Islamic Topics which interest 7th grade Islamic School students

As salaamu alekum,

After working for a year in an Islamic school, I surveyed the class to see what topics they would like to cover in the last month. I thought I should share that, so if any other Islamic School teacher wants to benefit.

Here it is:

Marriage

Biographies of scholars, Muslim heros/leaders

Jannah Jahannam hadith

Muslims in America

Highschool topics – how to resolve problems, friendship, bullying, dawah, starting MSA’s

Health – fitness, eating habits

Stories of Prophets

Rasulullah (saw)’s interaction with Jews during his lifetime

More deep discussion on the names of Allah

Adam and Hawwa

Updated Version: An Islamic Legal Analysis of the Astronomical Determination of the Beginning of Ramadan

By: Sheikh Mokhtar Maghraoui, August 2007

SubhanAllah arabic is so beautiful : “Linguistically, the word “hilal ” which occurs in the second text as well as
verses in the Qur’an, means a crescent – that is, something visible. The
derivative, “istahalla ” to the cry of an infant after birth. Hilal traditionally referred to a crescent that is at least one or two nights old and does not therefore refer to the birth of the moon or conjunction (muhaq)  which cannot be seen with the naked eye.” (Pg 7, PAPER-An Islamic Legal Analysis OF THE Astronomical Determination of the Begining Of Ramadan)

The Life of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him

Class by Sh. Hamza Yusuf – recorded in 1998 – Cali – Tape 1 & 2

These notes are for the sake of remembering important details, not for transcribing or going against any copyrights.

  • This class is considered Mandhub (recommended but not required)

Goal of this class: To cover the features of the Prophets life and mission and increase our love of him by learning more about him

  • Books we will cover: Bayquni - Poem, Shama’il – Imam Tirmidi, The Life of Mohammad (saw) – Martin Lings(will cover 30pages a week) -> basically translated the Mukhtasar of Ibn Hisham
  • Other books: Shifa’ …(“The cure in explaining to you the rights of the Prophet Mustafa (saw)”- by Ayaad – definitly get it!

Etiquettes  of this class

  • Wear proper clothing while listening to seerah – Imam Malik used to take a ghusl, scent, turban, burn oud, – good smell reminds us of paradise
  • Prophet (saw) said : “Three things were made beloved for me from this dunya – Perfume, Women, and salaah was made coolness of my eyes. ” There is no extravagence in perfume – after a while you cant smell it, others do smell it, so its Sadaqa, so buy good scent and dont worry if spending much on it. Women obviously not wear perfume outside her home.
  • Lower the eyes, respect your classmates etc.
  • If you speak during the relation of the hadith, youve done a great wrong action. Quran prohibits us to raise our voices in front of the Prophet (saw). Listen to a hadith as if you are listening to it from the mouth of Rasulullah (saw).
  • Imam Maliks face color would change and he would lower his head when he would hear a hadith.

When a subject is taught in Islam- 10 things mentioned before taught- traditional way islamic sciences are taught

