Activity 1: Muhammad's Prayer
Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
- Handout 1, UU Principles, Children's Version
Preparation for Activity
- If you do not have a poster of the UU Principles in the meeting space, copy Handout 1 for all participants.
- Print this prayer on newsprint, and post:
What actions are most excellent?
To gladden the heart of a human being.
To feed the hungry.
To help the afflicted.
To lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful.
To remove the wrongs of the injured.
That person is the most beloved of God who does most good to God's creatures. - The Prophet Muhammed
Description of Activity
Children learn a prayer calling for people to do justice and connect its words with UU Principles that support our justice work.
Tell the group that you want to share a prayer with them. Say the prayer was written by the prophet Muhammad, of the founder of the religion of Islam. Tell them that Islam is the world's second largest religion and that people who practice Islam are called Muslims. Ask what the children know about Islam or Muslims. Affirm:
- Muslims are monotheistic, which means they believe in one God.
- The Muslim name for God is Allah.
- Muslims believe that God spoke to the Prophet Muhammad so he could spread God's word to everyone else.
Tell the children that Unitarian Universalists often look to other religions of the world for wisdom such as these words of Muhammad, to inspire us to be the best person we can be.
Share the prayer with the children. If the group includes strong readers, you might ask a volunteer to read each line aloud and then have the group repeat it. Define words you are not sure the children understand.
Point out that Muhammad suggests actions a person can take to show what they believe in. Help the children to name some of the actions. You can prompt: helping at a food pantry, speaking up when something is unfair, giving clothes or toys you do not need to a child who needs them more, participating in a justice rally; marching in an annual Martin Luther King Day parade. Now ask: Do Unitarian Universalist show our beliefs with any of the same actions? Point out that while our UU religion is different from Islam, our religion shares some of the same ways to show our beliefs.
Indicate your poster of the UU Principles or distribute the handout. Read the Principles aloud or invite volunteers to read. Ask:
- Which of our UU Principles are we following, when we do the actions in Muhammad's prayer? [Affirm answers.]
- What about speaking up for justice? Do our Principles ask us to do that?
Tell the group that people who believe in justice can show their belief in many ways. Say:
Today we are going to talk about the kind of action called public witness.