea for exploring the meaning of Quran with children.
We reviewed the story of Yunus (a) in My Little Lore of Light by Hajjah Amina Adil because this surah talks about Yunus (a).
I asked my son why Yunus (a) left the people he was trying to guide. My son said that they did not listen to Yunus (a) and they worshipped idols, wooden things, wooden statues.
I asked my son how Yunus (a) was delivered from the whale. My son said that he did not know. I asked if the whale spit Yunus (a) out. My son asked if Yunus (a) was wet and I said yes that he was white and a little wrinkly like you are if you stay in the bathtub too long and he was very weak.
I asked what happened after Yunus (a) repented for leaving the city of Nineveh. My son said he did not know. I asked if he thought that Allah (s) forgave Yunus (a) and my son said yes. I asked my son what we are supposed to do if we make a mistake. He said that he did no know. I asked if we should say sorry and he agreed.
I asked my son what we should do if we feel alone and lost. He said he did not know. I asked if we should pray and he said yes.
My son asked if you still pray if you are a Christian and I said yes many types of people pray, not just Muslims.
Please share your ideas for teaching the meaning of the Quran to children.
This surah speaks about the fire that did not burn in the story of Musa (a). We reviewed this story in chapter 17 of The Story of Moses by Karima Sperling.
After reading the story I asked my son why the fire on the acacia bush did not burn. He said you could put infinity water on it and the flame would not go out. I asked him if it was a special kind of fire and he said yes.
I asked my son what this miracle shows about the power of Allah (s). He said yes that Allah (s) can make a fire that does not burn and a sandwich with air in it, but only my son knows why that would be miraculous.
I asked my son what Musa (a) thought of the tree of flames. He said he did not know. I asked him if Musa (a) thought the tree of flames was strange. He said yes.
I asked my son what Musa (a) thought of the voice from the tree of flames. He said that Musa (a) understood that it was Allah (s) because the things the voice said are not the kind of things that Shaitan would say.
This surah speaks about the miracle of the created world. I asked my son why did he think Allah (s) created the world. My son said he did not know. I asked my son what we have to do here in the world. He said we come here to learn. I said yes, inshallah.
I asked my son if he could think of any other miracles of Allah (s). He said no. I asked him about the parting of the Red Sea and he said yes, that was a miracle.
Please share your ideas for teaching the meaning of the Quran to children.