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Noah And Islam


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I'm sure I read on here at some point about someone teaching Noah from a Muslim perspective - the story of Nuh. Cannot find any post anywhere resembling this!! Does anyone have any ideas about the post / Nuh / stories from Islam for children? Thank you!

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Hi emmajess

Sorry I can't help you find the post. As far as I'm aware the story of Prophet Nuh (from a Muslim perspective) is the same as the Christian narration of Noah. There are no pictures of Prophet Nuh in the Islam for children book as muslims do not normally depict their prophets. If you can wait until tomorrow I can try and find details of a book containing the story for you.

 

:o

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Hi emmajess

Sorry I can't help you find the post. As far as I'm aware the story of Prophet Nuh (from a Muslim perspective) is the same as the Christian narration of Noah. There are no pictures of Prophet Nuh in the Islam for children book as muslims do not normally depict their prophets. If you can wait until tomorrow I can try and find details of a book containing the story for you.

 

:o

 

That is fantastic to know - I didn't realise that Muslims do not normally depict their prophets - that is so helpful, thank you. What is the Islam for Children book? Thank you for looking out details of Prophet Nuh story for me. If Muslims do not depict their prophets, would it be inappropriate to do a play of a story from Islam at some point in the same way that we would do a nativity play? As for not being able to find the post - I'm beginning to imagine I dreamt it - I spend such a lot of time on the forum that I've obviously started going on it in my sleep as well!

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Hi emmajess, being a convert muslim myself feel free to ask me any questions at all, any thing i don't know i can have answered at work as I work with muslim scholars. The Nuh story is similar to the christian story, the Prophet built the Ark and the animals went on in pairs, a male and a female. And yes we don't depict or draw our Prophets so usually in plays the voice of the Prophet would usually be a narration by a student rather than someone actually acting as the Prophet in the play.

 

Please don't feel shy i'm open to questions!!

 

aisha

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Hi emmajess, being a convert muslim myself feel free to ask me any questions at all, any thing i don't know i can have answered at work as I work with muslim scholars. The Nuh story is similar to the christian story, the Prophet built the Ark and the animals went on in pairs, a male and a female. And yes we don't depict or draw our Prophets so usually in plays the voice of the Prophet would usually be a narration by a student rather than someone actually acting as the Prophet in the play.

 

Please don't feel shy i'm open to questions!!

 

aisha

 

Thank you aisha, it's great to have expert advice! I had a chat with the one Muslim parent in our school today who has a daughter in my class and a son in year 3. She doesn't want her daughter to be at all involved in any of the Christmas work that is going on over the next few weeks. I wouldn't suggest she made a Christmas card for her family, as obviously she doesn't celebrate Christmas, but would you think it inappropriate for her to join in our nativity play? I've spoken to her mum about it, and said that I just say that this is a story that some people think about at this time of year, and that different people believe different things - this is just one story from one of many different faiths. I felt that it would just be acting out a story, that some people choose to believe, much in the same way that we might act out any story. I also pointed out the extent to which we look at stories from other faiths, too. The mum seems really convinced she wants to withdraw her daughter from any planned Christmas-based work, and I must say I really respect the strength of her conviction. I just wondered whether you, as a muslim, would agree that she be withdrawn, or could suggest any other ideas for talking to this mum? Sorry to be a pain, but I really want to get this right and include the little girl and her family in the learning we're doing at school, but definitely don't want to offend the mum. Any thoughts?

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Oh, and i forgot to ask - sorry - how is the Christmas story viewed in Islam? I understand Jesus is seen as a prophet, so does Islam include his early life in its teachings at all? Could I involve this aspect somehow in our nativity to include both religions? What do you think? Sorry again for all the questions!

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Thank you for this topic. I just came onto the forum to ask pretty much the same question as the last post.

 

In our situation the little boy is only two and we don't really "do" the nativity very fully although we are planning to sign a carol about baby Jesus. With the children being so small we discuss more the idea that we have to be very careful in holding the baby and sing quietly so as not to wake him! Can you tell the staff are trying to calm things down here?!

