11 Why Is The Ummah Important To Muslims? - NATRE

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Why is the Ummah importantto Muslims?9–11Background knowledge for teachersAssessment for learningUmmah means community or the worldwidecommunity of Muslims. There is no living leaderof the Ummah. Allah is the only one who Muslimsfollow. The Ummah aims to promote the welfareof everyone in the Muslim community. The Ummahbenefits from a shared language – most Muslimslearn Arabic so they can read the Qur’an. TheUmmah supports the worldwide community ofMuslims by: supporting one another financially, for instancethrough the giving of Zakah encouraging the members of the community totake care of one another encouraging people to live the best life they canand not engage in wrong doingThis unit uses interviews with young people to helppupils understand the significance of the Ummah inthe lives of Muslims and how the Five Pillars supportthe Ummah.Through exploring identity and belonging using afilm clip, engaging in active reading and applyingtheir learning in thinking and writing tasks, pupilswill be able to answer the unit question: Why is theUmmah important to Muslims?This section shows some of the outcomes achievable bypupils of different abilities in the 9–11 age range.WWeb supportMy Life, My Religion has a series of clips thatare suitable to use when teaching about Islamand the Ummah./clipsSee: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05pc1c9alsoNATRE members and RE Today subscribers canite:websydownload the following from the RE Toda a copy of the magazine article on pp.30–31 a copy of the active reading grid on p.28ing a PowerPoint presentation to support the teachof this unitEssential knowledge for pupilsPupils should know: the meaning of the Ummah the significance of the Ummah in the lives of Muslims examples of the Ummah in action (e.g. in theFive Pillars)26Description of achievement:Expectations I can .Almost all pupils describe what the Ummah meansin this age groupto MuslimsExpected for give some examples of what9-year-oldsdifference religious commitmentsmake to some people’s lives describe three different ways in whichthe Ummah supports Muslim peopleall over the world3Many pupils inthis age groupExpected for11-year-olds4The most ablepupils in thisage group5 make connections between beliefin the Ummah and teachings andsources of wisdom in Islam describe some of the impacts ofreligious commitments on life outline the challenges and benefitsof being part of the Ummah inBritain today explain the significance of theUmmah to Muslims and express ideasabout this concept of community make connections between aspects ofthe Ummah and similar ideas in othercommunitiesThis unit could help pupils in Scotland to achieve RME2–04b and 2–05a.Links across the curriculumThe activities in this unit support pupils to: use simple organisational devices in nonnarrative material ask questions to improve their understanding ofthe text identify the main ideas drawn from more thanone paragraph and summarise theseFor those using RE Today units of work, thissupports 2.8 What difference does it make tobelieve in Ahimsa, grace, and/or the Ummah?

