A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|11/06/02 at 14:08:13|
I am ready to start the public school circuit. Do you see anything that i need to correct- or add?
Good Morning Everyone! Thank you for coming and inviting me here. You are lucky. Your teacher is very special because she believes in teaching you kids about many new things. My name is .... But you can call me Mrs. AJ.
I am a Muslim.
Your teacher has asked me to come to tell you all about the month of Ramadan. Who here has heard of this special Muslim holiday?
Before I start, I have someone who wants to help me. He is in the suitcase. But it is your choice. I can stand here and tell you about our month, but you might find me boring. I have a puppet in there whom
you might enjoy. The only problem is that I am not a ventriloquist. And my religion prohibits me from trying to trick you into making him seem real. Does anyone know what a ventriloquist is?
So it is your choice- I can get him out....but then you will see my lips moving as he talks. Is that ok with you?
This is Abdullah. Everybody say Hi to him!
*AS SALAAMU ALAYKUM kids!
Abdullah tell the kids what that means.
* It means may God’s peace be with you. Muslims give each other that greeting when they see each other.
Tell the class what your name is.
That is a very honorable name. Tell the kids what it means.
* I am very proud of my name. It means “Servant of Allah- God”
What does Allah mean?
* Just the Arabic for God. All Arabs, Christians and Muslims call God Allah. It is the same god of Christianity and Judaism.
What are Muslims?
*Muslims follow the religion of Islam. Islam is my religion, just like Catholics are Christians and Jews follow Judaism.
Abdullah do you know how many Muslims are right here in America?
*No How many?
There are an estimated seven million Muslims in America. The Muslim community in America is made up of people from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds and national origins. There are almost 2,000
mosques, Islamic schools and Islamic centers in America. Muslims are active in all walks of life. Do you know how many Muslims are in the world?
* More than a billion!
Yep that’s right
* Kathy are all Muslims’ Arab?
Not all Muslims are Arab, just as not all Arabs are Muslim. In fact, Arabs are a minority within the Islamic world. In this classroom you have an American Arab Muslim and there are children in this class whose relatives were Muslim. In your school there are American, Pakistani, Malaysian,
Bosnian kids who are Muslim. There are Muslims from all over the world!
Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in this country and around the world. I brought you in a coloring map that you can color. Perhaps your teacher will make copies of it. (Show the demographic picture map)
Abdullah do you know what all the Muslims are doing in this world?
Tell the Kids!
* We are celebrating Ramadan!
What is Ramadan?
*It is a holy month in which Muslims, fast, pray, give charity and celebrate!
Tell me more
*Today is the ??th day of the month of Ramadan, the fasting month for Muslims.
More than 1400 years ago during the month of Ramadan, God (swt ) gave Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) the Holy Qur’an. One day, Muhammad (Pbuh) saw an angel who told him how God wanted people to live and it is written in the book called the Qur’an. It was the same angel that came to
Jesus (peace be upon him).
What is the Qur’an?
*It is a book kinda like the Bible and the Torah. Here is what it looks like. The real one doesn’t have any English in it. What language is it written in?
* Arabic. I can say it I can say it!
Oh Abdullah I want to hear it real. _____ will say a small part of the Qur’an so you can hear what
it sounds like.
You kids are real smart! Thanks
*Ok- I understand that Muslims celebrate the month because the Qur’an was revealed. How do you know when it starts?
Since the Muslim calendar is based on the moon, instead of the sun like our American Calender, the Month of Ramadan doesn't happen at the same time every year. This year Ramadan is during
November, when days are short and nights are long. But in other years Ramadan can be in the fall, summer, or spring. Abdullah tell the class how people know the right day to start.
*We know the month of Ramadan starts- by sighting the new moon.
That’s right! In our family we go up on a high mountain and try to find the moon. It is a special time for us to be together. I pack a special treat to eat while we are looking.
* I like Pizza...can I have some Pizza as my special treat?
They take binoculars with them. (show binoculars)
This is what the moon looks like in the sky.( Show a picture of the moon)
* That looks like a toenail!
It is called a crescent.
*You know what a full moon looks like to me?
* A PIZZA!
Oh Abdullah, are you fasting today?
* Yep...everything looks like food to me!
If they see the moon everybody calls each other and tells them that the fasting month has begun!
We then decorate our house with lights and other decorations.
*What happens if they don’t see the moon?
Then they go the next night?
* What if it is cloudy and they still don’t see it?
Then they just start the month of Ramadan!
* Why don’t they just use a calendar?
Well Abdullah, not everyone in the world has one. Some people live deep in the jungles, or deserts. The moon has always been used as a calendar.
* Is Ramadan the same time every year?
No since we use the lunar calendar.
* What is Lunar?
The moon. It is not like our school calendar which follows the cycle of the sun. Because the months of a lunar calendar are shorter, Ramadan can be in the spring, summer or fall.
*Yep- This year it is in November! That means short days and long nights!