 

We are also making cards and decorations, although mostly themed on stars, baubles, crackers and general sparkly things rather than any religious meaning. And we will be having a visit from Father Christmas with gifts for the children. I do want to speak to mum this week about the family's take on the season and how much the child knows and how much she wants us to discuss with him. This is our setting's first experience of a child from another religious background and I am sorry to say it has only just dawned on me to consider speaking to mum. Any advice would be very welcome.

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I'll let aishaaslamuk answer the questions as I have limited knowledge and can only really offer opinions. I'm still looking for a book narrating the Prophet Nuh story. I hope you get the answers to the questions you both asked, I'll be watching this thread with interest and if I can help further I will.

 

:o

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Well......... I would firstly like to begin by saying that I pray noone takes offence by my reply, it's really not my intention to hurt anyones feelings or annoy anyone so please forgive me if i say anything that upsets you!

 

Muslims have no problems in their children learning about other faiths, in fact it is encouraged to gain knowledge and have an understanding of the people around you. I work in a muslim school which is inside a mosque and we have RE lessons and teach other religions. I think however Christmas is the time of year that Muslims feel the most uncomfortable due to many reasons. Most nurseries and primaries encourage the observing of religious festivals however from a muslim looking in, you generally find that Eid, Divali etc ect are recognised and celebrated but this is usually for the one day or maybe two but when it comes to Christmas the festival is usually celebrated for several weeks and I think this is were the problems for muslim families begin. I had a parent visit the school today who is unhappy with this very situation and is considering withdrawing her child from the nursery in question and placing her in a muslim school because the whole situation has made her feel so uncomfortable. At the end of the day, these nurseries and schools usually come with a christian ethos as we are in England so parents and families should expect this sort of situation but the parents have an overwhelming desire to give their child a muslim identity and at times like Christmas the parents feel this is threatened. The mother in question today was especially having problems with the information that the child was bringing home about Jesus (peace be upon him) which alot of the time contradicted the Islamic belief of Jesus (peace be upon him) and to every child their lovely teachers word is gold! Our stories of Noah (peace be upon him) are very similar however the story of Jesus' birth is very different. We do believe in the miraculous conception, God says in the Quran...

 

(Remember) when the angels said, “O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him (God), whose name is the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, revered in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (to God). He will speak to the people from his cradle and as a man, and he is of the righteous.” She said, “My Lord, how can I have a child when no mortal has touched me?” He said, “So (it will be). God creates what He wills. If He decrees a thing, He says to it only, ‘Be!’ and it is.” (Quran, 3:45-47)

 

In the Quran, Mary retreats to a secluded place, and gives birth all alone. Jesus isn’t born in a stable and Joseph doesn’t feature in the story at all. While in the throes of labour, the Quran tells us,

 

“And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree. She

cried [in her pain]: ‘Ah! Would that I had died before this! Would that I had been

forgotten!’” (Chapter 19, Verse 23)

 

If I was the parent I personally wouldn't want my child to perform in the nativity (I'm a really strict muslim lol!!) but that's because of the contradiction to the Islamic story and I know what you're trying to say about teaching them it's a story that some people believe but because we believe in the same Prophet and his mother it's a bit more complicated to explain the differences. That mother today was trying to explain the differences to her daughter and the little girl asked if her teacher was lying to her and was very confused bless her.

 

Sorry of the essay and I hope i've not offended anyone! I will ask someone in work tomorrow as they have much more knowledge than me, but anymore questions please feel free to ask.

 

aisha

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Thank you so much for that reply and I for one am certainly not offended. You touched on one of my specific concerns being that we do cover Eid and Divali and other festivals from other religions and cultures, but as you say the Christmas celebrations continue for so long. I intend to speak to the mum in question tomorrow so I will let you know what comes of that but thank you for your help so far.

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Well......... I would firstly like to begin by saying that I pray noone takes offence by my reply, it's really not my intention to hurt anyones feelings or annoy anyone so please forgive me if i say anything that upsets you!"

 

Your reply is very interesting providing us with insight into this issue, and gives no cause for offence quite the contrary. I think you have explained the situation to us extremely well and given us all something to think about.