it y1tivExpressing identityBring in a series of items that express some of themultiple identities that you, as a teacher have,for example: a pile of books to show you are a teacher a photo to show your place as a partner, parent,sibling or child in your family something to show your allegiance to a sportingteam or musician or other hobby something to show a group you belong to suchas a book group, running club or choir a map or similar to express the significance ofa particular location to youDescribe who you are to the pupils and howyour identity is made up of many things includingmembership of several communities. Explain thatin this unit, we are going to learn about Muslim peopleand the importance of community to them.Show the opening clip from My Life, My Religion whereSara has made a short clip expressing something ofwho she is.See: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02mwkl7Ask pupils to work in pairs to write about or draw fourobjects that show who Sara is, what is important to herand what communities she belongs to. Ask them to meetup with another pair to present and justify their choices.How would the pupils express their own identity in90 seconds? Which communities do they belong to andhow does that affect what they do? Ask pupils to workindividually to create a 90 second film or scriptof their identity.ActivAcActivit y2Active readingFor these activities you will need each pair of pupilsto have a copy of the ‘Understanding Ummah’ activityon pp.30–31. Explain to the pupils that you are goingto find out about the importance of the Ummah to theMuslim community. Ask the pupils to work in pairs.SummarisingRead the text on p.30 to pupils and ask them to sum upwhat they have heard in one or two sentences.Next give the text of p.30 to each pair.Ask them to: underline any words that they think someone wouldneed to find out more about write no more than five sentences that summarisewhat they have readDigging deeperGive each pair a copy of the two interviews on p.31.Ask each pupil to read one interview and summarisewhat they have found out using the active reading gridon p.28. After filling in the thinking frame, pupils explainto their partner what they found out from their interviewand identify and describe similarities and differences.Share their understanding of the significance of theUmmah for Muslims.DefiningGo back to the words they underlined on p.30.Underline any words that require defining on p.31.Using information gained, any books or additionalresources, create a glossary of terms that could beadded to the magazine article.it y3Your communityAs a class, identify between three and five features of the Ummah. Discuss what the purpose of each of these featuresis. Record their ideas in a table; Column 1 titled ‘Feature of the Ummah’ and Column 2 titled ‘Purpose of this feature’.Explain to your pupils that they, like Sara and Bilal and Fizzah, belong to one or more than one community. For someof them this might be a religious community but all of them belong to the school community. Ask the pupils to thinkabout the features the class recorded about the Ummah. Can these features be found in your school? If this feature isfound in school, how does it help the school community? If the feature is not found, how could it improve your school’ssense of community? Ask pupils to record their ideas around a picture representing your school.27

it y4tivFive Pillars of Islamand the UmmahAcActivBefore embarking on this activity, pupils willneed to have learnt about the Five Pillarsof Islam. If this is not something you havetaught about before, the pupils will need tobe introduced to them first. You might look atOpening Up Islam pp.25–29 for this. Remindthe pupils of the Five Pillars of Islam: Shahahdah, declaration of faith Salah, prayer Zakah, giving of money Sawm, fasting Hajj, pilgrimage to MakkahArrange pupils to work in pairs. Give eachpair a copy of p.29 either as a whole or cutup into separate cards. Each card describessomething about how following that pillarreflects being part of the Ummah.Firstly, ask pupils to identify which of thedescriptions relates to which of the Five Pillarsof Islam, either by sorting the cards or writingthe names of the pillars on the sheet. There aretwo cards per pillar.Next, ask pupils to choose which three of allthe quotes relate most to the Ummah and writea paragraph to explain their ideas.it y5Writing to improveunderstandingBelow are two suggested writing activities. You can either choosethe writing style that links with the learning you are doing inEnglish or choose a writing activity suitable for individual pupils.Alternatively, you could create a different activity linked to thewriting style you are studying in English. Both of these tasks allowpupils to apply what they have learnt about the Ummah andapply their learning to the different writing tasks. The second taskmay be suitable for less able or younger pupils.Newspaper articleAsk pupils to write an article about the Ummah to be placed in alocal newspaper or magazine. In the article they must include: an explanation of what the Ummah is and what it meansto Muslims two or three examples of the Ummah in action in the local area technical language with definitions, referring to their glossary key features of a newspaper articleA postcard describing the UmmahAsk pupils to write a postcard to Sara, Fizzah or Bilal thankingthem for helping them to understand the Ummah through their filmor article. In the postcard they must include: a description of what the Ummah is examples they have seen or learnt about that show the Ummahin action technical language with definitions, referring to their glossaryActivity 2: Active readingThe three most important things about the Ummah:Why was the Ummah important to Bilal/Fizzah?Name of interviewee:Three important words and their meanings:28Three questions you would like to ask:Photocopiable by purchasing institutions

