Tag Archives: Qur’anic Arabic

Teaching Qur’anic Arabic with Food


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.

Surah at-Teen

Surah at-Teen



Surah `Abasa

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
  • Diet
  • Poverty and hunger around the world
  • Food groups
  • Cuisine from around the world
  • Eating disorders
  • Body image

Useful resources:


Insha Allah, I will be updating this page as and when I create materials.


Language Show Live 2014




An accidental click on the Al Jazeera Arabic Language  page  I had bookmarked on my ipad was a fortunate one as the news channel was advertising their stand at the Language Show Live 2014. As a keen linguist who pursued two languages at university, naturally, an entire weekend devoted to languages, the learning and teaching of it at all levels was something to look forward to.

The Arabic department at Al Barakah masha Allah has a watsapp group where we share our resources and advertise events such as these. My mother (a native Arabic speaker) and I went along on Sunday with the aim to represent the Arabic department and to share what we had learned with our colleagues. With a goal in mind, it was easy to remain focused and yet still think laterally as we perused the aisles where Modern Foreign languages were the main focus.

Only a handful of the 130 exhibitors were Arabic language focused and they were: Al Jazeera, The Egyptian Embassy stand, the Anglo-Arabic Company (creators of the “Gateway to Arabic” series) and the SOAS stall where Ilham Salimane – course coordinator of the Diploma to Teach Arabic as a Foreign Language was at. Still, it was inspiring to see that Arabic had been represented and represented well. Alhamdolillah!


First off, we headed to the Al Jazeera stand but noticed the Egyptian Embassy one where many books related to Arabic teaching were displayed. The total lack of engagement from the stall exhibitors quickly reminded us that we had limited time and lots to explore.

The Al Jazeera stand was where the exhibitor couldn’t wait to speak to us, we were talked through how to use the website created for Muslims in the West who want to read and understand the news headlines and Arabic articles on AL Jazeera in a little more depth. Using the articles as a springboard to learn vocabulary and grammar is an excellent way of engaging with the language and seeing it used as it is in daily life.

The website caters for different levels of students, has many interactive activities and best of all gives the learners the opportunity to learn the correct pronunciation. I may just email the link to the parents of my classes or the older students who may want to pursue independent Arabic learning.


verbMaps was another excellent concept where the exhibitor explained how learners of say French are taught verbs by learning the process used to arrive at the correct form. Meaning, the student is taught the process to change a verb into the past, present and future tense for different speakers rather than sitting there staring at a table.

We agreed that it was an excellent idea and obviously our brains were working out how we could manipulate this concept to fit into the Arabic verbal root system. One of the best things about teaching at Al Barakah is that we are always reminded to check whether our students are learning actively – using a concept such as verbMaps turns Arabic verb learning on its head. I am excited to teach it to my classroom in the next few classes.


Another excellent concept was the PostIt notes with vocabulary printed on it.  It is sold by a company called Flashsticks who’ve obviously teamed up with Post-it to deliver this language resource. Clever indeed! flash

The pink for feminine nouns and blue for masculine nouns. The concept is more than that – the children have to scan the postit note with their ipad and the app that accompanies this product will open up a video with the word’s pronunciation. The Arabic version of this product is not out yet but I guess we can manipulate this concept for activities around masculine/feminine nouns, definite/indefinite nouns, sun/moon letters and much more. I’ll be making use of Postit notes a lot more insha Allah.


I restocked my own personal Arabic library with the Gateway to Arabic series books 3-7 which masha Allah are an absolutely amazing resource. I wish I had bought them earlier while I was learning Arabic as it breaks down difficult Arabic concepts into bitesize pieces. I would highly recommend this series for English speakers looking to learn Arabic.


We also bought some recently published books from Lebanon solely focused on explaining short Surahs in a story like way. It is children’s tafsir in Arabic basically. We bought the whole set and will be using them in our classrooms to help the students engage with Arabic – to make them feel like they can read Arabic and understand some of it.

I absolutely love this series as it complements the Al Barakah Arabic departments’ focus on teaching Qur’anic Arabic. Great find mum!

Lastly, just before we had our lunch, customary dates and tea (we’re Arabic teachers after all!) I picked up Linguascopes’s famous verb wheel that deals with irregular verbs. This is what it looks like:


I think it’s a great idea and I am looking at ways to use this concept with Arabic. Perhaps with Arabic verbs in the past form and their meaning. Or even simply, with the vocabulary of a particular Surah. A quick Google search led me to the free graphic organisers offered by the Enchanted Learning site and they can be used to make this in the classroom. Alhamdolillah.

I feel privileged and honoured to have been blessed by Allah to teach his Book to young people. Oh Allah, use us to spread your deen and make our work purely for Your sake! Ameen.


Early Years: Conversational Arabic vocabulary


Sister M. Khan has created this excellent resource for teaching a basic Arabic conversation. I think it can be used for any age group, as a starter activity , main or in the plenary.

Conversational Arabic Vocabulary hand-out

Conversational Arabic Vocabulary hand-out-page-001


Arabic Numbers Worksheet


Here are two neat exercises created by Sister M. Khan to do with Arabic numbers 1-20. Numbers appear in the Qur’an in several verses and can be easily added to the Qur’anic Arabic curriculum.





Arabic nouns poster


This poster created by Sister M. Khan is really useful to teach basic vocabulary and can be used in many ways.

Free pdf for Arabic nouns pictures worksheet

pictures worksheet-page-001


Early Years: Assessments


Sister M.Khan, a fellow Arabic teacher has kindly given me permission to publish her worksheets on this site. Her materials are always excellent masha Allah.

1. AUT 1 – Yr 3 – ASSESSMENT SHEET: isolated forms, joining letters, selfish letters.

AUT 1 - 2013- ASSESSMENT SHEET-page-0012.  Aut-2-Yr. 3 -assessment-sheet.pdf: isolated forms, joining letters, selfish letters, Arabic numbers.

AUT 2 - 2013- ASSESSMENT SHEET-page-0013. SPRING 1 – Year 3 – ARABIC TEST SHEET: isolated forms, joining letters, selfish letters, Arabic numbers.

SPRING 1 - 2014- ARABIC TEST SHEET-page-0014.SPRING 2 – Yr 3- ARABIC TEST SHEET: isolated forms, joining letters, selfish letters, broken letters, Arabic numbers.

SPRING 2 - 2014- ARABIC TEST SHEET-page-001

5.SUMMER 1 – Yr 3. – ARABIC TEST SHEET isolated forms, joining letters, selfish letters, broken letters, Arabic numbers.

SUMMER 1 - 2014- ARABIC TEST SHEET-page-001I hope you find this useful insha Allah. Like the arabic adventures facebook page to stay up to date.


Early Years Arabic: The Bingo Bismillah game


Bingo Game

Laminate the sheets with letters (start with sheets with foll form and then work your way to the broken letters and end up with joint letters). The teacher calls out a letter and they find it and circle it on their sheets using whiteboard pens which can then be wiped and reused. At the end the class shouts out “Bingo Bismillah” together 🙂

bingo game