I worked for many years in an inner town school with children from a variety of different faiths. All our Muslim families joined in with our Christmas celebrations. Some families came to our Christmas church service, whilst others preferred not to. Our Sikh families did not attend church, but did take part in other christmas celebrations. Naturally we respected their choice. On several occasions I had discussions with parents to establish their views, before giving parts in the Nativity play for example etc., and their view was always that they wanted their children to learn about other faiths and take part in our Celebrations as well. Their children also went to a school on Sundays at the Mosque, so they felt that their children would be strong enough in their own faith and family to participate. There was a largish Muslim community so they had a strong supportive identity together. Some of our families were our second generation, and there were one or two children whose parents I had taught. Many of the Muslim families chose to send their children to the C Of E school rather than to our community school, prefering the ethos there.

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I have been reading this post with interest.

 

It is so difficult when bringing religion into things! - but are schools are essentially christian based with christian ethos and values. As a teaching practitioner it is hard to balance everyones views. I ensure that everyone elses beliefs are respeced and valued and this includes celebrating them, even if we do not have children within our setting who are of that culture. - But this is where the christian similarities end with those of other faiths. -

 

I am being honest here and yes I am expecting fall out from everyone, as I am going to say an un-politically correct statement here - so here goes and I will duck (but it is food for thought).

 

If you go to a country whereby the religion was predominantly Muslim, would they teach and preach our christian values and values of others, so far in my experience they will not!

 

It is only in this country that we bend backwards for everyone else and are frightened to be proud of our heritage. Everyone else who comes into this country can bring with them their culture and beliefs. Yet we are unable to continue with ours for fear of offending those from other backgrounds or cultures. When you go to another country that does not practice catholisism or christianity we are expected to abide by their laws and those laws alone for fear of retribution and in some cases inprisonment. So why is it here that now we are even afraid to teach in our schools what essentially is our beliefs and our cultures?

 

Over the years as a teacher I have seen an enormous breakdown in our beliefs being taken off curriculums to suit other faiths. Dont get me wrong - I embrace other faiths and cultures, but it is being introduced to the detriment of our own faith and culture. Personally I believe the parents have a right to withdraw their child from Christian assemblies and nativity plays. But that to me is extremism a child should be exposed (like our own non practising Muslim, budhist children) to other faiths. Equally on the other hand what would the other faiths feel like if we withdrew our children from learning about or partaking in some of the dramatisations that I have been involved in at shcools - it would be called racism to say the least. Food for thought anyone?

 

Cant wait for the replies!! -

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My parents grew up in Pakistan they're Catholic, went to Catholic schools, were taught the English/British curriculum and sat British set exams. My cousins who still live there now also go to Catholic schools, even though they are Muslim they are still taught the British Curriculum to a degree but unlike my parents, they are also taught to read and write Arabic and are taught Geography, History etc which is more significant to their culture/faith - sorry not explaining my self very well. It's my understanding that if you are schooled in Pakistan, regardless of nationality, faith or length of time you are there for, you are required to learn to speak, read and write Arabic/Urdu.

Karrie

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I think the issue here is not what to teach but when and how to teach it. What is developmentally appropriate? If you tell a two year old something and then tell them something else the next day, it gets quite confusing. For example, if Lucy is told that the grass is green one day and then the next day told 'but some people think the grass is red'. A poor example, I know but I can see both sides of the argument. I think it might be a good idea to let the children choose, do they feel comfortable participating in an activity? As withdrawing children from an activity can also be detrimental to their development. Obviously we must respect the views of parents/carers.

 

Just my thoughts

 

:o

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Hi

 

I agree that we should let children choose. But in many faiths, including my own we are indoctrinated very early on in life, some of us more strongly than others. Religion is an interesting subject all round really and is the cause of much conflict and war. I know that those with strong religious beliefs do not allow anyone in to question them closely, and they protect the children from entertaining or broaching the subject of others religion.

 

I just know that when I worked in China we were not allowed to practice the Catholic faith at all (small province). In fact some people were inprisoned for just going to mass on a Sunday - they were raided and carted off!

