Every once in a while, Im inspired to teach my children in a manner away from conventional textbooks, and last week was one of these occasions. I was hit with inspiration to write a short story for them. They really enjoyed this, and I was surprised at how quickly Little Miss especially not only understood but also easily remembered the concepts and even the new words…So here I am sharing it, in the hopes that it will be beneficial to you and your little people as well.
It was a clear and sunny day. On days like these Zahaa loved walking around their garden. Mummy was tending to her herb patch. She had mint and parsley and spring onion and all types of plants growing there. Zahaa’s nose wrinkled up as all the lovely scents tickled her nostrils.
She heard the chirping and looked up to see 2 little yellow birds in a nest.
“Look Mummy, look at those birds” she said excitedly.
“Subhanallah, can you hear them singing the praises of Allah?” Mummy asked.
“You mean, the birds also worship Allah?” Zahaa asked.
“Yes, they do.” Mummy smiled. “All the animals worship Allah, including the birds and the fish and even the tiny ants. Allah is al-Khaliq the Creator. He created everything that you see.”
Zahaa thought about this as Mummy started watering the flowerbeds now.
They stopped to pick some flowers. The flowers were red, and pink, and yellow.
“These flowers are very pretty” Zahaa said.
“Allah made them in so many different colours. It’s like they were painted.” she said to her Mummy.
They placed the flowers in a basket, and now Mummy was busy picking lemons from one of the trees. Zahaa smiled, she knew that Mummy would make some yummy lemonade with that later.
“What’s that tree?” she asked as she pointed to a tree right at the back of the garden that she hadn’t noticed before. There were red flowers growing on it.
“That’s a pomegranate tree” said Mummy.
“Are you sure?”Zahaa asked. “Pomegranates are small and red and juicy. That fruit is round and big and looks so dry. Its almost brown”
Mummy walked up to the tree, and carefully pulled one of the fruits off the tree. Then she used a small knife to make a cut, and then a lot of energy, and pulled it open. Inside were small red seeds, looking like glittering jewels, just like Mummy said! It really was a pomegranate tree.
Mummy smiled “When you were little, you used to call these ‘Purple Grannies’ Do you remember?”
Zahaa laughed and laughed. “Yes I remember Mummy”
She reached for a piece of the fruit as Mummy handed it to her. She looked at the neat rows of the bright red seeds tucked into the hard brown fruit. Zahaa said Bismillah as she put a few of the seeds into her mouth. They were smooth and when they popped, there was a sweet juice that she loved very much. “Mummy I forgot…What is the name for Allah the Creator” she asked.
“Al-Khaliq” Mummy replied.
Zahaa nodded, and thought to herself it can only be a very wise Creator who would place such a small delicate fruit into a hard shell. That way the fruit would be protected and it wouldn’t get damaged by the sun or when it fell to the floor. She mentioned this to Mummy, as she popped a few more into her mouth, and the juice ran down her chin. “Yes, let me teach you another name of Allah: Ya-Musawwir- The One Who Shapes and Fashions. That means that Allah alone is the One who makes all the different shapes and colours and forms we see in nature. Its Allah who gives everything its own special shape and form.” Mummy said.
“Ya Musawwir” Zahaa repeated.
“That’s right, and do you know the pomegranate is one of the fruits mentioned in the Quraan?” Mummy asked. “Its mentioned in the Quraan in 3 different places. Come on, lets go inside, make some lemonade with these fresh lemons and mint, and then I’ll read the aayah to you”
As promised they washed up, and then while the lemonade was chilling in the fridge, Zahaa along with her older brother Zakir, sat down with Mummy for their Quraan lesson. Mummy quickly found the aayah they were looking for, and recited it to them.
“We bring forth the green blade from, which we bring forth the thick clustered grain; and from the date palm, from the pollen thereof, spring pendant bunches; and (We bring forth) gardens of grapes, and the olive and the pomegranate, alike and unlike.”[Surah vi,Verse 99]
“He it is Who produceth gardens trellised and untrellised, and the date palm, and crops of divers flavor, and the olive and the pomegranate , like and unlike. “Surah vi,Verse 141]
“Wherein is fruit, the date palm and pomegranate .Which is it, of the favors of your Lord, that ye deny?” [Surah LV ,Verse 68]
Zakir said “I didn’t know there were so many fruits mentioned in the Quraan.” Zahaa nodded, and then added “Allah created them all. He created this whole world, and every type of plant and fruit and flower and animal too, and gave each one its own special shape.”
Her older brother nodded “Yes, Allah is Al-Khaliq and Al-Musawwir” he said.
“Yes, yes, I know. Al-Khaliq means the Creator, and Al-Musawwir is the One who gives shape.” Zahaa said excitedly.
“ Here’s another word to learn today” said Mummy. “The Arabic word for Pomegranate is Rumaan”
“I learnt 3 new words today” said Zahaa “Al- Khaliq, The Creator, Al-Musawwir, the One who gives shape, and Rumaan means Pomegranate”
“I think this was the tastiest Quraan lesson we’ve had” said Zakir as he scooped another spoon of the shiny red berries into his mouth, and quickly remembered to say “Alhamdulillah”