Islam - values
Themes: World religions; Islam; Islamic culture; Islamic festivals.
Summary: This assembly could be scheduled close to an Islamic religious festival (see Related links), or as part of a school focus on diversity and equality. Islam is the world's second-biggest religion, with over a billion followers, known as Muslims. Muslims believe the will of God (or Allah) was revealed when he dictated their holy book, the Qur'an to the Prophet Muhammad, in the city of Makkah (Mecca) over 1400 years ago. Muslims revere Muhammad saying 'peace be upon him' after his name (written as 'pbuh').
Medina, a Muslim, takes her Catholic friend, Beatrice, to the Mosque. There they meet Nordin Jahar, who shows them the Qur'an and explains that Muslims who follow Allah's guidance will one day go to paradise. Clocks in the Mosque show the five times of day when Muslims should pray and the time for Jumma, special Friday prayers. The girls share a meal at Medina's home, after following Sunnah by carefully washing their hands. Medina describes the festival of Ramadan and shows her friend how she prays facing east to the city of Makkah (Mecca).
Duration: 4' 22"
End of speech: 'Bye, see you tomorrow.'
Where do Muslims gather together to pray? (In a mosque.)
What is Islam's holy book called? (The Qu'ran.)
Why do Muslims remove their shoes in a Mosque? (They do so as a mark of respect.)
How many times a day are prayers said in Islam? (Five times a day.)
What is the meaning of the word Sunnah? (Following the good example of the Prophet - eg by washing your hands before a meal.)
1. Entry music
You might search online for a sound clip of the adhan, or Muslim call to prayer.
Tell the assembly: 'What is heard as we came in is called the adhan. Does anyone know what it is?' Establish that the adhan is a call to prayer for Muslims, followers of Islam. Ask: 'Can you think of an example of a call to worship in another religion?' Pupils might respond by thinking of church bells, for instance. Tell the assembly that today's focus is Islam. Invite pupils to share what they already know about Islam and perhaps read the paragraph of the summary (above) that begins, 'Islam is the world's second biggest religion...' Point out: 'Some of us follow one religion with our families, some of us follow another and some of us follow no religion at all. But whatever our family's religious faith may be, it's important - and interesting and fun - to find out more about the faith of our friends and neighbours. Discovering what matters to others helps us to value and respect one another and to get on well together.' Tell the assembly: 'In this video two friends from different faiths find out more about each other's lives.'
3. The video
Play the video. The duration is 4’ 22” and the final words are: ‘Bye, see you tomorrow.'
4. After the video
Use the story questions (above, right) to help pupils recall some detail about what they have just seen.
5. Time to talk
Ask: 'What do you think Medina meant when she said that in Islam everyone is a brother or sister?' Gather the children's responses and guide them to the idea that Islam sees its followers as one big family who should help and support each other as brothers and sisters should do. Ask: 'What do you think is the most important thing the girls in the video clip learned?' Gather pupils' responses, which might include: details of Medina's faith / 'to value and respect one another's beliefs' / or 'that they had a lot in common' / 'the value of sharing and the pleasure you can get from sharing ideas with someone else.' Ask: 'if the girls had visited the home of some of us who follow another religion, what might they have seen, or eaten, or found out, or talked about?' Gather ideas and suggestions from the assembly, which might include mentions of prayers / special foods / words or signs of greeting / holy books or religious festivals. Close the discussion by recapping the point: 'Discovering what matters to others helps us all to value and respect one another and to get on well together.' Ask: 'How do you think Medina felt about sharing her faith with Beatrice?' and 'How do you think Beatrice felt about visiting the Mosque and Medina's home?' The children might mention the excitement and pride Medina shows and Beatrice's interest in what she sees and hears. Conclude with: 'There's a joy in sharing what matters to us with our friends.'
6. Opportunity to sing
If your assembly is to include a song this would be a good time for it. Suggestions from BBC collections below. Please note, some Muslims hold that music is inappropriate in the context of their faith, so if you are going to have a song here make it clear that the words and music are not part of Islamic worship, but are part of your school's tradition.
7. Opportunity to reflect
Today we've heard from Medina - a young Muslim...
She's shared with us her thoughts about her religion and the things that are most important to her...
How can you share what matters most to you with your friends today..?
And how will you make time to listen to your friends and share what matters to them?
8. Opportunity for prayer
Use your standard form of address ('Dear God' etc) and:
We thank you for our friends and the joy we feel in sharing what is important to them.
Help us to value and respect the things that matter to them and to share with them our true friendship in return.