Did You Follow a Curriculum for Your Children’s Islamic Education Q&A

Fatima Barkatulla


Channel: Fatima Barkatulla

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Was there a structural curriculum I followed with my own with my children's Islamic education? You know, seeking knowledge and children learning about Islam is supposed to be a lived thing. It's like, your whole lifestyle, your whole every day is supposed to be educational for them. Right? In that regard. It's not something that you just like, separate from everyday life. Right? That's the difference between us and secularists, isn't it that we don't separate religion from everyday life.

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And from this public space, so when I'm teaching my child, it's through osmosis, you know, my child is learning through being in an Islamic environment, looking at and feeling the way their parent is thinking and acting and behaving, right, all of that adds to their knowledge and their absorption of what it is to be a Muslim. But of course, like, at some point, you, you do start formally teaching them as well. For me, it was a very gradual process is something that they

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that I really did, quite intuitively, I would say, right. So it starts off with stories at nighttime. I think that's where you've got to start, you know, bedtime stories, or an recitation, memorizing the short sutras.

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And you know, that that's really a lot of Islamic knowledge that right there, you know, our children will absorb.

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So the Stories of the Prophets, you know, I really wanted my children to absorb all of those. And then even the Sierra and incidents from the Sierra, sometimes it was me, telling them those things. Sometimes it was actually through, you know, audio books or lectures of scholars that my children as they got older started to really like listening to so,

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you know, I was just making sure that they were absorbing

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all of the important stories that they need to know.

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Also, from a young age, I was teaching them Arabic as a language. Okay.

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I was actually myself talking to them in Arabic, when well, for some of them anyway, when they were very little. And then eventually, what I did was get a tutor, an online tutor. And so there's like, in Egypt, right. There's two Institute's that I personally recommend. One is Ortho Institute caught up a.net, I believe, and the Bucha Institute.

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I'm afraid I don't have the link off the top of my head, but you can just look up Butker Institute, Egypt, I'm sure it will come up.

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And essentially, my children had like weekly lessons with an Arabic teacher, where they could actually learn Arabic as a language because I felt that was important alongside learning Quran. So that, you know, they're not just seeing the Quran is something that they are learning by rote. It's not just parrot parroting, you know, they're actually understanding the weight of these words, the weight of the words of ALLAH, right.

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In terms of curriculum, I think I've always really emphasized the five pillars, you know, the five pillars of Islam, and the six pillars of Eman, I think those every parent needs to kind of explicitly and

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quite deliberately go through those with their children and, you know, explain what our beliefs are, you know, the essential beliefs of a Muslim.

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Because that really helps shape their whole understanding of the world, right? Their whole worldview. Right? And it's, it's the most appropriate way to teach children up either, right?

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You know, we don't need to teach them a list of, okay, the points, the way that maybe a student of knowledge would learn them, right? Children are different, they're in different mode. So instead, we need to make it a lived reality for them. Right? So when, for example, you know,

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you keep your house smelling nice, right? You keep your house, a place of Quran, and you say to your children, and we want the angels to come, we want the angels to be in our house. So through that they learn about the angels.

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And just all of the pillars right when something bad happens, you say you know God, that Allah or even when something good happens

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Right, you attribute it to Allah. And so they're learning about other

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when somebody passes away, or when they hear about somebody passing away, you talk about the hereafter. So

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obviously, like an attorney in an age appropriate way, you're teaching them the Six Pillars of iman. And you're teaching them the five pillars of Islam as they get older as well. So the first one is, of course, Shahada. I mean, they don't need to take the shadow and, you know, we should be teaching them La ilaha illallah, Muhammad Rasul Allah, from a young age anyway. Okay.

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But in terms of what it means, you know, we can teach them that we can teach them about the prophets, Allah, we can teach them about Allah subhanaw taala. And, you know, take them out in nature, let them see Allah subhana that Allah's creation, and then let them really feel and appreciate Allah and His existence, his oneness, right? And the fact that he deserves to be worshipped, let them really feel it. And any child because of their FitPro, because of their, like, innate, positive disposition that they have, that last month Allah has given them, they will naturally love Allah. Right, they will naturally believe they will naturally love, you don't need

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to, like, you know, make a big deal out of it even right, you just need to introduce them to these things in a very deliberate way. Because in our times, people, young people are so addicted to these devices, and parents are introducing their children to devices at such a young age, that our children are not connected with nature anymore. Right. They're not connected with Allah's creation.

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So if they're not connected, the last creation, how can they feel? Or how can they feel, you know, that sense of all that you need to feel in order to, to appreciate Allah and love Allah and know Allah. So I think it's really important, you know, unplug and get them out there, get them out, looking at the world, understanding the world, the real world.

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And so I think, you know, for every parent, the five pillars, and the six pillars of Imam are very, very important, the most important to impart, you're teaching them the basics of Quran, and then when they get to a certain age, you're deliberately teaching them everything they're going to need to know, to at least be able to pray, right, to at least be able to pray the one salah, right? So all the doors and things that they need to know, you know, to hear that and what is the root, Ibrahim right Allahumma, Salli, ALA, Mohammed, all of those.

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And shortsword as at the very least, you know, if they're not memorizing Quran, at the very least shortsword as and Surah, Fatiha, et cetera, you want them to know everything that they're going to need to know, for the salah.

