Beginning to Learn about Islam: What can we find out?
YEAR GROUP 1 / 2
ABOUT THIS UNIT:
Islam is a major religion in Oldham, the UK and globally. It is a requirement of the Oldham RE Syllabus that pupils learn about Islam throughout their primary school years, as well as about Christianity and other religions. This unit might form part of a theme on the local environment, or special places. It is very valuable for children to experience a school trip to a mosque, or another sacred building. But there is also much value in the virtual and pictorial encounter with a mosque that teachers can provide. This unit looks simply at festival, story and worship in Muslim life. Local connections are important too.
Estimated time for this unit: eight short sessions and one longer session if a visit to a Mosque takes place.
Where this unit fits in:
Through this unit of work many children who are not Muslims will do their first learning about the Islamic faith. They should learn that it is a local religion in Oldham and matters to people they live near to. Other children who are Muslims may find learning from their own religion is affirming of their identity, and opens up channels between home and school that help them to learn. This is the first unit on Islam in the Syllabus and it makes an important starting point for further learning throughout the primary school.
Key strands addressed by this
Beliefs and practices.
Questions of belonging and identity.
Respect for all: noticing and being ready to value difference and diversity for the common good.
Self-awareness: feeling confident about their own beliefs and identity and sharing them without fear of embarrassment or ridicule.
Curiosity and enquiry: being willing to ask questions and take a wide interest in the world around them.
Background information for the teacher
The unit picks up some key areas for learning from Islam, and connects them to the children’s own ideas and experiences. Teach about the Quran, the Prophet, the Mosque, prayer and the festival of Eid Al Fitr.
The word Islam means submission or peace. Muhammad was born in the city of Makkah in 570 CE (Common Era, the same, numerically, as BC/AD dating). Muhammad is not seen as the founder of Islam but rather as the final Prophet, the first of whom was Adam. There are many other prophets mentioned in the Qur’an including Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus). Prophet Muhammad is known as the ‘Seal of the prophets’.
Muhammad was a trader happily married to his wife, Khadija. At the age of 40 he began experiencing a series of revelations from God. These revelations were delivered by the Angel Jibril or Gabriel over a number of years and form the sacred text of the Qur’an. The Quranic text was written down, during the life of the Prophet, although it was compiled as one volume only after his death. The words are regarded as a direct transmission from God Himself. Allah is the Arabic name for God.
The Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad over a 23 year period. Muslims show their love and obedience to God by being obedient to the words in the Qur’an and living as closely as possible to the way the Prophet lived. The Qur’an gives guidance on a range of topics about everyday life, ethical, spiritual, social and moral issues. It is treated with reverence, being handled carefully, and ideally read on a daily basis. Children will often learn to read Arabic and recite the Qur’an at an early age. Recitation is important to Muslims: the words of the Quran have a power when spoken that doesn’t go with them being read.