Sunday, March 30, 2014

Five pillars of Islam

Assalamualaikum wr wb,

Pic courtesy of

I was thinking of a good way to get RG started on learning the Pillars of Islam.. the whys and the whats can come in later, at this stage I just want her to know what the 5 pillars are.

This was done over a course of a week. and inshaaAllah.. I hope to keep reminding this to her every once in a while. The key to remembrance of knowledge is easily practice, that's why every one of the pillars of Islam is actually a ibaadah, the knowledge gained is put into practice on a daily, monthly, yearly etc basis. 

But since she is still learning the practicing part, for now I just wanted her to remember what the pillars are. In order to do this, instead of just writing down and asking her to memorize this, I approached this i a step by step method.

Step 1: Exposure

One night, I explained to her that everything in this life should have a strong base and pillar. (okay, she really had trouble understanding what a pillar is despite me even showing her.. so I am still figuring that part out)

I told her in Islam we also have 5 pillar that hold us strong to fight shaitaan. Allah loves it when we do this.
so I just put down 5 Lego towers as 'pillars' and named all the pillars in a way she would understand.

  1. Shahaadah  - I told her Allah is one and Muhammad is our messenger (just asked her to remember that Allah is one!)
  2. Prayers- no explanations needed 
  3. Fasting - little explanation since she had a basic idea what fasting was during Ramadan last year.
  4. Zakah - this was tricky. I just told her that we need to share whatever we had with other people who needed it more (key word being: Sharing)
  5. 5. Hajj - this was hardest but I just told her it was a masjid that all Muslims go to pray at least once in a lifetime.

5 Pillars

Step 2
This step is just to remind her of the pillars for the next one or two days. Why is this important? This webpage (link below) explains well why without review, most information will be lost from memory and the best time to review materials is within a day or two after the material has been presented. 

It also outlines beautifully that over time what we learn FADES. A study states that 

After 1 day54% was remembered.
After 7 days35% was remembered.
After 14 days21% was remembered.
After 21 days18% was remembered.
After 28 days19% was remembered.
After 63 days17% was remembered.

To read the whole article click here. So naturally RG didn't remember much from the day before but I just reinforced in anyway.

Step 3
Now to engage different parts of her mind and use different senses. Before this was audio coupled with visually associated learning (pillars). So I tried a different learning approach; kinesthetic learning - that is learning by touching, feeling and experiencing what one is trying to learn.

We found a magazine and I helped her to find images that closely correlates to each of the pillar (she did need some help with this) :

  1. Shahaadah  - we just found a picture that signifies Allah is one
  2. Prayers- Picture f people praying
  3. Fasting - this one we just found a bunch of people eating and put a big X over it.
  4. Zakah - people giving money.
  5. Hajj - simply the picture of kaabah

that's her decorating the pages after sticking
the finished page
Step 4
Reinforce this message in a fun way! I let her listen to Yusuf Islam's"I look I see album" with a nasheed about the 5 pillars -its called the 5 noble pillar. Awesome stuff!

The result: she now can name them all in her own way.. after this is letting her learn what each signifies, I hope InshaaAllah!

and I have an idea for step 5 which I think will share once its done after a few weeks! 

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