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Much children also went to a Muslim school at hamdulillah right here in the UK,

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in London.

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And so I would say going to a Muslim school meant they had that I had backup, you know, in terms of Islamic education, it wasn't a substitute for me, teaching them, you know, it really was not a substitute. I feel like I'm really it was from the home that they learned Arabic properly, even though they did have some Arabic at school.

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It was from the home that they learned to read Quran properly. It was from the home that they even learnt quite a lot of the detailed aspects of Islam. Right. But I think being in that Islamic or Muslim environment, right being amongst other Muslims, of course, that has a positive effect. Because what that does is it reinforces what they're being taught at home. Right, and vice versa.

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So I think and that was very deliberate as well, you know, like, we could have put our children into different types of schools. It wasn't easy for us to send our children to a Muslim school, you know,

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especially secondary school, because it was not it was private, cost money. And we couldn't afford it to be quite frank with you, you know, right at the beginning.

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But Alhamdulillah we felt very strongly

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about it, you know, together we we discussed it

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when our children got places in those schools, we, you know, said Bismillah and we started that journey, hoping that Allah subhanaw taala would make it easy and would help us to be able to afford it. Eventually, you know,

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initially, one of my sons did get

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scholarship I believe, yes, partial scholarship.

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But then eventually Alhamdulillah, you know, Allah Subhana Allah, he, he really, you know, when you take a step towards him and when you tell Allah Subhana Allah, what, what your intention is, he opens the doors, and he makes it easy. And that's one of the advices that one of our Sheoak actually gave us. I remember, you know, when we were considering putting our son into Muslim secondary school, and thinking we can't afford this, you know,

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I remember a chef, it was actually chef Achmed, BBQ. Those of you some of you might know him, you know, he's a chef in, in UK,

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who was associated with our children's primary school at the time. And he said to he said, You know, when I put my son into a Muslim school, I couldn't afford it either. He said,

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he said, Look, you've made the intention, you've got in,

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just take the first step, just start. And Allah subhana, Allah will provide for you cut down on some things, you know, he said, cut down on holidays, you don't need to go on holiday, you can, you know, you can cut some of the unnecessary costs in order to be able to facilitate this. And you'll see that Allah will open the doors slowly, but surely. And indeed, that is what happened. That is what happened. And hamdulillah all of our children went, went through that awesome secondary school.

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So I think that was also definitely a support and a backup, you know, to that Islamic education. And of course, the school would have had a particular curriculum that they were following, too.

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And I think, although it wasn't particularly advanced, it was definitely

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a good foundation, a firm foundation. And that's really what you want, don't you as a parent, right, you want a firm foundation being reinforced through discussions and through peers, through mentors, and Hamdulillah. That's what they were getting from that.

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As well as that my children went to a health class after school. Okay.

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And I think that really was a really good thing for them. You know, it gave them discipline.

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It gave them a group of people who they, you know, all focused on Quran gave the mentors in the teachers, and it was just like, a different environment from school, of course.

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So, yeah, those are really all of the kinds of different means that in a nutshell, I took, we took myself and my husband to help reinforce, you know, an Islamic education for our children.

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As well as that, I would say, sometimes for on holidays, you know, we would go

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to Muslim countries, or we would go to Islamic family retreats.

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As a family, and I think all of that was very helpful. I took my children to Egypt a number of times

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during the summer to attend

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Islamic, like classes, or Arabic classes, so that it would be really immersed in that environment.

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So yeah, I, you know, one of the phrases that I often use is make family your finest project. And as you can probably tell, I was treating it like a project. You know, literally every year I was planning, you know, what would be the most appropriate thing for each child.

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It was flexible, it wasn't like rigid, but it was definitely

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deliberate. It was definitely deliberate. And I think, in our times, we can't afford to not be deliberate. Right? As parents, we've got to be deliberate, we can't just assume that they're going to learn the fundamentals. But if we focus on

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establishing the Salah,

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establishing the five pillars in our homes,

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right. So as they get closer to the age of seven, you start teaching them the Salah, when they're seven, you start telling them to pray,

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doesn't mean that you have to force them just you just tell them, Oh, it's Salah time, come, pray, teach them how to pray from beginning to end. And you do have to do that quite deliberately. You know, you have to literally go through the entire Salah with them, beginning to end and then get them to do it in front of you. Right.

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And then just be a little bit relaxed about it when they're seven, you know, just start telling them by the time they the age of 10 you start showing them that serious, you know, you really need to

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interrupt what you're doing in order to pray. And you show that when you're when you go out. You're praying in public when you have to. You don't you know, it's really through your

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own actions as parents, right that children then absorb your attitude. If you have an attitude where you're living your life around the Salah, they're going to do the same. You know, as you're leaving, you're saying, oh, have we prayed? Do we need to pray? Where are we going to pray, you know, those types of things. That attitude gets then inculcated in your child. If you're a person who's completely ignoring this Hello, until, you know, you're panicking, and you're like, Oh, my God, we didn't factor in Salah.

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You know, that's also going to be probably going to be absorbed by our children. So I think children are learning from what we do more than from what we say.

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We've got to be the role models at the end of the day, right? Got to create the environment, the best environment we can for them

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to stack the deck in our favor, in order for them to be in sha Allah believers, to be raised as believers.