  1. Definition: Knowledge of the days of Rasulullah(saw) – Conditions of his family, hunger, house, life,  birth, society, his ancestors, battles. Shamail: His Khalq and Khulooq – His physical appearance and his Character. His Mothers pregnancy, his weaning. Seerah is not Hadith. Hadith literature is concerned with: Aqwaal- words , Afaal- deeds, Taqreraat- Things he saw but didnt condemn them or encourage them. Hadith is used to derive legal rulings, seerah is not.
  2. Topic: Essence of Prophet (saw) in relation to his days, events of his life, descriptive state, moral character
  3. Founder of the Science : The Sahaba – they realized he is the messenger of Allah, he is the last messenger, love of Allah is linked to following the Messenger of Allah. Following the messenger of Allah is not just a worship, but is also concerned with our daily interactions and lifestyle.
  4. Ism – Name : Seerah ( means “The way you go”, the way the prophet (saw) was), Maghazi (means “Intend somthing, a means to acheive somthing” , battles for justice), Al Waqaya( ), Ash Shamail (outword/inward character – good qualities of a person).
  5. Istimdaad – Sources: Those akhbaar, aathaar, hadith (sound hadith, some ulema take even the weak, if meaning is good).
  6. Hukum shar’i – Islamic Legal ruling : Some say Fard Kifayyah, but really Mandhoob for us – Maintaining a love for Rasulullah (saw) – Will understand more Allahs word. It is a condition of Imaan that we love Rasulullah (saw) , from that point you could say its fard, because if you dont know someone , then how can you love him? Its a condition of the soundness of imaan to Love the prophet more than everything except for Allah, even more than yourself. Umar (ra) said : “I love you more than anything other than my ownself”, Rasulullah (saw) said: “Ya Umar, non of you love me truly until he loves me more than his parents, wealth, children, and even his own self” Umar said: “Ya rasulullah(saw) I love you even more than my ownself” Rasulullah (Saw) said: ” Now your imaan is complete“. Studying his seerah is important in acheiving love of Rasulullah(saw).
  7. Conceptualizing the concern of the science (detailed topic description): Detailed description of Rasulullah(Saw) , knowledge of inward and outward qualities, history of his days, and successes and struggles of his life.
  8. Fadhilah- Virtue- Merit of studing the science: Extremely virtuous because we are studying the greatest subject after Allah.
  9. Nisbah- Category (ex: Humanities): Uloom Shari’yya
  10. Benefits derived from learning it: many benefits- 1. Guides you to path of sulook (way one goes down a path) of prophet (saw)- learning about the way Rasulullah(saw) lived in this world – In order that you can imitate this character. The closer you adhere to his character, the closer you become to human perfection. This doesn’t limit women, because Prophet(saw) is most balanced human being-  beautiful(feminine) and majestic(masculine) qualities are balanced in him. Also needed to study character of All the wives of prophet(saw) – examples for men and women. Maryam, Khadija. 2. Fills ones heart with awe of Rasulullah(saw). Order of Closeness to Allah(Surah Yusuf): Prophets, Siddiqqeen(Truthful ones- Maryum, Yusuf, Abu Bakr, and other sahaba and ulema), Martyrs, Salihoon- People of taqwa of Allah- do what Allah tells them and leave what he tells them. After this there is Fasiq,  Kafir/Munafiq. Dont feel safe that your at one of these states, may Allah protect us all, it depends on which state we die in. 3. Increase us in Imaan->increase us in awe -> increase us in taqwa ->we will be safe with Allah. 4. How to draw near to Allah with Sabr and Shukr- ex: All of Prophets children died during his lifetime except for Fatima, he buried all of them – no complain to Allah.- He used to pray at night till his feet swelled, Aisha (ra) used to say- Why do you pray all night, you have been forgiven of all your sins. He (saw) said- “Shouldnt i be a grateful slave” (*Sh. Hamza is crying here*) 5. Husn-his beauty, and Ihsaan- expression of that beauty to others. We incline by our nature towards beauty. Modern society is very ugly, we’ve lost our human nature. Even traditional music, modern music is so yuck unharmonious. traditionally humans beautify themselves, modern now make themselves look ugly(piercings). Classically – men with beards, women with braids, tatoos. Prophet(saw) -” The hearts are naturally inclined to falling in love with people who do good to them”. No one has showed us as much ihsaan as the prophet(saw). Loving him becomes a cause for us to be saved after death. Prophet(saw)-”My love does not permeate the heart of anyone, until Allah prohibits the fire from touching your body” – Love is cellular – people sweat when mention the beloved. Imam Malik’s skin color changed when he heard a hadith.  Somone asked about the last hour, the prophet(saw) asked him”what have you prepared for it”, the man said:”I havent prepared much fasting or salaah, only that I love Allah and His messenger”, then Rasulullah(saw) said:” You will be with whom you love”- Anas(ra): ” We didnt rejoice more than hearing that from Prophet(saw)”

Ta’a – willing obedience . Rasulullah(saw)- “If you love Allah, obey me” Whats important is that: does Allah love me, (Allah has mercy on everyone, love is different)

First Seerah : Seeratu Rasulillah – Abu bakr Ibn Muhammad ibn Ishaq (d. 151AH) – 120 years after Prophets (saw) death

Islamic tradition was oral for first 100 years. Ulema were writing down hadith, quran, but not the way it was taught. Scholars told stories by memory. There are people who memorize entire books by heart (thousands of pages, small print) Can’t appreciate this unless meet a person who can memorize really well. The person was more reliable than the book. Imam Shafi’- “My knowledge is in my breast, its not in a chest back home, if i go to the marketplace its with me, if i go to the masjid its with me”.

  • Muritania – people memorize whole Quran without even looking at a mus’haf – kids listen to teacher and they write it down.
  • Most people don’t have masahif ( Quran written down)
  • More virtuous to read quran from the Mus’haf, so eye and tongue can share in the reward
  • Tarqain shafawi – oral transmission of Qur’an.
  • Now the knowledge is in the books, but the keys to those books are the Scholars. Need to have a sheikh to read classic books properly

Second Seerah: by Imam Al Waqidi -

Most famous now : 3 volume – Abu Muhammad Abdul Malik Ibn Hisham – (d. 219AH) – some people think he took Ibn Ishaq’s seerah and ‘took out the fat and left the skinny’

Other books: Muktasar- Nooral Yaqeen

“We have elevated your rememberance”- Quran – this is shown by all the seerat which are written in so many different languages. Even those languaged which are just oral in Africa.

