One of my current obsessions over on YouTube is a series called ‘The Prophetic Dynasty’.
In the series, when I got to the story of Nuh (as) my heart exploded with new found admiration for him. Prophet Nuh’s (as) life became so dear to me and I felt like talking to others about it too. I told the ameer, my mother and even my five year old about my new obsession with this Prophet.
Then came the half-term break and so I thought I’d do story time at the masjid on the life of Nuh (as).
At the story time, I read the book ‘The Story of Nuh (as)’ by Learning Roots.* I love this book which my friend kindly let me borrow from her. It has some beautiful pictures. It’s kind of like a workbook so had questions which I used as prompts for my discussions with the children. I love a good picture book, it helps tell the story.
We spoke a lot about the message of Nuh (as) and I showed the children how the planks of wood/logs fit together almost like a puzzle does when Nuh (as) was building the ark. I used cut out cardboard to show them this. It’s something I learnt very recently so really wanted the children to know this too.
I also tried making an ark out of cardboard, which was fun, I used it as a prop.
We spoke about who boarded the ark and how it had three floors. I deliberately emphasised on certain details; how the bottom floor was for the animals the middle for people and the upper top floor for the birds. I feel children remember stories that give them details of things they know or can relate to.
I made animal masks. As the Quran states animals of all kinds boarded the ark with Nuh (as) in pairs. I printed masks for tigers, lions, elephants, monkeys, owls. The children had a go at boarding the ark. I used this website for the masks and found it was brilliant as it had the option of printing in colour or black and white. I opted for b&w (printer ink issues) and then coloured them in myself.
We spoke about how hard it must have been for Nuh (as) and how sad we would be if people were being rude to us and not listening to what we had to say. One little girl said something that really touched my heart. When I asked why Nuh (as) was upset with the people, she said: “he was upset not only because the people were being mean to him but more because they were being mean to Allah by not believing he was saying the truth!” What an intelligent and reflective thought from an eight year old. And that’s what I like about story time, I feel it gives children a way to learn and express about Islam and what it teaches in a non-traditional madrasah setting.
The story of Nuh (as) can easily be shared with a small group of children at the masjid or even at home. I didn’t use any special equipment and kept it very simple. You can get the kids to colour in the masks or even help make the ark (I think thats what I’m going to do with my daughter and her cousins soon!) I feel its important to attach stories from the Quran to the hearts of our children, they can be little seeds, which sprout into comfort and support for them in their adult life, helping them to hold onto and increase in their iman. I’m definitely going to think about doing more of these, and will InshaAllah share on my blog too.