 

In this country I think we believe that we should open children up to the world and beliefs of the world - right and wrongs. My point is that predominantly with some religious beliefs they do not allow the mere mention of Catholisism or christianity. My father is CofE and my mother Catholic. We had some fantastic discussions in my household growing up! My sister is now non-practising (Catholic), yet I am, both of us are seen as individuals in our own right and hold good values towards life and other cultures. My point really is that some religions have incredible tunnel vision and can be deemed as brainwashing, not allowing practitioners of them to question and raise moral issues around others beliefs. Personally stopping children from undertaking and joining in a play on religious grounds means that they really do not have respect for our practices and our culture. These are my personal beliefs! - However as a practitioner I have to continue teaching everyone elses beliefs, even though they do not necessarily teach or demonstrate knowledge through experiencing ours! So it is quite hard and challenging.

 

What is the old saying When in Rome................. it does not mean that children will loose faith in their own culture, religion and belief as this will be practiced and observed at home.

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Well......... I would firstly like to begin by saying that I pray noone takes offence by my reply, it's really not my intention to hurt anyones feelings or annoy anyone so please forgive me if i say anything that upsets you!

 

 

 

 

If I was the parent I personally wouldn't want my child to perform in the nativity (I'm a really strict muslim lol!!) but that's because of the contradiction to the Islamic story and I know what you're trying to say about teaching them it's a story that some people believe but because we believe in the same Prophet and his mother it's a bit more complicated to explain the differences. That mother today was trying to explain the differences to her daughter and the little girl asked if her teacher was lying to her and was very confused bless her.

 

Thank you so much for your reply - it has really educated me and padded out my half knowledge! It has clarified for me the differences between the Christian nativity and the Islamic story and how it could be seen to undermine or at least unsettle it. It's so tricky with anything with children of this age, trying to talk about 'truth', 'belief', 'fact', 'fiction', 'opinion' etc in any area of life and with religion that is so important to people it is even more delicate. I now do really understand why this mum wants to withdraw her daughter from the nativity. So thank you for really enlightening me on that one! my previous experience had been more like JacquieL's of a much more multicultural school, but still predominantly (nominally) Christian, where Christmas was celebtrated ina big, long way, but where there were large numbers of Muslim parents and families so there was more support for people in this situation, whereas for the mum at my school, she is really isolated in the school, as the only Muslim family, and so must find it even more tricky than she would otherwise.

 

My next question (sorry!) is: if the whole christmas thing is really going to be quite intrinsic for the next few weeks, what should the little girl in my class be doing? Her mum has said she'll come i and work with her separately, but what do you think? There'll be nativity stuff in the role play, the sand etc etc - it will be tricky for her to avoid it completely. How can I plan the best for this child and her family? Thank you so much for your amazing help and wisdom - and definitely no offence taken at all!!!

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I think that the quotes in the Guardian from the other religious domains are quite right in what they are saying and shows much sensitivity to our British culture and heritage. These are people who have good ownership of their own religious beliefs, yet respect ours. Is that not what we are all aiming for? :o

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Hi. What an interesting topic!

 

My colleague lent me her copy of a children's book - stories from the Qu'ran (which I used for Noah's Ark). She bought it while working either in Jordan or Bahrain. I will find out exact name and ISBN tomorrow. If still needed. Also my TA helped a lot. A British woman, converted to Islam and has lived here for many years!

 

I work in a British school in a Muslim country, with children from different faiths and nationalities. We do celebrate Christmas. It started today - rehearsals for carol concert, decorations. I introduced the Christmas story, linking to carols they are singing. I emphasised Christmas is special for Christians because it was the day they believe Jesus was born. I have three children from Islamic faith, some Catholic, mostly non-religious.

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I work in a British school in a Muslim country, with children from different faiths and nationalities. We do celebrate Christmas.

 

Fantastic :o and showing

 

 

much sensitivity to our British culture and heritage.

 

I'm very happy to read something positive about a Muslim country. Thank you for posting this leedwa...I am still trying to find a reference for the Prophet Nuh story, it would be good if you could find it as others on the forum may need this information in the future.