The fact that Muhammad is called Muhammad – ‘the praised one’ – thats enough of a reason that he’s praise worthy. Even his enemies couldnt say anything bad about them.

Arabs say: “give me an intellegent enemy, not an ignorant friend.” – You can deal with an intellegent enemy, but the firend wants to help you but he really harms you.

Asbaab un Nuzool – “Reasons why things are revealed” – Verses in the Quran are explained through the seerah – example: During the Prophet(saw) wedding night dinner three guests stayed longer than was comfortable for the prophet (saw) but he didnt say anything. Then Allah revealed an ayat saying that you should leave the gathering after your done with the food.

Two types of actions of Prophet(saw):

  1. Aada (yaeedu- something you return to) – A Norm – habit -Ex: When he walked, if somone called him, he would stop and turn fully around. Ex: he ate on the floor, its not a hukm shari’. Ex: He liked squash – we should too because thats how sahaba acted after. Ex: Grapes – He would put a few grapes in his mouth from the stem and pull the stem and some of the juice would go onto his beard (saw). Ex: He liked watermelon – one scholar didnt like to eat watermelon until he knew how he ate the watermelon. Human beings are imitative by nature. (when baby first born, they only have vision focused from breast to the face of the mother.) Allah says: “You have in the messenger of Allah the best of example to imitate” Find people who follow the prophet (saw) most and learn from them
  2. Ibada – An act of Worship -

Proverb of the arabs: “Everything is an aada, even ibaada”

Some say that theres no use or benefit in learning how the Prophet (saw) looked or dressed. But then why did the sahaba transmitt all these hadith which describe the prophet(saw). The lover wants to know everything about the beloved. ex: “Really what was she wearing? Oh a blue dress?”

Imam Al Busairi – its said that he died out of love of rasulullah (saw), just yearning to be with him

Ibn al Qayim Al Jawzeeya – in  Zaad Al Ma’aad – if the facilitisness of the two abodes is connected to the guidance of rasulullah (saw), then it becomes incombent on anyone who is sincere with his soul to desire his souls safety and salvation, he has to do that through learning about the seerah in order to remove him from the ignorant people and to place him among those who follow the prophet(saw).

Questions:

  1. When prophet (saw) said he loved women – means that he loved the qualities which women posess – Rahma- Merciful Love,  men have to strive towards this. Women tend to be by nature humble.  There are more divine qualities in a women than in a man.
  2. Prophet(saw)- “Whoever see’s me in a dream has seen me, because shaytaan cannot take my form” – If there is an attribute of him in your dream which is not an attribute of his , then that is rasulullah(saw) telling you about your faults. No hukm shari’ (islamic ruling) related to the dream.

Scheduling our day – Sh. Husain Abdul Sattar


  • If we want to advance towards Allah – Need a Schedule. Even in Dunya success – need schedule
  • Life of Mohammad(saw) – deen creates schedule for us  – Salaat, Ramadhan habits
  1. Prophet (saw) would go to bed early in the evening – Pray isha and go to bed – Pray Isha in first 1/3 of night. (the night is from Maghrib till begining of Fajr )
  2. how many hours sleep? – Principle of Sh. Husain Abdul Sattar’s teacher: sleep should tell you when you sleep, should be so tired its time to sleep, let your body tell you.
  3. After Isha prayed in Jama’ – do not interact with people, go to bed after Isha prayer. – (exception – its OK to speak to spouse)
  4. “If you knew what happened when it gets dark outside, you would never leave your homes” – rough translation of Hadith – Sheikh is relating this to his experience with morgue deathes – alot of deaths coming in at 1am , 2am
  5. we see the world the way we are living it – thats our bubble
  6. Important principle – after Isha, little barakah in our time (extracted from theabove hadith)
  7. wake up early in the morning – before Fajar prayer – blessed time to seek nearness to Allah – “Allah draws near to the earth” during this time – hadith
  8. Dont jump back in bed after Fajar. “early bird catches the worm”
  9. “Sleeping after Fajar prayer blocks your Rizq” – hadith  – at that time is when you gain your provisions! sleeping then is prohibiting it
  10. Prophet (saw) would continue work till Dhur. Take nap before dhur or after dhur – Prophet (saw) did that. – 10-15min nap.  CEO’s do this, Shuyukh do this. We open branches – masajid. Corporations open branches too. :P (Power Nap)
  11. Worlds expert on Sleep came to teach Sh. Husain Abdul Sattar – when you should sleep and when shouldnt – humans have natural drive to sleep at lunch time and midnight. Showed graph – car accidents=max at midnight, max at noon.
  12. Prophet (saw) begins day at 4am – noon already 8 hours , 15 min nap, then 1pm begining whole new day – 8 more hours. Basically doubling your day. Live this insha Allah.
  13. Deen transmitted by words and actions (lack of action).
  14. Generally after asr – eating/family
  15. Maghrib -> Isha = ibadah/halaqaat/ alot of energy. / hifdh/ dhikr
  16. foundation of this whole schedule – 5 prayers – always there, makes a nice template for my time.
  17. Do Dhikr after Maghrib salaah – establish it there.
  18. say “after fajr im oging to do this, after maghrib im going to do this” etc.
  19. Alhumdulillah for Salaah :)