Activity 4: The Ummah in the Five Pillar cardsWOne way I feel part of the Ummah isby sharing one belief that ‘There is nogod except Allah and that Muhammadis the messenger of Allah.’ We remindourselves of this at least five times a dayduring prayer.Jummah prayers on Friday bring thewhole community together. We pray thesame thing but also all hear the wordsof the Imam. This goes on around thewhole world. I can go to Jummah prayerswherever I am in the world.All pilgrims complete the same rituals.Men dressed identically in ihram andwomen in clean clothes. These ritualsremind us we are part of one worldwidecommunity, completing our pilgrimagewith about three million other members ofthe Ummah.It is great to be able to support otherMuslims financially. My money is not justfor me and my family. I need to shareit with those who are having a difficulttime. Allah tells us to do this as part ofone community.Muslims are reminded to care abouteach other by fasting. It reminds us thateveryone is our responsibility – all ourbrothers and sisters in the Ummah, notjust the family we live with. We need tocare about everyone.The fact that a declaration of our belief isthe first thing that a baby hears at birthand the last thing I hope to hear beforeI die, makes me feel part of the Ummah.We all share these beliefs and they areso important that we want to hear themat the beginning and the end of our lives.Everyone hopes to go on this journey.It might take me all my life to be ableto save up and to make myself readyfor this journey by sorting out anydisagreements. However long it takes, Iwill pursue this dream – a shared dreamwith everyone else in the Ummah.When we pray, whoever we are, wepray using the same movements, weuse the same words, we pray facingMakkah. Imagine the whole Ummahdoing the same thing – it’s so powerful!The paying of our contribution duringRamadan brings the community together.We often pay ours through our localMosque. Our whole community isencouraged to look after people, to dothis good deed. It is a joy and a duty.During this special month, fasting isreally hard but it helps me to know a littlebit of what it is to be less fortunate. I lovethe fact that we all do this, however richor poor we are across the whole world.Photocopiable by purchasing institutions29

What community doyou belong to? Whatsimilarities or differencesdoes it have to theUmmah? We would loveto hear about yourcommunity for ourmagazine.UNDERSTANDINGThe UmmahFizzah and Bilal share with us what being a member ofthe Ummah, the worldwide community of Muslims, means to them.WSharing what you haveMany Muslims think of the Ummah as being like a worldwidefamily of Muslims, people who all believe the same thing,they even call one another brothers or sisters. They all haveone shared language – whatever language they use in theireveryday lives, all Muslims learn Arabic so they can read theQur’an – it makes it much easier when a whole communityhas a shared language. Probably the most important part ofthe Ummah is that everyone is equal whether you are rich orpoor, a female or a male, a child or an adult, black or white.The Ummah encourages people to care for one another, tolive a good life and to support other Muslims financially. Itis estimated that in Britain, during the month of Ramadan in2016, 100 million was donated to charitable causes –the equivalent of 38 per second!Pilgrimageelcome to the latest of our series of articles looking intodifferent communities and why these communites areso important to their members. Most of us believe we belongto a community or, usually, more than one community whetherit is a school, a family, a swimming club, cubs, where we liveor the team we support. For many Muslims, the most importantcommunity they belong to is the Ummah, the worldwidecommunity of Muslims, united by their belief in Allah.PrayerThe Ummah is united by prayer. Muslims all pray in the samelanguage, Arabic, with the same body language, facing thesame place and addressing the prayer to one God.The timing of their prayer moves around the world as theearth rolls around the sun.30Muslims are asked by their religion to give some of their moneyto help those less fortunate, as a sign of thanks to Allah. Allahis referred to by 99 beautiful names, three of which are: Allahthe Giver of All, the Satisfier of All Needs, the Generous One.Zakah, the third pillar of Islam, requires Muslims to give 1from every 40, 2½% during the time of Ramadan. Charity isalso given at other times of year too. At Eid ul Adha, Muslimsalso donate so that food is given to those in need. This is calledQurbani. It is the giving of a sacrifice of an animal or of moneyto show submission to Allah. This sacrifice or money is thendistributed to those in need. These practices bring the Ummahtogether: everyone is involved, the richer help the poorer,everyone remembers God.Muslims all hope to go on the Hajj (pilgrimage) to Makkah.The Hajj shows them what the Ummah really is. Everyone isequal with people wearing simple white clothes and completingeach aspect of the pilgrimage together. Whether richer orpoorer, black or white, male or female, everyone completes thesame journey together. However not all Muslims can go on theHajj to Makkah. There are 2 billion Muslim people and onlyabout 3 million per year go to Makkah for the Hajj. But thereis unity in aspiring to go, and in facing the Ka’bah every timeMuslims pray, so the Ummah is strengthened by the fact that theKa’bah is the centre of the world for all Muslims.In the Qur’an it says, ‘You have been the best of communitiesbrought forth for humankind: commanding good, forbiddingevil, and believing in Allah.’ (Surah Ali Imran: 110). I wonderif this sums up the Ummah?What community do you belong to? What similarities ordifferences does it have to the Ummah? We would love tohear about your community for our magazine.Photocopiable by purchasing institutions

