April 7, 2010

It's all coming together

It is certainly funny how things so often come together in strange ways. How every now and then all of the different spheres of your life sort of meet up in a common theme.

As you know if you've been reading me for any period of time, with our home schooling we follow a sort of loose program that starts at the beginning of time (as we know it) and spirals up through current times. We spent a couple of weeks reveling in the fall of the Roman empire and the start of the Middle Ages and noted the long span of times spent in holy wars. Well, that brought us to our study of the advent of Islam. Studying it with young children was a bit of a controversy among some of our peers, but it was a historically appropriate time to introduce it, so we hit the library and loaded up on books and videos on the history and culture of the religion, on the buildings, on the prayers, etc.

Now to back up a bit...many months ago in my other life - the one that does not include creating paper mache mosques and kid history - a friend asked the women in our charity beading group if anyone was interested in studying the Quran with her. She had begun reading on her own and was so offended by what she was reading that she had decided (because she is such a thoughtful and gentle woman) that the problem did not lie with the Muslim faith, but with this particular translation of the Quran. So she grabbed a scarf, hit the Islamic center, and asked for an accurate translation. What they gave her was much more in line with proper Islam as she had envisioned it and far less offensive. So she went back and bought me a copy as well. Anyway, months had gone by and we continually talked about studying together, but never had. So suddenly, on the very week that our homeschooling brought us to Islam, my social life brought me there as well.

I mentioned at our Ruhi study circle that I was hosting a Quran study in my home and a friend asked if he could join. Great! The more the merrier! Then, on the day of our study, a different friend e-mailed and asked if our family wanted to come over for dessert that night. Because of our study, I declined but extended an invitation to come to our place for dessert and Quran talk. To my shock, they accepted and came over with their whole family. But not before her husband got on the phone with me and asked if attendance would get him placed on the no-fly list!!! To which Joe replied, "That's only if he joins our militia and that's completely optional!" These guys crack me up!!!

Anyway, here I was building a model mosque and listening to Arabic chants of the Quran in the school room during the day and studying the Quran in the evenings with a group of my favorite friends. It is very interesting getting to explore many aspects of the faith on a variety of levels all at once. So a Baha'i, and Episcopalian, an LDS family, and an independent spiritualist are half ignorantly studying the Quran together and coming up with more questions than answers. But learning together and about one another in easy fellowship is such a neat experience. I am excited that the kids are seeing that learning doesn't stop when you leave the school room or when you get your PhD, and that lots of people are interested in life long learning and understanding other cultures.

Getting back to the homeschooling arena, today as the kids watched the video "the Seven Wonders of the Muslim World" Hannah Jane noted that they were talking about Mecca. She promptly said, "Just Mecca? Isn't Median a holy city as well? I mean, what about Medina, mom?" I am seeing how our Baha'i studies have made her so aware of and sensitive to so many faiths. Last year I took her through Ruhi book 4 for the Birthday of the Bab. We mapped out the Bab's travels on our wall map of the middle east and looked through the pictures in the book. It's good to see that so much of that is still in her head and that she is making connections between her Baha'i studies, her school studies, and her interactions with the world. Yay! This is such a fun time in our house!

1 comment:

  1. what an awesome story! and very interesting how everything eventually came together, as it always does. thanks for posting!


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