Aqal aur Dill … Reason and Heart! (from Iqbal’s Baang-e-Daraa)


Reason

— in English —
One day reason said to the Heart:
I am a guide for those who are lost.
I live on the earth, but I roam the skies
Just see the vastness of my reach.
My task in the world is to guide and lead,
I am like Khizar of blessed steps. (see above in the Urdu section)
I interpret the book of life,
And through me Divine Glory shines forth!
You are no more than a drop of blood,
While I am the envy of the priceless pearl !!!

Aqal: In urdu
——
Aqal nea Eik Din yeh Dill seay Kahaa
Bhooley Bhatkey ki Rehnumaa hun meain!

Hun Zameen par, Guzar Falak peh mera
Dekh tu kiss Qadar rasaa hun meain!

Kaam Duniyaa mein Rehbari haiey mera
Massl Khizar Khujhta-Pa hun meain!
(Faarsi saying: “Khizar Bahar dar Qadam darad”: “Spring comes in the wake of Khizar”)

Hun Muffassar Kitaab haste ki
Mazhar shaan-e-Kibriyaa hun meain!

Boond Eik Khoon kee Heay Tu lekin
Ghearaat-e-Lal-e-be-Bahaa hun Mein!

The Heart’s Answer

— in English —
The Heart listened, and then said: This is all true,
But now look at me, and see what I am!!!
You penetrate the secret of existence,
But I see it with my eyes!!!
You deal with the outward aspects of things
I know what lies within!!! (The outward pertains to the phenomenal world, the inward to matters of the Heart and soul)
Knowledge comes from You, intuitive knowledge of spiritual truth from me!!!
You seek GOD, I reveal HIM!
Attaining the ultimate in knowledge makes one restless –
I am the cure for that ailment!!!
You are the candle of the Assembly of Truth;
I am the lamp of the Assembly of Beauty!!!
You are hampered by space and time,
While I am the “bird in the Lotus tree” (Taaeyr-e-Sidraa, see above in Urdu)
My status is so high –
I am the throne of the Majesty of GOD (According to sufistic saying, the world is too small a place to house GOD, but a believer’s Heart is large enough to house Him)

=========================================
————–
Dill ka Jawaab: In urdu
————–
Dill ne Sunn kar kahaa: Yeh Saab such haiey
Par Mujheay bhe tu deekh kiyaa hun meain!!!

Raaz-e-Hastee ko tu samajhtee haiey,
Auur Aankhon seay Deekhtaa hun meain !!!

Hay Tujhey Waastaa Mazhaar seay,
Aur Baatin seay Aashnaa hun meain !!!

Ailm tujh seay, tu maarafaat Mujh seay,
Tu Khuda joo, Khuda Numaa hun meain !!!

Ailm kee Intihaa haiey betaabi,
Iss Marz kee Magaar Dawaa hun meain !!!

Shamma tu mehfil-e-Sadaqat kee,
Husn kee Bazm ka Diya hun meain !!!

Tu Zamaan-o-Makaan se Rishtaa Bapaa
Taaeyr-e-Sidraa Aashnaa hun meain!!! (Sidraa here is “Sidraa al-Muntaha”, the Lotus tree in heaven)

Kiss Bulandi pa haiey Maqaam mera
Arsh Rabb-e-Jaleel ka Hun meain!!!
—————

Islam and Science – BBC Documentary Episode 1

How the Islamic world increased scientific knowledge between the 8th and 14th centuries.

