A Note on AGE APPROPRIATENESS for the Ghazali Children’s series:
The books are appropriate from ages 5-14 to adulthood depending on various considerations. Parents and teachers often recast teachings to make them relevant to different ages and contexts. Each book set includes: 1) The Adult translation, which is a parent/teacher book. This is for adults. 2) The Children’s book can be read by or to children from 6/7 years old up to adulthood. This can also be read by adults to younger children, say 5 years olds. 3) The Children’s Workbook contains readings and exercises to be done by children from 6/7 years old up to adults.
Parents, teachers and schools like the Hub Club in Solihull (see the Ghazali Project film on this Pilot school) have the teachers of each age group make an age related lesson plan. Parents use the stories with 4-5 year olds by telling them these stories at their level. Ages 6/7 to adulthood is fine for all the children’s materials. Teenagers are often asked to teach the younger ones. [Note: Books 1-2 are written in a younger language. The rest of the books 3-6 are for any age.] The books are used by a mix of parents, teachers and children, and in all of the categories: school, home, homeschools and pilot schools (like Sunday schools).
The Ghazali Children’s project series:
The Fons Vitae Ghazali Children’s Series provides authentic quality guidance for children of all ages at a time when their values are being formed. Imam al-Ghazali’s systematic approach for developing virtuous character is provided in an educational package which includes beautifully produced children’s books, source texts for parents and teachers, These materials offer a creative, enjoyable and spiritual supplement or alternative to standard Islamic Studies curricula with a strong focus on the purification of the heart.
The first two Book Sets: The Book of Knowledge and the Book of Belief are now available with the Books of Purity and Prayer nearing completion.
Each Book Set contains a complete translation, in readable English, of the original Ghazali text for parents and teachers accompanied by a beautifully illustrated version adapted as stories for children ages 7–11 [appropriate for any age and also for parents]. The accompanying workbook includes activities and even comics, which reinforce Ghazali’s teachings, as well as a full school curriculum.
This educational package is supported by:
• A team of recognized Islamic scholars and educators
• An instructional DVD included in the Children’s Book of Knowledge (which also includes showing how the stories may be adapted for small children).
• A Pilot School Program is being offered. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
• An interactive website http://ghazalichildren.org is currently active and is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2016.
The website offers:
– The educational package Book Sets and other relevant children’s books, also available in e-book formats.
– A meeting place for children with a variety of activities including story time, contests, videos by children, and other ways to interact using the ideas they are being taught about Ghazali’s teachings
– A venue for parents and teachers, providing a variety of resources, and a place for discussion , curriculum updates and feedback.
“Shaykh Hamza Yusuf explains, “The Ghazali Children’s Project is nothing less than a revolution in developing humans, ethical and committed Muslim youth, who are in dire need of guidance in these troubled times. Imam al-Ghazali is the Proof of Islam, and these teachings, presented in a beautiful life-affirming way, will prove to be a major shift in the way Islam is taught to young people. As a community we owe much to Fons Vitae for bringing them to fruition. Let the transformation begin!”
Fons Vitae is experiencing the coming together of the global Muslim community enthusiastically endorsing and supporting this Series. A major grant from the John Templeton Foundation has contributed to the publication. The Ghazali Project has been honored and officially launched in Morocco, Indonesia, Great Britain, Canada and the USA. It is becoming part of imam training programs and is now used in prison outreach. Translations are underway in Arabic, Urdu, German, Swedish and Malay.
Al-Ghazali wrote, regarding the purification of both the outward and the inward: that one should know with certitude that the purification of the heart comes through ridding the soul of its vices, and reforming it with virtue, and that a person who stops at outward purification alone is like someone who wants to invite a king to his home, then busies himself with decorating its front door while leaving the inside full of rubbish and debris.
The Ghazali Children’s Project aims to establish from the outset of a child’s life reflex habits such as humility, patience, love, altruism, gentleness, forbearance, and respect for other faiths while providing children with real and effective tools to address such failings as selfishness, back-biting, arguing, laziness, envy, bragging, hypocrisy, greed, wasting time and pride.
Children need to be raised as spiritual beings who are self observant and self correcting. We have seen how 4 and 5 year old children are drawn to spiritual truths.
Teachings need to engage the imagination and the spirit of children and attract their enjoyment and love. A child needs to be handed back his dignity and his religion in a way that he or she can understand what it is really for, and therefore truly desires to consciously keep his or her innate goodness of character intact.
So it is our hope that children for generations to come, will be able to understand that their faith is about the interior process of perfecting the spiritual heart and eliminating base character traits, which accumulate when the true nature of the heart is neglected.
“If the Qur’an tells us that the heart is the essence of man, so that the Prophet on his Ascension saw the highest perfection with his heart [53:11], and if revelation itself descended ‘on his heart’, then the heart is the unique interface of the eternal and the finite realms…”
– T.J. Winter, University of Cambridge
Ghazali can be YOUR teacher! Imagine!
As a support to the children’s Ihya several books have been published: The illustrated Al-Ghazali, Painting Heaven: Polishing the Mirror of the Heart, and The Boy and The Owl.
Learn more: Ghazali Children’s Project Video