We spoke to Bilal aboutwhat the Ummah meansto him as a teenagerliving in London.Why is the Ummahimportant to you?The Ummah is important to me as aMuslim because it means we should sticktogether and know who to seek for help,also it ensures a special bond betweenMuslims. A sense of safety if you will.‘The Ummah isimportant to me asa Muslim because itmeans we should sticktogether and know whoto seek for help’How do people know youbelong to the Ummah?People know I belong to the Ummahbecause of the way I dress, my respectfor all people, not just Muslims but nonMuslims too. I am self-controlled andrespectful, Aklaq, to other children ofGod. I feel part of the Ummah through thespecial greetings we give one another, forexample, As-salamu alaykum, when I amtalking about religion or praying togetherpeacefully in the mosque side by side. Itdoesn’t matter what tradition you are, weare all under the same umbrella, followersof Muhammad (pbuh).Fizzah is a teenagegirl attending school inLondon. We asked herabout being part of theUmmah and what itmeans to her.Why is the Ummahimportant to you?It gives me a sense of belonging toa family with a common goal. It alsogives me a voice based on my religion,not my colour, ethnicity or any otheridentifying factor.‘Being part of the Ummahmakes me feel safe andwanted by people whoare experiencing thesame things as I am’RE TodayPhotocopiable by purchasing institutionsHow do people know youbelong to the Ummah?I think my hijab distinguishes me as partof the Muslim Ummah and I see it as myoutward Islamic identity, differentiatingme from others. The unity shown byMuslims around the world with ourcommon goal of worshipping our Lord,Allah, makes me feel connected withone collective voice, the voice of theUmmah.What do you do regularlythat makes you feel partof the Ummah?I pray in groups, read Qu’ran to kids andmake sure my community is clean andsafe. When I see the wide presence ofMuslims around the world and when I goto the Middle East to see the Holy Sites, Ifeel part of a big community. The Ummahmakes me feel amazing, knowing peoplewill have my back no matter what. Itmakes sure that I am filling my mind witheducation and that is the best feeling.What are your responsibilitiesas part of the Ummah?I always help out in the community; thatmeans teaching kids how to read Arabic,read the Qu’ran, telling them stories andteaching them how to pray. I also makesure there are no extreme ideas and mostimportantly help non-Muslims understandwhat real Islam is.What do you do regularlythat makes you feel part ofthe Ummah?I attend my mosque regularly as well asa Saturday Islamic school which givesme a sense of being part of a biggerteam. I also take part in various activitiessuch as sports tournaments, stage plays,workshops and interfaith meetings.Being part of the Ummah makes me feelsafe and wanted by people who areexperiencing the same things as I am. Italso brings a closer connection throughthe things we have in common whichcan help others understand the messageIslam wants to convey.What are your responsibilitiesas part of the Ummah?It is important to always give a goodimpression as I feel I am a representativeof Islam in everything I do, from mymanners all the way through to myappearance. This is an important partof a Muslim’s life and one that I takeparticular care in ensuring I do this tothe best of my ability.31

community of Muslims. There is no living leader of the Ummah. Allah is the only one who Muslims follow. The Ummah aims to promote the welfare of everyone in the Muslim community. The Ummah benefits from a shared language - most Muslims learn Arabic so they can read the Qur'an. The Ummah supports the worldwide community of Muslims by:

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