A reminder to please remember the following objectives before going into today’s lesson plan: Recitation of the Holy Qur’an and the Memorization of Salat.
Regarding the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, please encourage the Atfal to recite daily.
Regarding the memorization of salat, please ensure that each Tifl has a personalized weekly goal for how much to memorize. It is important to help keep each Tifl on track to reach the goal of memorizing the full salat. For Atfal younger than 10 years old the emphasis should be on memorizing salat fully in Arabic. For Atfal older than 10 years, emphasis should be put on memorizing the full salat in Arabic with the English translation. Please ensure that each tifl is keeping up with their goals in this area. Those Atfal who have already memorized salat along with the translation should set goals to memorize some portions of the Holy Qur’an along with the translation.
Please use the beginning of the class to check in on the Atfal and how their progress towards their goals is going.
After checking on the progress of Atfal towards their goals, please divide the class into Mayar e Saghir and Mayar e Kabir.
Class May 6/7
For Mayar e Saghir, please go through the following portion of the summary of the Friday Sermon from April 28, 2023 and discuss what the Atfal learned from it:
The True Meaning of Patience
His Holiness (aba) said that in a sermon, the Second Caliph (ra) explained the true meaning of patience. His Holiness (aba) said that he would present certain points in light of this sermon, along with guidance of the Promised Messiah (as) about patience.
His Holiness (aba) said that the Second Caliph (ra) regarded patience as an extremely important matter, saying that patience is among the foremost responsibilities of the Community of a prophet. No community has been able to succeed without patience. The Second Caliph (ra) further explained that there are two kinds of patience; the first is to show patience despite being fully capable of retaliating, and the second is to show patience under circumstances of helplessness.
His Holiness (aba) said that when we analyze the meaning of ‘patience’ in Arabic we find that its meanings are extremely vast. According to the various instances in the Holy Qur’an in which Allah the Almighty has enjoined patience along with the various meanings of ‘patience’ explained by various lexical authorities, it becomes clear that ‘patience’ has three principle meanings:
- To abstain from sin
- To consistently do good deeds
- To abstain from panic and fear
His Holiness (aba) said that in light of the first meaning, one must combat those evils which incite a person and to safeguard against those evil which could incite a person in the future. Patience is not merely to sit calmly, rather it is to make constant efforts for inner purification. Such people also experience the help of Allah in ways that they could have never imagined. The opponents are waiting for us to abandon patience and start behaving like them so that they can claim victory, however Allah the Almighty enjoins us to employ the use of wisdom.
His Holiness (aba) said that in light of the second meaning, it is made clear that one must consistently undertake acts of virtue, and also adopt those acts of virtue which they have not yet been able to. This in fact is a means of drawing nearer to God which can be attained through prayer, as God says in the Qur’an:
‘And seek help with patience and Prayer; and this indeed is hard except for the humble in spirit.’ (The Holy Qur’an 2:46)
At another instance, God states in the Holy Qur’an:
“And those who persevere in seeking the favour of their Lord, and observe Prayer, and spend out of that with which We have provided them, secretly and openly, and repel evil with good. It is these who shall have the best reward of the final abode’ (The Holy Qur’an 13:23)
His Holiness (aba) said that patience, consistency, humility and prayer are the prime means of seeking God’s pleasure and this can only be achieved when we live our lives in a manner conducive to attaining the pleasure of God Almighty.
His Holiness (aba) said that the third meaning of patience is to avoid panicking in times of difficulty.One should always keep in mind that whatever they have is a bestowal from God Almighty. If He takes something away, then He will grant something else later. This is the mentality of those who are righteous and patient.
For Mayar e Kabir please have them read and discuss the following excerpt from Introduction to the Study of the Holy Quran (pg. 269-270)
Arrangement of Chapters and Verses
It is sometimes asserted that the arrangement of the Chapters of the Quran is the work of ‘Uthman. This is not correct. It is well-known that the Holy Prophet used to recite the whole of the Quran in Ramadan and some of his Companions also did so. It is also mentioned in the traditions that the Holy Prophet used to recite the whole of the Quran to the angel Gabriel during the month of Ramadan. A non-Muslim may not be prepared to accept this last statement, but it is beyond doubt that the Holy Prophet used to recite the Quran and he must have done it in accordance with some arrangement.
