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!
I LOVE this idea that a mum sent! Check it out:
“Salaam, wanted to share a simple activity you can do with any image. Since it was the Prophet’s birthday, we printed images relating to the prophet (his name and masjid).
Then you take Popsicle sticks (as many as takes to cover photo) and glue with mod poj glue, then put image on top and add another layer of mod poj glue.
Be generous as it dries clear like you see in picture. Then take a box cutter and cut picture between Popsicle sticks and voila you have a DIY puzzle for kids!
You can do any image like Kaaba for Eid ul Adha or Imam Hussein’s shrine on his birthday, etc. I’m planning on taking these to mosque also to keep the kids busy.”
Check out what school favours one family gave out for the Prophet’s birthday! Kindness Jars!
The creative mum got some spice jars from IKEA (size is 5h x 5.4w), and printed out some acts of kindness (downloadable here) and put them in the jar.
She printed out instructions and added them to the jar (downloadable here), and added some sweets and balloons.
And finally, she topped off the jar with a Lindt emoji chocolate!
Inspired by my son who made a (much bigger and cooler) mosque for school, we decided to make the Prophet’s mosque for his birthday 🙂
We added a fountain and in it, I put different aspects of the Prophet’s life that Tayyiba Publishers have been sharing recently from Sunan an Nabi. My kids are a little older and so I felt this suited them best. We are opening them over the week and they are brainstorming ways to make it practical so that they can actually follow in his footsteps.
In case it is of interest, here is a link to the document with all the compiled notes:
The birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s) is coming up. It is an occasion for happiness and celebration.
What are you planning?
Below are some ideas that may help us celebrate the occasion with family and/or friends in a meaningful way.
1) A Play on the Prophet – Choose a story from the life of the Prophet and get children (or adults) to perform a play.
2) Story telling session – there are many interesting stories on the Prophet. Hold a story telling session and make it exciting. A very good book on a story from the life of the Prophet written in contemporary style is ‘The Camel in the Sun’, about the Prophet’s compassion for a tired camel.
3) Quiz on the Prophet – Let the audience benefit from questions based on the life of the Prophet.
4) Poetry on the Prophet – Hold a session of Nasheeds, Qasidas, Spoken word, and poetry in praise of the Prophet. It is very effective in evoking emotion for the Prophet.
5) Film on the Prophet – watch a movie on the Prophet complete with drinks and popcorn.
6) 40 Hadith from the Prophet – hold a competition or learning session on 40 short hadith from the Prophet and learn/discuss them.
7) Art on the Prophet – Draw/Paint Islamic calligraphy on the Prophet. The internet has many good samples.
8) Fun day – Have games and other fun activities on the Prophet.
9) Talk/Discussion on the Prophet – Have a talk or discussion on the life of the Prophet with practical examples from his life relevant to today’s times. Include verses of Quran on the greatness of the Prophet.
10) Book club session on the Prophet – gather a few people and read together. Articles on the Prophet, a good book on the Prophet, etc.
Make the occasion a joyful connection with the Prophet and what he stood for.
Here are some presentation plans sent in to mark these amazing personalities in schools:
Here is the one on Bibi Fatema:
And here is the one on the birthday of the Prophet:
Sheikh Vinay Khetia recently gave a talk on parenting and emphasied how the stories and examples we should be giving our children should be from our holy personalities. This fits in so well! Have also included some posters which bring in another aspect also.
Shared from a post on Facebook:
Ask children what kind of a Prophet’s day they had:
Was it like a Jonah/Yunus day that you felt alone and trapped and thought to give up?
Was it like a Moses/Musa day that you weren’t sure if you could do what you were tasked with?
Was it like a Mary/Maryam day where someone mocked, judged, and made you feel rejected?
Was it like a Hajar day that you prayed, then acted and therefore were able to quench your own need and protect someone else you cared for?
Was it like a David/Dawud day that you had to stand up by yourself to a bully?
Was it like a Solomon/Sulayman day that you were so present in your surroundings you felt you could talk and connect with creatures people usually ignore?
Was it like a Noah/Nuh day that you stayed strong in what you believed in even as people laughed at your concerted, quiet confidence?
Was it like a Joseph/Yusuf day that you stayed humble even as you achieved leadership and were in charge of things?
Was it like an Adam or Eve day that you felt maybe scared you didn’t know what lay ahead and everything seemed new and overwhelming?
Was it like a Jesus/Esa day that you spoke up and defended someone even though you felt small?
Was it like a Prophet Muhammad day that you smiled easily at others and they thanked you for your kindness?
Spiritualize our youngsters’ struggles and successes by humanizing changemakers of scripture and bringing them alive to the reality of our days.
Be it so. Amen