 

xD

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My next question (sorry!) is: if the whole christmas thing is really going to be quite intrinsic for the next few weeks, what should the little girl in my class be doing? Her mum has said she'll come i and work with her separately, but what do you think?

 

What about asking mum if it would be okay for her little girl to make shiny silver stars, presents (these could possibly be linked with Eid from a cultural perspective which should fall on Sunday 7th December or Monday 8th December) Mum may be able to give you some good ideas on other activities...worth asking.

 

:o

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Hi leedwa

 

Its great that in a Muslim country you were able to ensure all children participated or learn about the christian faith. I wonder why it is such a touchy subject then in this country and why parents of Muslim faith wish to pull a child out of learning about Christianity? - I am not judging anyone, just really interested to hear peoples opinions.

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why parents of Muslim faith wish to pull a child out of learning about Christianity?

 

Possibly due to the age of their children, as I said in an earlier post are the activities developmentally appropriate? I know lots of muslim parents with children over the age of 8 who do not withdraw their children from Nativity activities. In Birmingham there are so many parents who also choose to send their Muslim children to schools with a Christian ethos. I personally feel that it is a small percentage of parents removing their children from Christmas activities and usually because they are a minority in that setting.

 

:o

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I personally feel that it is a small percentage of parents removing their children from Christmas activities and usually because they are a minority in that setting.

 

:o

 

From my experience of being in a much more multicultural school and now an almost exclusively white british one, I would say that this really seems to be the difference - the level of support that families get from other families within the same school of the same faith, where they are all making the decisions together.

 

What kinds of things are people doing for Eid on Monday? Is Eid ul Adha celebrated in a broadly similar way to Eid ul Fitr? With Eid Mubarak cards etc? What significant things are you including?

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hello '

 

Im wondering about EID MYSELF. I think its celebrrated in much the same way as little Eid. Best clothes, Eid Mubarek cards nice food, presents for the children. Ive been trying to find some happy eID MUSIC TO DOWNLOAD AND PLAY IN ASSEMBLY BUT NO LUCK YET.any ideas anyone ?

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Hi Sienna

 

I haven't forgottem about the quran stories book - we are off school for Eid and I have a very bad cold. My colleague has the book in her classroom and I will be able to get hold of it soon. The story I read to my class was quite wordy and too long for Reception class but may be useful.

 

Eid Mubarak!

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[quote name=emmajess' date='Dec 6 2008, 20:21' post='161094'

What kinds of things are people doing for Eid on Monday? Is Eid ul Adha celebrated in a broadly similar way to Eid ul Fitr? With Eid Mubarak cards etc? What significant things are you including?

 

This website is very interesting. Scroll down the page and click on Muslim and it may give you some ideas.

http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/Ho...on/calendar.htm

Do have a look in the Celebrations sub-forum as well.

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My understanding of Eid-ul-Adha (as a non-Muslim) is that it is celebrated after Hajj (today is Arafa Day people performing the hajj gather at the mount of Arafat and give thanks). It is all about sacrifice and "submitting" to God's will. Lambs are slaughtered (in UK in slaughterhouses but here in people's homes). The story is about Ibrahim (Abraham) who was told by God to kill his first born son, as an act of obedience but just before he did so, God intervened and a lamb was slaughtered instead. Same story is told in the Bible and the Torah! Muslims go to mosque, visit homes of friends and family, slaughtered meat is shared (some given to poor - charity). Gifts given to children. Muslims give thanks for their blessings, ask for forgiveness, forgive others, pray for deceased etc. It is a four day celebration and a public holiday here. (this is only my understanding, please feel free to add anything I have missed out or correct any misunderstandings).

 

In schools, perhaps an emphasis on charity and sharing and people getting together to share food/meat would be appropriate. So, best clothes, Eid foods, sweets and gifts would be apropriate to talk about and role play with children. As for music, not sure about particular Eid music (unless do a search on video download sites and itunes) but would arabic or pakistani music do just as well - depending on children in setting or staff members who could talk about their own experiences (if you have that in your setting).

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