After the Holy Prophet’s death ‘Ali did not call on Abu Bakr (who had been elected Caliph) for some time. Abu Bakr sent for him and asked him whether he was displeased with his election as Caliph. ‘Ali replied that it was not so, but that he had been busy in copying out the Quran in the order in which it had been revealed, as he had resolved at the time of the death of the Prophet that he would undertake this duty. This also shows that in the time of the Holy Prophet the Quran used to be recited in a certain order and that that order was different from the order in which it had been revealed. That is why ‘Ali decided that he should copy it out in the order in which it had been revealed so that for purposes of history that arrangement should also be preserved. There are traditions which relate that whenever a verse or group of verses was revealed to the Holy Prophet, he would send for one of the recorders and direct him to record the verse or verses indicating at the same time to which Chapter and where they belonged. This shows that at the time of receiving a revelation the Holy Prophet was also informed where the revealed verse or verses belonged.
The strongest evidence, however, in support of the arrangement adopted in the compilation of the Quran is the evidence of the subject-matter itself. A study of the Quran reveals that the subject-matter of each Chapter is connected with the subject matter of the preceding and the following Chapters. If the current arrangement was adopted by ‘Uthman merely with reference to the length of each Chapter, how is it that the arrangement reveals a continuity of topics and subject-matter? For instance, the Surah al-Fatihah was revealed in Mecca and is the opening Chapter of the Quran. The Surah al-Baqarah was revealed at Medina and follows immediately after the Surah al-Fatihah, leaving out several Chapters that had been revealed during the interval. Western writers allege that the Surah al-Baqarah has been placed first as it is the longest Chapter of the Quran. To begin with, they forget that the first Chapter in the Quran is not the Surah al-Baqarah but the Surah al-Fatihah, which is a very short Surah comprising only seven verses. Further, when we read the Surah al-Fatihah we find that it concludes with the prayer “Guide us in the right path”, and the Surah al-Baqarah, which is the immediately succeeding Chapter, opens with the verse: “This is a perfect Book; there is no doubt in it; it is a guidance for the righteous.” If the Surah al-Baqarah was selected to follow after the Surah al-Fatihah merely by reason of the fact that it is the longest Chapter of the Quran, how is it that its very opening verse furnishes an answer to the concluding verse of the immediately preceding Chapter, the Surah al-Fatihah. The Surah al-Fatihah concludes with a prayer for guidance and the Surah al-Baqarah opens with a verse which points to the guidance which had been prayed for at the end of the previous Chapter. This is not a mere coincidence; for, this continuity of topics and subject-matter is to be found throughout the Quran in spite of the fact that sometimes a Chapter revealed at Mecca follows one revealed at Medina and vice versa. This proves that the arrangement of the Chapters and the verses of the Quran was adopted under divine direction.
The question then arises why the arrangement adopted in the compilation of the Quran was different from the order in which its verses were revealed. The answer is that when the Quran was being revealed, the teachings and doctrines contained in it were entirely novel and unfamiliar to Arabs. Their minds had to be familiarized and impregnated with the background of Islamic doctrines and teachings so as to prepare them for the reception of the details of those teachings and doctrines. The earlier revelations were, therefore, cast in the form of brief Chapters containing fundamental teachings like the Unity of God, kindness and consideration towards the poor, the necessity for and the benefits to be derived from the worship of God and His remembrance, and also prophecies indicating what kind of opposition the Holy Prophet would have to encounter, how Muslims would be treated, how Islam would progress, and what the end of its enemies and opponents would be. As the number of Muslims increased and Islam began to spread, the details of the Islamic Law and teachings also began to be revealed. The order in which the Quran was revealed was, therefore, best suited to the needs of the times in which it was revealed, but once the revelation was complete and hundreds of thousands of people had accepted it and even the non-Muslims had become aware of its background, it became necessary to present its teachings and doctrines to Muslims and non-Muslims from a fresh angle. To meet this need the Holy Prophet went on giving directions under divine guidance regarding the permanent arrangement of the Quran for use in the future. It is indeed an outstanding miracle of the Quran that it was revealed in the order which was best suited for the needs of the period during which it was revealed and was arranged for permanent use in the order which was best suited for the needs of Muslims in subsequent times. For a book to be revealed in fragments over a period of twenty-three years in an order best suited to the requirements of that period and simultaneously to be cast into a shape best suited for the requirements of future ages was an achievement that could have been accomplished only under divine direction.