How to teach kids what Islam is?

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
2,867
Australia
#11
There were a series of introductory books on various religions put out by the Bahai's , some time ago. Not sure if still available, they were smallish books, basic and simple, probably good for general overviews. But these are still from a religious perspective.

Things from a comparative religion perspective might be a little complex for kids. But I see this need for understanding. I have written a few children's stories, the current project (in final draft ) is a 'growing into adulthood transition' story about the adventures of one 'Fatima' , the back ground is in the past, in a middle eastern culture, with 'suggestions of Islam' - her actual religion is undefined.

I have written it for some kids here, who, as time goes on, will encounter Islam out in society, and I am hoping such stories make the culture seem more familiar and usual for them, when they encounter it or are able to develop a deeper understanding or learn more about it when they are older.

I would prefer to teach such things to my kids myself ... and not leave it up to others ;


 

Ficino

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
6,903
Romania
#13

Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,321
Venice
#14
Do you guys know of any books or websites that will explain Islam and make sense to kids?

I'm not muslim and neither are these kids (boys and a girl, about 10 to 12).

Something explaining who Mohammed was and what he did would be perfect, as stories seem to go down better than raw facts.

Thanks for your help.
Read Quran and Sunna then you can see if you want to Teach who was and what he did and if its appropriate to children.
 
Oct 2016
692
On a magic carpet
#15
Do you guys know of any books or websites that will explain Islam and make sense to kids?

I'm not muslim and neither are these kids (boys and a girl, about 10 to 12).

Something explaining who Mohammed was and what he did would be perfect, as stories seem to go down better than raw facts.

Thanks for your help.
Please read books - do not rely on the internet as it's full of distortions, bias, inaccuracies and propaganda websites with a not so subtle agenda (usually hostile).

1. No God but God by Reza Aslan is a good accessible guide that covers the basic history of Islam from the past to the present.

2. A Journey through Sharia Law by Sadakat Kadri is a more in depth and thoughtful book that explores some of the history and the controversial questions about what Islam is and isn't to various groups of people. It's written in an entertaining style by a human rights lawyer who also happens to be quite funny. This book goes more into the world of ideas, philosophy and theology. It's still very readable for beginners and doesn't assume any knowledge.

3. The First Muslim by Lesley Hazleton is a good biography of Muhammad. Its first half is very good and a great depiction of what his life was like. In the later chapters of the book she includes some more controversial stories mostly concerning Muhammad's interaction with Jews whose authenticity is disputed. Personally i don't believe some of those stories are true. But it's a good book overall. The opening chapters are especially good.

I'd also recommend this website:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/thev.../11/04/shams-of-tabrizs-40-rules-of-love/amp/

It is important that the children should learn that a lot of what they see in the media is misleading, biased or simply false. That's why I advise to stick to books written by reputable sources, and avoid some of the more unscrupulous websites.

Two of the worst websites I have seen are WikiIslam, a well-known anti Muslim hate site that exists solely to spread propaganda that depicts Muslims and Islam in a negative light; and Islam Q & A, which is an actual Muslim website but which responds to every question with an extreme hardline ultra Wahhabist interpretation of Islam which is at odds with how most people see the faith. (Not surprising, since the website is hosted by Saudi Arabia if I remember correctly).

I would try to explain to the children there are actually several different versions of Islam. For example, there's Shia Islam and Sunni Islam, which have different views on some things. There is also Sufi Islam, which you can find embodied by the link I shared above. And finally there is Wahhabism, which is the one that gets all the headlines, despite it being being a minority globally.

Hope this helps! Feel free to message me any questions and I'll do my best to help, although I'm not a school teacher but I have studied and learned somewhat :)
 

antocya

Ad Honorem
May 2012
5,732
Iraq
#16
Going back to the OP, he/she is looking for stories about the Prophet and his companions designed for children. I think most introductions to Islam don't focus on that. I imagine a google search would bring it up easily enough or look on Amazon. Most of them would likely be designed for a Muslim audience but this may not make a difference.

I think teaching about the differences between Sunni and Shia Islam would be tiresome to most people without a special interest. You really have to go into the history of Islam to get it.

I really like Reza Aslan's book but it's too complex for kids probably.

I don't really agree about the media, I mean as a whole. Certainly you can find those with a bias without looking too hard. It just doesn't give a complete picture of Islam because it's not really their job. If someone is reporting on a suicide bombing, the article reports what happens. It's common enough that providing general background info may not be necessary. I don't know what they should do short of providing a disclaimer at the bottom of the story about Islamic beliefs against suicide or something like that.
 
Oct 2016
692
On a magic carpet
#19
A biography of the Prophet (s.a.w) would be a good start...
Wonderful - thanks for sharing M.S. Islam. I'm glad to see your recommendation. :)

Of course, it might be worth talking about the hadith as well. These are often short and easy to understand. There is a lovely book I recieved from a friend not long ago, it contains many good hadiths. https://www.amazon.com/Bouquet-Noble-Hadith-Assad-Busool/dp/8178980509

For kids and non Muslims, the advantage of this book is the hadiths are short sayings of Muhammad. They are usually no more than a sentence or two, and they are arranged by topic. It can be a good way for beginners to learn something about Islam. One of my favourites is this:

"The best among you are those who are best to their women." (Sahih al Jami' as-Sanghir, from a narration via Abu Hurairah)
 

Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,321
Venice
#20
Please read books - do not rely on the internet as it's full of distortions, bias, inaccuracies and propaganda websites with a not so subtle agenda (usually hostile).

1. No God but God by Reza Aslan is a good accessible guide that covers the basic history of Islam from the past to the present.

2. A Journey through Sharia Law by Sadakat Kadri is a more in depth and thoughtful book that explores some of the history and the controversial questions about what Islam is and isn't to various groups of people. It's written in an entertaining style by a human rights lawyer who also happens to be quite funny. This book goes more into the world of ideas, philosophy and theology. It's still very readable for beginners and doesn't assume any knowledge.

3. The First Muslim by Lesley Hazleton is a good biography of Muhammad. Its first half is very good and a great depiction of what his life was like. In the later chapters of the book she includes some more controversial stories mostly concerning Muhammad's interaction with Jews whose authenticity is disputed. Personally i don't believe some of those stories are true. But it's a good book overall. The opening chapters are especially good.

I'd also recommend this website:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/thev.../11/04/shams-of-tabrizs-40-rules-of-love/amp/

It is important that the children should learn that a lot of what they see in the media is misleading, biased or simply false. That's why I advise to stick to books written by reputable sources, and avoid some of the more unscrupulous websites.

Two of the worst websites I have seen are WikiIslam, a well-known anti Muslim hate site that exists solely to spread propaganda that depicts Muslims and Islam in a negative light; and Islam Q & A, which is an actual Muslim website but which responds to every question with an extreme hardline ultra Wahhabist interpretation of Islam which is at odds with how most people see the faith. (Not surprising, since the website is hosted by Saudi Arabia if I remember correctly).

I would try to explain to the children there are actually several different versions of Islam. For example, there's Shia Islam and Sunni Islam, which have different views on some things. There is also Sufi Islam, which you can find embodied by the link I shared above. And finally there is Wahhabism, which is the one that gets all the headlines, despite it being being a minority globally.

Hope this helps! Feel free to message me any questions and I'll do my best to help, although I'm not a school teacher but I have studied and learned somewhat :)
Like what ? Yeh there are a lot of distorted interpretation of Islam by western media, the simple thing is to just read Sunna and Quran and see "de manu" what's like the direct sources.
 

Similar History Discussions