The Principles of Religion for Children

Lesson One: The Principles of Religion: The Roots of the Tree of Islam

hashie bala

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

With efforts of Zahra Moradi; Zahra Entezar Kheyr, and Sara Entezar Kheyr

Translated by: Marzie Salehi and Ali Mansouri

   

The “Principles of Religion” course has been collected and edited by volunteer experts and teachers in the Mohammad (PBUH) Scientific and Cultural Foundation Office for Kids and Teens (Khaane Koodak va Nojavan in Farsi). This course is appropriate for children between the ages of 8-12. The course aims to help students gain basic knowledge on Shia Islam, including beliefs and doctrine.

The course literature differs as the age group of students changes (e.g., eight years-old when compared to twelve years-old) allowing teaching attitudes and course structure to match with the students capacity for learning while the course objectives and learning outcomes remain the same.

   

Lesson One: The Principles of Religion: The Roots of the Tree of Islam

Educative Note: A true Muslim must, first and foremost, know the principles of his or her religion and believe in them. Therefore, a person who prays, fasts, or goes to the mosque is not necessarily a true Muslim unless he or she knows their principle of religion and has faith in them.

   

Content:

{The teacher will draw a picture of a strong, vigorous tree on the board and will ask the students:}

Children, what will happen if one of the tree’s branches breaks off? Will the tree die?

{After hearing answers from a few students, the teacher will continue:}

As you mentioned, the tree will survive even if its branches are cut off. After a while, those branches will gradually grow back.

What about the tree’s roots? Would the tree survive if the roots are cut off?

{The teacher will continue after hearing the answers given by a few students}

A tree with dead roots ― caused by, for example, quicklime or salt added to the soil or being pull out by someone― will die very quickly even if it has healthy and robust branches.

My dear children; Islam is like a tree. A tree with roots, branches and fruits.

The roots of the tree of Islam are “Usool al-Deen” (the roots of religion). Today we will discuss them.

The branches of the tree of Islam are “Furoo al-Deen” (the branches of religion). Some examples include praying and fasting.

The fruits of this tree are “good morals” such as truthfulness, trustworthiness, and kindness.

{The teacher will draw a picture of a rootless tree and a tree with five roots, on a board to illustrate the aforementioned discussion}

Just like a tree completely depends on its roots, our religion completely depends on its principles. If Usool al-Deen (the roots of religion) fade away, our religion will die out. Not matter what happens, the dried branches of the tree of religion will not give any fruit. Thus, our Salaat and Sawm will not be beneficial and we will not attain morality and proper behavior.

In conclusion, we must take care of the Usool al-Deen of Islam as the roots of our tree of religion. The stronger our belief in Usool al-Deen grows, the more we will live in the way Allah has directed, making us become a better human in society.

All Muslims should know the roots of their religion. If the roots are weak or non-existent, then the religion itself will fade away

The roots of the tree of Islam include five principles:

-       Tawhid (Belief in the Oneness and Unity of Allah)

-       Adl (Belief in Divine Justice)

-       Nubuwwah (Belief in Prophethood. Allah has sent 124,000 prophets to guide the people.The last one among them was Prophet Mohammad (PBUH))

-       Imamah (Belief in Imams. After the last prophet, Allah assigned 12 Imams to guide us.)

-       Ma’ad (Belief in Day of Resurrection, when all people will be judged by Allah for what they have done).

We will gradually become more familiar with these principles. Remember that we will not be considered to be true Muslims, even if we pray, fast, and wear Hijab, until we know, understand, and deeply believe inthe Usool al-Deen.

Overall, the Usool al-Deen represent the roots of the tree of religion.

{The teacher will ask the students the following questions and will hear the following answers:}

How many roots does our religion, Islam, have?

Excellent, Five

Let’s name the Usool ad-Deen together.

Tawhid, Adl, Nubuwwah, Imamah, Ma’ad

Great! Now let’s all make signs for each of the five principles, so we can remember them and not forget.

{The teacher will teach the children the following signs, as illustrated below. These signs will help the children easily memorize the Usool al-Deen}

اصول دین نماد توحید

1-   Tawhid: Make the number one with your finger to show the “Unity and Oneness of God”.

اصول دین نماد عدل

2-   Adl: Hold your palms flat out in the air. Bring them up and down to imitate a scale of justice. Hold one palm up higher than the other. Show the scale reaching a balance to signify, “Allah’s Justice”.

اصول دین نماد نبوت

3-   Nubuwwah: Make an Amameh (turban) on the head using hand gestures to sign “Prophethood”.

اصول دین نماد امامت

4-   Imamah: Show the numbers 1 and 2 along side each other to show the number 12 with your fingers to signify “12 Imams”.

 اصول دین نماد معاد

5-   Ma’ad: Pretend to blow in a horn to sign the Angel who will blow the Soor followed by the “resurrection”.

   

 

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