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Overview

Principles

  • Build on the existing love of deen held by students
  • Faith is integral and relevant to life experiences and age appropriate considerations
  • Teach importance of inclusive and diversity of practices
  • Family’s role is critical and recognized
  • Emphasis is on positive and productive practices and teachings
  • Stories and examples as a basis for teachings
  • Beyond textbooks and create space for dialogue and discussion
  • Content to be contextualized and connected

 

Approach

  • Stand alone standards for each grade level
  • Integrated within existing areas subjects
  • Arabic and English teachers collaborate on concepts and strands
  • Modeling as opposed to only targeted instruction
  • Integrated into CPR, Morning Meeting classroom environment
  • Middle School specific subject classes
  • 7th and 8th graders participate in Khateeb and Khatira Program
  • Four madahib/ijmaa is taught age appropriately. Differences from this in family practices are recognized

Content

  • Categories [can be cross cutting]
  • seerah/hadith - Understands the life of Prophet Muhammad (s)
    • aqidah - Understands tenets of beliefs and faith
    • fiqh al ibadat - Understands practices of faith
    • akhlaq - Demonstrate understanding of character and manners (Prophets story)
  • Understanding and learning about other faith traditions
  • Understanding how to express and maintain faith in the larger community
  • Repeated content through grades for different understanding of concepts

Middle School

In middle school, students take dedicated Islamic Studies courses, which are comprised of a weekly seminar and twice-a-week integrated ‘Quran & Islamic Studies’ class. Integrated into these courses are the school’s core values, monthly school-wide themes, and linkages to other core subjects as appropriate. The middle school Islamic Studies courses are:

     6th Grade - Does Islam Make Sense to Me?

Once students are fairly confident in their ability to practice their religion, it is important to give students a framework by which they can understand Islam and its fundamental purposes. Students essentially “step back” to view Islam from “above,” through the lens of the Gabriel Hadith, to assess Islam, Iman and Ihsan and how Muslims have historically learned and applied these in their lives. Often the forest is missed for the trees, hence this course aims to help students make sense of the intricacy and beauty of Islam in all aspects of their life.

     7th Grade - Reading the Signs

Fundamental to a person’s Islam is their ability to read the signs, ayat, of Allah as a means of drawing near unto Him. While students are developing their relationship with the Quran through Arabic and Quran classes, this course aims to give students confidence in the Quran as the Revealed Word of God. Using the life of the Prophet Muhammad as a way to contextualize the revelation of the Quran, they will explore various aspects of the miraculousness, language and guidance of the text. Students will build the skill of keeping a Quran journal to inquire and reflect on the text.

     8th Grade - A Thinking Person’s Guide to Islam

As students prepare to leave AFA, it is necessary for them to think about their religion in a macroscopic way. This course aims to review their eight years of study of Islam through a wholistic look at ‘Islamic History,’ using it as a means to consider “tough questions” that may arise in the mind of a young learner. As one encounters other philosophies, they must be able to confidently assert express and live their truths. Emphasis is also placed on how to deal with dissent and difference of opinion to work for the larger good of society and the world at large.

 

Middle School Halaqas

In addition to AFA's integrated Islamic Studies approach, we have put in place a designated class for all Middle School students to more concertedly focus on specific aspects of Islamic knowledge and identity.

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