A core aspect of the curriculum for Qur’anic Arabic which I have designed for years 8-10 includes making the tafsir of the Juz `Amma surahs practical and relatable to teenage Muslims.
To this end, after the recitation of the Surah and its meaning, I brainstorm with the class, activities that we can do to engage with the Surah.
In Surah `Abasa and at-Teen, food items have been mentioned and I thought it would be a fun and exciting thing to present the food items on each group’s table and have a discussion around these questions:
“why might Allah have mentioned these food items?”
“what are the benefits of eating these foods?”
“why has Allah asked us to reflect on food?”
“what is the role of food in our lives?”
Aside from being a visual reminder of the keywords they have to learn from the Surahs, for many of the kids it was their first time both tasting olives and figs for example, but also, their first time grasping the concept that the Qur’an asks us to ponder on the things around us.
I believe that Muslim classrooms need to be engaging and in particular, the Qur’an needs to be presented as a source of guidance, a springboard for intellectual reflection and a place of refuge from everyday teenage angst.
Using food in Qur’anic Arabic lessons is a start towards looking at ways to combine the Qur’an with Active learning.
In my lesson, I laid out the different plates I had pre-prepared on each table group. I then led the class discussion by asking the above questions. In the next lesson, they will brainstorm with me the topics for discussion that can come out from the keywords “foods mentioned in the Qur’an”.
I will then give each pair of student one of these topics to discuss for 5 minutes to present to the class.
Some ideas and suggestions on working with the theme of food in the Qur’an can be found below:
Suggested topics for discussion:
- Healthy Eating
- Poverty and hunger around the world
- Food groups
- Cuisine from around the world
- Eating disorders
- Body image
Insha Allah, I will be updating this page as and when I create materials.