Elementary School Focus
Throughout the elementary school years, students build upon their existing love of and connection with Allah to emphasize practices of faith that are integral and relevant to their life experiences. These practices, and the lessons learned from them, help to answer the fundamental and profound question: Who am I? This is to ask: What is a Muslim? Lessons, while focused on their content area knowledge (i.e. science, art, literature), are delivered through the lenses of AFA’s Core Values, instilling within students a practical application of Islam as a din (way of life). Students also establish foundational knowledge of the Islamic Sciences necessary for a child to know and comprehend, namely:
The AFA Islamic Studies curriculum is divided into four content areas:
- Fiqh (Islām): Students learn the fundamentals of how to “perform” their religious duties of Ṭahārah, Ṣalāt, Zakāt, Ṣawm, Ḥ ajj (as appropriate) and associated actions.
- Aqīdah (Īmān) : Students nurture their relationship with Allah by exploring His Names & Attributes, which “informs” their belief. This includes building upon their relationship with the Prophet Muhammad, the Qur’an (āyāt of the book) and Creation (āyāt of the universe).
- Akhlaq (Iḥsān) : Students are shown the methods necessary to develop one’s morals and etiquette, in order to “transform” their relationships: with Allah, Prophet Muhammad, self, family, community, and larger society.
- Sīrah (Prophetic Biography) : Students study all content through the exemplar of the Prophet Muhammad ,صلى الله عليه وسلم making sense of the nature of his prophethood as a mercy to all the worlds.
Standards for each content area are outlined and spiraled from KG to 8th grade.
In Elementary, students interact with these standards as they are integrated into other core subjects, i.e. math, science, social studies, and language arts. This helps students realize dīn is not simply a box we check off when we pray, but rather the world-view by which we see. Each content area is to be taught, assessed and reported as appropriate in the report card.
Middle School Focus
6th Grade - What is Islam?
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. The main units are:
- Trusting Reason: What is Islam and does it make sense?
- Preparing for the Journey: How do I learn about Islam?
- Treading the Path: How do I draw closer to Allah?
- Purpose & Impact: How do I fulfill my purpose as a worshipper of Allah?
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. They will explore various aspects of the miraculousness, language and guidance of the text. Topics include:
- Reading the Love Letter: “How do I read the ayāt of Allah sent to me?”
- Inimitable Miracle: “How do I know the Quran to be true?”
- Walking the Word: “How is the Quran lived?”
- Quran-ism: “How does the world look through the lens of the Quran”
The Qur’ān is linked to the Messenger ﷺ. Both must be understood to fully grasp the din. While it has been established that the Prophet Muhammad is the exemplar in all aspects of life, the course will also provide students with an intimate knowledge of who he is so students grow in their love of him and desire to model his way. Topics will cover:
- Shamā’il (characteristics)
- Sīra (biography)
- Khaṣā’iṣ (special qualities)
- Dalā’il (proof of prophecy)
8th Grade - A Thinking Person’s Guide to Islam
As students prepare to leave AFA, it is necessary for them to think about their din in a macroscopic way. This course aims to review their eight years of study of Islam through answering “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. Questions student will answer include:
- What is religion and its purpose?
- Why did God create people?
- What is epistemology? Scientism, Atheism?
- What is Sharia?
- What is Government?
- What is Jihad?
These questions will be addressed, as appropriate, by looking at the development of Islam throughout history. Students will have knowledge of major eras of Islamic History throughout the world, not simply in Arabia.