Tonight we reviewed the lesson plan for 10. Illuminated Quran: Yunus .
I explained that this surah speaks about the 6 days of creation so we reviewed our project for this subject: The Days of Creation. I took out the accordion book we made with this project and mounted it above the The Illuminated Quran display in my son’s room.
I asked my son about the order that things were created and he said that first Allah (s) created the light of Muhammad (s). He said that Allah (s) created Iblis and Jinn in the middle and he wanted to know why Allah (s) created them at all. He asked if Allah (s) wanted to make it hard for us by creating Iblis. I asked why he thought that Allah (s) created Iblis. He said that maybe Allah (s) wanted us to practice being good and so created Iblis to help us practice by making it harder for us. We discussed what the ego is and our susceptibility to Iblis and my son wanted to know what the ego is. I explained that the ego is the part of us that wants, wants, wants. We talked about the difference between a need and a want and how sometimes what we want is not what we need.
This surah speaks about how Allah (s) sent 124,000 prophets to the people of the earth. I asked my son how you can tell if someone is a prophet. He said that you see their special light. I asked him what knowledge the prophets bring. He said that they bring knowledge about praying.
This surah speaks about the story of Prophet Yunus (a). To prepare for this lesson we read about his story in My Little Lore of Light by Hajjah Amina Adil.
In the story of Yunus (a) and this surah we learned about how some people believe and some people do not believe. My son wanted to know why Allah (s) created bad people. I said that people who do not believe are not necessarily bad they are veiled. He asked who is bad and I said that Pharoah and Nimrod were bad and killed many children trying to hold onto their power. He asked if Allah (s) would take away the bad people and I asked if Pharoah was taken away by drowning and he said yes.
He asked why Allah (s) did not take away all the bad people and I said that maybe we need to learn what is bad from them and we still have more to learn.
In this surah we learn about the struggle of Prophet Yunus (a) to guide the people of Nineveh. I asked my son how the prophets try to convince us to believe and he said that the prophets warn us about bad things like Iblis and say that we should pray and not worship idols.
As we progress with our The Illuminated Quran project I am taking the opportunity to review the stories of the prophets from our Tree of Prophets project and add them to the lesson review: Tree of Prophets: Yunus (a).
My son wanted to know if it was real or a or a dream that Yunus (a) was swallowed by a whale. I said that according to the story it was not a dream and that it really occurred. My son wanted to know if you can die if you are swallowed by a whale and I said yes you can and probably will but that Yunus (a) was protected by Allah (s).
In the story we learned that Yunus (a) became a prophet when he returned to Nineveh on the order of Allah (s) to guide the people there. My son wanted to know why he wasn’t a prophet before that time and I said that Allah (s) chooses the time. My son wanted to know where Nineveh is and I told him it is in Iraq and that I would show him a map in the morning.
My son wanted to know why the fish did not chew up Yunus (a). I told him that Allah (s) protected Yunus like when Allah (s) protected Ibrahim (a) in the fire.
My son wanted to know the seclusion of Yunus (a) in the whale was 40 days and not 1,000 days. I told him that 40 is a special number. The flood lasted 40 days before Prophet Nuh (a) found land again.
My son wanted to know if Yunus (a) was really naked when the whale spit him out and I told him that yes the story said he was.
My son wanted to know if the time that Yunus (a) was in the whale was like a time out or calm down corner. I said that yes this was a similar idea because Allah (s) was not happy with Yunus (a) for leaving Nineveh and wanted him the ask forgiveness and think about his choice. My son wanted to know why he got in big trouble for leaving Nineveh. I explained that it is a very heavy responsibility to be a prophet and guide people. They cannot abandon their responsibility to guide us even if we are not listening.
Please share your ideas for exploring the meaning of the Quran with children.