We usually go in once a year for an RE day – this year, we decided to do a play about sayings from the Prophet Muhammad (saw). With only one practise, Alhamd the Key Stage 2 kids did brilliantly! Here is the script.
There were two performances, one to the whole of KS1, and then to KS2. After they had watched the play, there were follow up activities that the classes went on to do in their classrooms with their teachers, and a parent helper.
Reception, Year 1:
This class had an activity based on the hadith: “Greeting people and having a cheerful face is a form of charity.” They had a quick discussion on this, and then moved on to the activity of making a smiley paper plate. They put googly eyes on and decorated it, and stuck on a piece of paper with the hadith written on it. They stuck it on a lollipop stick so that they could wear it as their own face when greeting someone!
They then could colour this colouring sheet or take it home:
The activity organised for this class was centered around concept the of forgiveness, taken from a hadith of the Prophet pbuh: “Forgiving is the best of all actions.” The children all got busy making a chatterbox, in which they all had to write something about forgiveness or what they understand forgiveness to be.
After that was completed, we used dissolvable (Vitamin C) tablets in which the children picked one and put into a jug of water with the thought of forgiving somebody. As the tablet fizzled away into nothing, this was related to any hurt or anger fizzling away inside them as well. This giving them an opportunity to practice forgiveness.
After this activity, this short story was read to them. The children were really engaging and enjoyed their afternoon.
After the play the year 4 classes had activities based on the Saying of Prophet Muhammad – “The strongest among you is the one who controls his anger.”The activities for the classes were as follows:The following clip was to be shown which was based on what happens in our brains when we get angry and how to control our anger.
The students were then asked to make these anger chatterboxes. Students were given the pre printed chatterboxes and they cut them to size and thereafter folded them and coloured them in as appropriate and played the chatterbox game with their peers. The purpose of this activity was that the chatterboxes had techniques on how to control one’s anger so it was an indirect method to educate the students on anger management.Once all the students had finished making their chatterboxes, the following clip had been arranged to be shown which was based on relaxation and mindfulness techniques.
A recommended book to read with them was Angeryella!
After the play, the children from Years 5 and 6 stayed in the hall to discuss another saying of the Prophet: “The cure for ignorance is to ask questions.” (PPT available for download here). We began by looking at what ignorance means, and then what type of things we are ignorant about. As the kids brainstormed, they began to realise that there is a lot we don’t know, and actually “we are ignorant about what we are ignorant about”! Some things included other cultures, religions, foods, and even what other people have been through and are feeling.
We then moved on to talk about what ignorance leads to – one main thing being fear – we are often scared by what we don’t know, especially if we look through the world with our BLM glasses – ‘Be Like Me’ glasses mean we expect everyone to be like us and we don’t like it when things are different. This fear then leads to things like prejudice and racism, and acting on these feelings hurt others.
Then we discussed how we could prevent this from happening – and it led us back to the saying, to cure ignorance, we need to ask questions to learn, and take off our BLM glasses. The students then had a ponder on different questions they wanted to ask, and wrote a question down on a post-it note and stuck it up. Their questions were thought-provoking and honest, and ranged from: “Why do people feel the need to be rude about people’s religions” to Why has your hand got 5 fingers?”, “Why do people eat meat”, “Why do Muslims wear headscarves” and – my favourite – “What is chicken masala?”
Unfortunately we did not have the chance to answer all these questions! We wrapped the session up by watching Episode 2 of Season 2 of The Kindness Diaries – a series where a guy called Leon travels from Alaska to Argentina in a bright yellow VW beetle, with NO money and relying only on the kindness of others. He comes across 2 people in this episode that reflect the impact of ignorance and fear – such as the removal of Native Indians from their home in the Bush in Canada to forcibly being schooled in English schools to remove their culture, and another guy in Canada who hosts a BBQ every Wednesday in his home for refugees and people from all over the world, to give them a sense of community, saying that the answer to this fear is simply to get to know the other.
A fitting end to the session on the beautiful saying of our Prophet!
