Lesson 4: Life in the desert with Halima
S.EC.00.06: listen to and retell the story of the Prophet’s
time with Halimah bint Abi Dhuaib.S.EC.00.07: list some of the authentic miracles that occurred
when the Prophet was with Halimah bint Abi Dhuaib.
This Seerah lesson today was very exciting for the kids and had a lot of science related learning as well.
The story of the Prophet’s time with Halimah reflects the blessings that the Prophet Sallahu Alaihi Wassalam brought with him to their family, animals and land.
This lesson also lends itself to the study of the desert and its animals and way of life. We explored many of the desert creatures from a book called ‘Desert Habitats’ and the kids were intrigued by creatures such as the ground squirrel whose tail acts as a portable umbrella to give him shade! We looked at desert plants such as the cactus and how it stores huge amounts of water and discussed how Allah subHan Allah has created everything in the most perfect form to enable it to live.We also looked at the camel and its specific features. This was also tied in with the verse from Surat Alghashiyah verse 17, (Afala yanthoroon ila alibil kaif khuliqat) and the great features Allah has endowed camels with (hump which stores fat, eyelashes which keep out sand, leathery knees etc).
This lesson also tied in with our beginning our nature study. You can read about this here http://themuslimchild.blogspot.com/search/label/Nature. In the meantime, I found Tarek Ramadan’s book ‘In the Footsteps of the Prophet’ an excellent addition to extracting practical learning points from our lessons. I especially enjoyed this part about the Prophet’s life in the desert, I have summarized the part here:
For four years, Mohammed SAWS the orphan was looked after by Halimah and lived with the Banu Saad Bedouins in the Arabian Desert. He shared the nomads' life in the most barren and difficult natural environment, surrounded, as far as the eye could see, with horizons bringing to mind the fragility of the human being and inspiring contemplation and solitude.
In the first years of the Prophet's life he developed a specific relationship with nature that remained constant throughout his mission. The universe is full of signs that remind us of the presence of the Creator, and the desert, more than anything else, opens the human mind to observation, meditation, and contemplation.
Thus, Allah decided to expose His Prophet, from his earliest childhood, to the natural lessons of creation as nature is the primary guide and the intimate companion of faith. Cut off from nature in our towns and cities, we nowadays seem to have forgotten the meaning of this message to such an extent that we dangerously believe that learning about the techniques and forms of religion (prayers, pilgrimages, etc.) is sufficient to grasp and understand their meaning and objectives. This drains religious teaching from its spiritual meanings. Contemplation and closeness to nature foster a relationship with the divine that is essential for true religious understanding.
Try and take a trip to the desert with the intention of contemplating and observing Allah’s creation.
Spend as much time as possible outdoors in natural environments. This is especially important for young children who should be encouraged to play outside surrounded by nature as much as possible.Let the kid’s go on a camel or donkey ride!