Subject: Stories of the Prophets



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Lesson Plan

Subject: Stories of the Prophets

Title: From the Belly of a Whale: An activity based on the story of Prophet Yunus (as)

Age Group: Preschool to Early Elementary

Time: 8-10 minutes
Objectives:


  • Visualize and internalize the story of Prophet Yunus (as) .

  • Create empathy for the predicament of Prophet Yunus (as).

  • Learn Prophet Yunus’ supplication.

Vocab: tawhid, shirk, istighfaar


Materials:

  • small tub or dish of water

  • toy or paper boat

  • toy fish or whale (optional)

  • bed sheet, duvet cover, or any large piece of cloth

  • dua written on cards with Arabic, English, and transliteration (1 for each child to take home)

Procedure:




  1. (Following hearing activity) Introduce story of Prophet Yunus in simple words. Sample text:

A long time ago, there lived a man named Yunus, alayhi as salam. He was a very good man, and he believed in tawhid. What is tawhid? (Answer: Allah is one). Allah (swt) loved him very much for his belief, so He made him a Prophet, and sent him to teach about Islam and tawhid to the people in a town called Nineveh, where Iraq is today.
The people of Nineveh used to do shirk. What is shirk? (Answers: Taking partners with Allah, giving Allah’s rights to others) Yunus, alayhi as salam, tried to call the people to Islam for a long time, but they wouldn’t listen. So he got angry and ran away from the town, even though Allah had told him to stay.
2. Show children the dish of water. This is the “sea.” Float the toy/paper boat in the water as you continue the story. Ask the children to tap the sides of the dish to make “waves.” Put the toy whale/fish into the water (if using).

He got onto a ship and started to sail away. But, Allah caused the ship to hit a big storm with huge waves. The ship was about to sink. The people on the ship decided they should throw a person overboard to make the ship lighter, and Yunus alayhi asalam’s name was picked. He was thrown into the sea, and Allah (swt) commanded a whale to swallow him whole!
3. Ask everyone to gather under the bed sheet/inside the duvet cover, and imagine that they are inside the belly of a whale. A whale’s belly is dark. Ask them to close their eyes and pretend that darkness is all they can see. Ask questions: How do you feel? What are you thinking? What does it smell like, feel like? If you were to scream, could anybody hear you? (Answer: Only Allah, As-Samee’).
4. Conclusion & Dua:

Yunus alayhi as salam knew that this was a punishment from Allah for disobeying Him and leaving the people. Yunus was sorry and began to glorify and pray to Allah, and make istighfaar. What is istigfhaar? (Answer: asking/seeking forgiveness from Allah). Yunus said “Oh my Lord! I have made a place of prayer, where nobody else has ever worshipped You.”
Yunus made a very powerful dua that you can find in the Qur’an (Surah Al Anbiyaa: 87)

لَّا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

la ilaha illa anta subhanaka innee kuntu mina aththalimeen

None has the right to be worshipped but You, (O Allah), Glorified be to You. Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers."


Allah heard this dua and forgave Yunus. Allah commanded the whale to throw him out on the shore. Yunus was tired and weak, but Allah grew squash plants for him there, and caused goats to come near him so he could drink their milk. When Yunus was strong again, he went back to his people, and invited them again to Islam. And they all became Muslims, alhamdulilah.
5. Kids must recite/repeat the dua to get out of the whale’s stomach. Give each student the dua on a card to practice at home.

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