Episode 1 parts 1-6

The 'first true scientist'

By Professor Jim Al-Khalili
University of Surrey

Artist's impression of al-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham (BBC)

An artist's impression of al-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham

Isaac Newton is, as most will agree, the greatest physicist of all time.

At the very least, he is the undisputed father of modern optics,­ or so we are told at school where our textbooks abound with his famous experiments with lenses and prisms, his study of the nature of light and its reflection, and the refraction and decomposition of light into the colours of the rainbow.

Yet, the truth is rather greyer; and I feel it important to point out that, certainly in the field of optics, Newton himself stood on the shoulders of a giant who lived 700 years earlier.

For, without doubt, another great physicist, who is worthy of ranking up alongside Newton, is a scientist born in AD 965 in what is now Iraq who went by the name of al-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham.

Most people in the West will never have even heard of him.

As a physicist myself, I am quite in awe of this man's contribution to my field, but I was fortunate enough to have recently been given the opportunity to dig a little into his life and work through my recent filming of a three-part BBC Four series on medieval Islamic scientists.

Modern methods

Popular accounts of the history of science typically suggest that no major scientific advances took place in between the ancient Greeks and the European Renaissance.

But just because Western Europe languished in the Dark Ages, does not mean there was stagnation elsewhere. Indeed, the period between the 9th and 13th Centuries marked the Golden Age of Arabic science.

Great advances were made in mathematics, astronomy, medicine, physics, chemistry and philosophy. Among the many geniuses of that period Ibn al-Haytham stands taller than all the others.

Prism (BBC)

Ibn-al Haytham conducted early investigations into light

Ibn al-Haytham is regarded as the father of the modern scientific method.

As commonly defined, this is the approach to investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge, based on the gathering of data through observation and measurement, followed by the formulation and testing of hypotheses to explain the data.

This is how we do science today and is why I put my trust in the advances that have been made in science.

But it is often still claimed that the modern scientific method was not established until the early 17th Century by Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes.

There is no doubt in my mind, however, that Ibn al-Haytham arrived there first.

In fact, with his emphasis on experimental data and reproducibility of results, he is often referred to as the "world's first true scientist".

Understanding light

He was the first scientist to give a correct account of how we see objects.

Jim Al-Khalili (BBC)
It is incredible that we are only now uncovering the debt that today's physicists owe to an Arab who lived 1,000 years ago
Prof Jim Al-Khalili

He proved experimentally, for instance, that the so-called emission theory (which stated that light from our eyes shines upon the objects we see), which was believed by great thinkers such as Plato, Euclid and Ptolemy, was wrong and established the modern idea that we see because light enters our eyes.

What he also did that no other scientist had tried before was to use mathematics to describe and prove this process.

So he can be regarded as the very first theoretical physicist, too.

He is perhaps best known for his invention of the pinhole camera and should be credited with the discovery of the laws of refraction.

He also carried out the first experiments on the dispersion of light into its constituent colours and studied shadows, rainbows and eclipses; and by observing the way sunlight diffracted through the atmosphere, he was able to work out a rather good estimate for the height of the atmosphere, which he found to be around 100km.

Enforced study

In common with many modern scholars, Ibn-al Haytham badly needed the time and isolation to focus on writing his many treatises, including his great work on optics.

He was given an unwelcome opportunity, however, when he was imprisoned in Egypt between 1011 and 1021, having failed a task set him by a caliph in Cairo to help solve the problem of regulating the flooding of the Nile.

While still in Basra, Ibn al-Haytham had claimed that the Nile's autumn flood waters could be held by a system of dykes and canals, thereby preserved as reservoirs until the summer's droughts.

But on arrival in Cairo, he soon realised that his scheme was utterly impractical from an engineering perspective.

Yet rather than admit his mistake to the dangerous and murderous caliph, Ibn-al Haytham instead decided to feign madness as a way to escape punishment.

This promptly led to him being placed under house arrest, thereby granting him 10 years of seclusion in which to work.

Planetary motion

He was only released after the caliph's death. He returned to Iraq where he composed a further 100 works on a range of subjects in physics and mathematics.

While travelling through the Middle East during my filming, I interviewed an expert in Alexandria who showed me recently discovered work by Ibn al-Haytham on astronomy.

It seems he had developed what is called celestial mechanics, explaining the orbits of the planets, which was to lead to the eventual work of Europeans like Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton.

It is incredible that we are only now uncovering the debt that today's physicists owe to an Arab who lived 1,000 years ago.

Professor Jim Al-Khalili presents Science and Islam on BBC Four at 2100GMT on Monday 5, 12 & 19 January

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