* They saw the moon in Florida the other night!
Yep Ramadan has begun!
* What do Muslims do during this month?
Muslims fast every day during the month of Ramadan. When Muslims fast, we don't eat or drink anything at all from dawn until sunset. The fast teaches us to learn discipline, self-restraint and generosity. Almost all religions have taught their people to fast. It offers a time for Muslims to
"purify" their bodies as well as their souls, by developing a greater sense of patience and spirituality.
Abdullah tell the kids why we fast
*It helps us to feel compassion for those who are poorer and less fortunate. Each day I feel what those poor people who are hungry feel like.
*It teaches me to have willpower and self control.
What do you mean?
*It helps me learn to deal with bad temptations like saying no to beer, cigarettes, and drugs.
Since I have to learn to say no to food, I can say no to the bad kids who want me to do the bad stuff.
Abdullah a lot of kids have never fasted what is it like?
* Fasting means not to eat or drink anything from dawn to sunset. When we are fasting, we shouldn’t complain about being hungry or thirsty. Also, we can’t get angry or irritated. So if I get mad I just walk away.
Abdullah are you old enough to fast?
*No- some days I like to try. You have to be a 6th grader to start fasting!
How old is that?
* About 12 or 13. In some countries you are considered to be a man at that age!
Tell me what a day is like for you!
*Before our fasting starts, we eat a little food in the early morning, This meal is called Suhoor. Some of us go back to bed, and some stay awake and read Qur’an and pray. In the very early morning our adthan clock wakes us up. This is what it sounds like-.
* It is loud are your ready?
(Play the adthan)
At the end of each day, we break our fast at a special meal called Iftar. Many Muslims like to break their fast with a date, because that was the custom of Prophet Muhammad. I love dates!
Guess what Abdullah?
I brought some dates for everyone to try!
*You are going to LOOOOOve them!
What else do you eat?
*Since Muslims come from just about every place in the world, different families have different things they like to eat during their Iftar. Our family especially likes Slovak, German, Indian, and Arab food.
What happens after you eat?
*We will pray together and some kids get candy or a small toy if they were good and didn’t fight with their brothers and sisters! Later in the evening, we sometimes go to the Mosque for the night prayer and some special extra prayers. At night we watch cool video’s about Islam and read books
about Muslims from long ago. (show books)
Abdullah do you use anything special to pray on?
* Yep I use a flying carpet!!!!
*It is really called a prayer rug and this is what it looks like!(show a prayer rug)
Are there any special nights during this month?
* Lailat ul-Qadr!
Tell them what it means....
*In English it is called the Night of Power. It is the night the Qur’an was first revealed to Muhammad pbuh . It happened in a cave. Mrs. AJ- tell the kids what we do!
Once I built a cave in our mosque for the kids to sit in so they could experience the moment.
Maybe I will build one for this year too!
Abdullah tell the kids about the other important things we do during the month of Ramadan.
*We give charity called zakat. This is money given to poor people who need to buy food and new clothes.
What if the Muslims are poor?
* They do good deeds. Many Muslims will work in soup kitchens, help homeless people. We even consider a smile to be a good deed. Many Muslims make dinners for fasting people.
In our home my son saves a part of his money all year from his allowance and keeps it in a jar. (Show his jar) During this month he picks a poor family and gives them his saved money for charity.
Abdullah do you know how many days to fast?
* 29 or 30?
Yep! Tell the kids how you keep track.
* We use a chain that we made. Each night after we complete our fast, we take one link off so that he knows how many days are left. (Show Chain)
The link at home is very long since we just started.
How can you tell when the month of Ramadan is over?
*We can tell the month is over by sighting the moon again.
Then there will be a big festival called Eid al-Fitr. That's Arabic for "the festival of breaking the fast." On that day, Muslims don't come to school. In some families the children don’t have to go to school for three days.
*yeah three days off three days off!
Parents and relatives give presents and money to the kids and each other. In our family, my son’s Dad takes him to the toy store and he gets to pick out whatever toy he wants. That was the way his dad did it. I buy a couple of toys and underwear!- because that is what my mom did!
Everybody in my family wears our best clothes and goes for special prayers at our Masjid. In the summer we go to a park to pray- just like in the old days! Afterwards we go to visit our friends.
*My clothes used to be worn by your son!
Tell the kids what else you have to do...
*We ask everybody we meet to forgive us for any bad things we did to them. Like if I called someone a cootie or duffess or Idiot head,
*I gotta ask them to forgive me.
Sounds like a good idea...
*Is there music?
Some people like to play an instrument called a Duff, which is like a drum. The men, women, and children like to dance to music made by the duff. (This is what one looks like)
The Month of Ramadan is a very special time of month for Muslims. Thank you for letting me explain and share this part of our holiday with you.
Say Goodbye Abdullah
*As salaamu alaykum!
Mrs. AJ ...
I am hungry can I have some Pizza?
Not til sundown!
|11/06/02 at 14:14:08|
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board