Lots of practical ideas that we can apply with our children…
*As shared on WhatsApp*
Etiquette Towards the 12th Imam (a.s)
Sheikh Jaffer H. Jaffer – 15th Shaban 1439
10 Etiquettes that we can do daily in our life that can create a bond between us and our Imam.
1. Say Salaam to our Imam every single day. As soon as you wake up say salaam to him. Or for example in sheikh Jaffer’ s house they set an alarm every single day at 3:13 pm and when the alarm goes on the entire family says salaam to Imam Mahdi (a.s). We need to accustom our children and ourselves to say Salaam to him.
2. Every good deed that we do, we make intention to Allah( s.w.a) that we send 51% of the thawaab to the Imam of our time. The Imam should be getting more then what we are getting. We can be more generous then this if we want to. We don’t have to keep it at 51% . You can say for example I am sending 90% or 99%. That’s how we can gift to our Imam.
3. Whenever we go to Mosque, as we leave the house we need to send an invitation to the Imam that: “ Oh Imam come and join us to the program today”. Every act of sadness( wafaat) or happiness ( khushali), we want to be participating with our Imam thus we send him an invitation to join us.
4. Our homes need to be prepared for the coming of our Imam. That means nothing haram or questionable is happening in our house. Our house need to be ready all the time. It can’t be like if Imam knocks on our door and we are like give us 5 mins. Some cool things that people do to prepare for the Imam is for example on the dining table there is always a spot empty where no one sits and they say this is the Imam’s spot. When he comes, he will sit there.
5. We need to take out sadaqa all the time for the protection of our Imam and for his speedy return. We should be taking out sadaqa as often as possible specially if we are broke because we will get 10 fold if not more, back. The niyyat can be: “Oh Allah I am taking out sadaqa for the protection of my Imam and my family Qurbatan illallah”.
6. When in times of difficulty, call out the Imam, reach out to him. We sometimes forget him. We call out to Allah(s.w.a), we will say Ya Ali madad ect.. All these things are great but call out our Imam too: “Yaa Sahibaz Zamaan adrikni, help me”.
7. Visit places that he would visit and avoid places that he would avoid. We know the Imam would visit cemeteries so we go there too. We know the Imam would visit mosques, so we go to mosques. We can watch a mosque program online but our Imam might be at mosque so we need to go there to spend time with him. We might not recognize him but he is there. The Imam would visit sick people so we visit sick people. The Imam would go for ziarrat so we go for ziarrat. All with the desire to be in places where Imam would be. We should also avoid places where he would not be there. Do you see the Imam walking on the beach with everybody half dressed ? Do you see your Imam walking in places where people are not dress appropriately? So then we avoid those places too. If we look in Fiqh it says that we are allowed to go to restaurants that serve alcohol but serve halal meat – let’s elevate that: would my Imam go to that restaurant? No. Then why should I go to that restaurant?
8. Ask Allah in every single Salaat to give you an opportunity to meet the Imam. We should have the desire to meet the Imam and should ask Allah for that opportunity.
9. We need to constantly purify our hearts. All our moral vices that we have, we need to clean them out so that our hearts can recognize our Imam when he comes. The Ulamas of deen tell us that we have two pairs of eyes. The physical pair of eyes and the eyes of the heart. The eyes of the heart when they become purified it is those eyes that will recognize the Imam. It’s not the physical eyes that will recognize him because we have never seen him so how will we recognize him? It’s like talking to a person on the phone and having an image of them and then when you meet them they look totally different from what you had imagined. Same thing with the Imam we picture him this way or that way. But the eyes of the heart will actually be able to recognize him.
10. We need to reflect each and every day if we are any closer of being the servant of the Imam. To help us reflect on ourselves, we can look into the Hadith of our 6 th Imam(a.s) who, when asked by the people why he was constantly talking about Salman Farsi, said not to call him Salman Farsi but refer to him as Salman e Muhammadi . He said to them: “Do you know why I remember him so often?Because he had 3 traits: 1. Salman preferred the desire of Imam Ali over his own desires. 2. He loved poor people and preferred them over those who had wealth and riches. 3. Due to his love for knowledge and love towards those who possessed knowledge like ulemaas. He would always attach himself with those who had knowledge. These are the 3 Characteristics that makes me talk about Salman all the time”. Imagine what that means; If we had those characteristics then the Imam would talk about us all the time:)