Muslim Teacher
A Sound Vision Newsletter Helping Teachers to Connect & Share September 22, 2010
Welcome Back to the Classroom!

Back to School!Stepping Back, Asking Questions

Our Dear Teachers,

For many of you the first few weeks of school have already passed and you are enjoying smooth sailing.

In most of our schools, the focus of educators is on completing the curriculum and meeting the standards. Although the pressure to meet the standards has a purpose—to hold teachers and schools accountable, it can also undermine the real goal of education.

As Maria Montessori wrote, “If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man's future. For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual's total development lags behind?” (The Absorbent Mind)

Even where the concern is to complete a curriculum within the given making period, as teachers we must continuously step back and ask ourselves whether the knowledge was received in a meaningful manner. Did it make sense in a context so that it could be drawn upon and accessed later?

The “Muslim Teacher” newsletter welcomes your questions, ponderings and solutions so that we can all go beyond the mere transmission of knowledge to our students and focus on their total development.

In this issue, we offer some suggestions to implement in the beginning of the year, or the beginning of a new term. As the floods in Pakistan have left behind a devastating disaster and a challenge for all of us to rise to the occasion, we share ideas to help your school get active. Lastly, brother Naushad Ulhaq offers his insight on a perennial conundrum: to teach or to ban graphic or un-Islamic literature in our schools.

We want to hear your thoughts about these issues and more. We realize your time is limited, so any response of any length is welcome. Please share your voice with your fellow teachers. You can write to

Sara Mujahid and Saba Syed
Co-Editors, Muslim Teacher

Muslim Teacher Team

Co-Editor: Sara Mujahid
Saba Syed
Managing Editor: Taha Ghayyur

Editorial Board:
Abdalla Idris Ali, Dr.
Yahiya Emerick
Preacher Moss
Audery Shabbas

Editorial Team:
Bambade Abdullah, Dr.
Nadia Aslam
Jeewan Chanicka
Debbie DePalma
Catherine England
Shazia Hassan
Farhana Qazi
Michele Mohamed
Samana Siddiqui
Omar Zia

Sound Vision's Board of Directors
Abdul Malik Mujahid, President
Muhammad Khalid Riaz, Md. Secretary
Ahmed Murad
Taufiq Ahmad, Treasurer
Muhammad Fuad Lashkarwala, Director
Janaan Hashim, Director
Hanna El-Amin, Director


Negative Stereotypes& Muslim Children

Open and outright anti-Muslim media frenzy has its consequences. Check out these suggestions from to help your students and children deal with discrimination: Negative Stereotypes Hurting Muslim Children.


Language Resources for Teachers & Homeshoolers

Read, Write, Think has a host of resources for language arts teachers. The Parent & Afterschool Resources will particularly appeal to home schooling parents; resources include podcasts, games and activities such as tools to build crossword puzzles, Diamante Poems, post cards and a much more.


Keep Your Ramadan Spirit Alive!

Extend your Ramadan blessings throughout the year. Sound Vision has some excellent suggestions: Keeping Ramadan Spirits Alive: 10 tips to help you keep those Ramadan habits.


Making the Most of the First Days of School Making the Most of the First Days of School: Tips for the Start of the School Year
By Sara Mujahid

"Inspire your students: What were you last moved by? Perhaps it was an ayah or a hadith, or maybe it was a scientific discovery or a mathematical connection. Whatever it is that you've been moved by, consider sharing it with your students, as well as sharing with them the feelings it inspired.

School can often feel like a dull place for students, full of disconnected facts and teachers who operate like robots, trying to stuff students' minds with curriculum. Share with students a little something of whatever it is that makes you excited to learn." Read More >

Controversial Literature Controversial Literature: Teach It or Toss It
By Naushad Ulhaq

A couple of months ago my niece, about four years old, came home from a friend’s house with a glittery pink tube of Hannah Montana lip gloss. The hit Disney show features a teen-aged girl who lives a secret life as a famous (and much older looking) pop singer. I was understandably appalled. I didn't think make-up would make its appearance for at least a few more years, and I wasn't sure a pop diva was the best role model for my little girl.

The very idea that lip gloss would be branded by a show on the Disney channel seemed incongruous with my early-90s conception of childhood. I found myself longing for the old days of wholesome cartoon shenanigans and fuzzy purple dinosaurs. Read More >

Responding to Pakistan FloodsRising to the Challenge: Responding to Floods in Pakistan

At my local masjid, for several evenings, a girl, about age 11 has brought cupcakes for sale. She's donating all of the money to flood victims in Pakistan.

Giving and encouraging one another to give in the face of disasters is the most appropriate response. Here are some suggestions for teachers to help students get active. Read More >

Guidance from Hadith

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:"The guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me are like abundant rain which fell on a land. A fertile part of it absorbed the water and brought forth profuse herbage and pasture; and solid ground patches which retained the water by which Allah has benefited people, who drank from it, irrigated their crops and sowed their seeds; and another sandy plane which could neither retain the water nor produce herbage.

Such is the similitude of the person who becomes well-versed in the religion of Allah and receives benefit from the Message entrusted to me by Allah, so he himself has learned and taught it to others; such is also the similitude of the person who has stubbornly and ignorantly rejected Allah's Guidance with which I have been sent.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Three Ways You Can Contribute:

  1. Feedback: We want to hear from you, the teachers, homeschoolers, and educators, about what you find most beneficial in this newsletter? What topics would you like to see addressed in future?
  2. Submit Articles / Tid Bits / Resources: Have you written something about teaching that could benefit other teachers? Any interesting resources (website, video, or book) you want to review and share? Please send it our way!
  3. MyClassroom Experience: Got a classroom success story to share? Is there some teaching practice that you discovered? Share!
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