GRADE 3 LESSON 8
MUHAMMAD AND THE SUBMISSION TO THE WILL OF GOD
The purpose of this lesson is to help us understand that all the Manifestations of God call upon humanity to live in a state of submission to His Will.
We will learn specifically about the life of Muhammad, Whose teachings spread among the Arab people, making them, as Abdu’l-Baha explains, “superior to the other nations of the earth in learning, in the arts, mathematics, civilization, government and other sciences.”
In this connection, we will gain a sense of the power of submission to the Will of God, one of Muhammad’s principle teachings, to unite people around a center and to promote order and prosperity.
We know that, because of our deep love for God’s beauty, we constantly strive to do all that He asks of us. The teachings that the Manifestations of God bring to humanity tell us what He wants us to do, and what we should not do. By allowing the teachings of God’s Manifestations to fill our hearts and minds, we begin to want only what He wants, to desire only what He desires, and to take pleasure in that which is pleasing to Him.
Order and harmony are brought about as more and more people live in a state of submission to God’s Will, all focused on His good pleasure. Think of the planets, all circling harmoniously, with the sun at their center. Through submission to the Will of God, humanity lives harmoniously and makes great progress- governments are just, communities are well organized, education flourishes, knowledge increases, and beauty is manifested in music and the arts.
Muhammad was a Manifestation sent by God some 1,400 years ago. He appeared among a people in a desert region at a time when their great capacity and rich potential were hidden behind selfish desires and ignorance. He taught them to put away such desires, to trust God, and to submit to His Will. He raised them out of the depths of cruelty and contention and showed them how to live in harmony according to Divine teachings, causing them to become examples of orderly and civilized life.
Whose good pleasure do we seek at all times?
How can we be sure that we are acting according to God’s good pleasure?
Order and harmony are brought about as more and more people live in a state of submission to God’s Will, all focused on His good pleasure
How are the planets that circle the sun orderly and harmonious? Do they ever fight with one another? Do the bigger planets ever want to control the smaller ones?
Obey the laws of physics and are in harmony with one another. Don’t fight or want control
When everyone is focused on God’s good pleasure and carrying out His commands, how does it change people? How does humanity progress?
humanity lives harmoniously and makes great progress- governments are just, communities are well organized, education flourishes, knowledge increases, and beauty is manifested in music and the arts
Who was Muhammad?
Messenger of God
What effect did the teachings of Muhammad have on the people of His time?
His teachings caused them to become examples of orderly and civilized life
REMEMBER TO DOWNLOAD THE PDF TO HELP MEMORIZE THE PRAYERS FROM LESSON 4 IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO!
Glory be to Thee, O my God! Make manifest the rivers of Thy sovereign might, that the waters of Thy Unity may flow through the inmost realities of all things, in such wise that the banner of Thine unfailing guidance may be raised aloft in the kingdom of thy command and the stars of Thy divine splendour may shine brightly in the heaven of thy majesty. Potent art Thou to do what pleaseth Thee. Thou, verily, art the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.
I beseech Thee, O my God, by all the transcendent glory of Thy Name, to clothe Thy loved ones in the robe of justice and to illumine their beings with the light of trustworthiness. Thou art the One that hath power to do as He pleaseth and Who holdeth within His grasp the reins of all things, visible and invisible.
I have wakened in Thy shelter, O my God, and it becometh him that seeketh that shelter to abide within the Sanctuary of Thy protection and the Stronghold of Thy defence. Illumine my inner being, O my Lord, with the splendours of the Dayspring of Thy Revelation, even as Thou didst illumine my outer being with the morning light of Thy favour.
O my God, my Master, the Goal of my desire! This, Thy servant, seeketh to sleep in the shelter of Thy mercy, and to repose beneath the canopy of Thy grace, imploring Thy care and Thy protection. I beg of Thee, O my Lord, by Thine eye that sleepeth not, to guard mine eyes from beholding aught beside Thee. Strengthen, then, their vision that they may discern Thy signs, and behold the Horizon of Thy Revelation. Thou art He before the revelations of Whose omnipotence the quintessence of power hath trembled. No God is there but thee, the Almighty, the All-Subduing, The Unconditioned.
A RING UPON THE HAND
STRIVE THAT YOUR ACTIONS
The source of all good is trust in God, submission unto His command, and contentment with His holy will and pleasureTablets of Bahá’u’lláh/Words of Wisdom
MEANING OF WORDS
Source– where something comes from
- The source of the river was high in the mountain
Submission- accepting and yielding to a higher force or will
Written submission for children’s class teachers was sent out to our community
Contentment- a state of happiness and satisfaction
They finally found contentment in living a life of service
USE THE WORKSHEET
For any words, you are not sure of or record the ones above and save them in your notebook/lapbook Download here
SEND A POSTCARD WITH THE QUOTE TO A FRIEND PRINT OR EMAIL
The story has a historical component to give some background content. Also, there may be props for the story, videos, and other resources to use as you like
As the final lesson, we will learn about the life and Mission of Muḥammad, the last Manifestation Who appeared before the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.
Muḥammad was a Manifestation sent by God some 1400 years ago to the people who lived in the region we know as Arabia. You remember that one of the descendants of Abraham, Ishmael, was the father of the Arab people, and they had believed in the one true God and followed His teachings. But centuries had passed, and they had long turned away from Him and had forgotten how to live together peacefully. There were many warring tribes that worshipped idols and behaved in the most cruel and barbarous ways. The great capacity and rich potential of the Arab people were hidden behind veils of ignorance when Muḥammad appeared among them.
Muḥammad was born in the city of Mecca in the year 570 AD. As a young man, He became a merchant, and in His dealings with people He displayed such a sublime and noble character that He was known as “The Truthful” and “The Trustworthy”. At the age of forty, He became aware of His Divine Mission, while praying and meditating in the Cave of Hira. When Muḥammad began to share God’s Message, the people of Mecca rose up against Him, and for some twelve years, He and those who followed Him were the constant targets of the darts of hatred. At last, when Muḥammad’s very life was under threat, they migrated to the city of Medina. It was there that His Message spread rapidly, and many souls came to recognize His station as a Manifestation of God. He taught them that there is only one God to Whom we should turn in worship. It is God Whom we should trust, and by Whose Will we should all abide.
After several years in Medina, Muḥammad returned to His native city of Mecca, where the people also embraced His Cause. And through obedience to the laws and teachings that He revealed, the Arab people were eventually united and became renowned for their learning in the arts and sciences, reaching the greatest heights of civilization. The word “Islám” means “submission to God”, and the light of Islám, the religion founded by Muḥammad, shone across all of Arabia and beyond. His words were recorded in the Qu’rán, the Holy Book of His followers, and today all of humanity has access to His Divine Revelation.
There are 3 Stories in today’s lesson
Muḥammad’s father died before He was born, and His mother when He was only six. For most of His childhood and youth, He was raised by His uncle. There were no schools for formal education in Arabia at that time, and Muḥammad was not taught to read and write but learned the trade of His uncle, who was a merchant. Over time, as He helped His uncle with his business, Muḥammad gained a reputation for His integrity. He was called “The Truthful”, because He never told a lie, and “The Trustworthy”, because He never deceived anyone and always kept His word. His noble reputation eventually came to the attention of Khadija, a widow who was known for her purity. She came to admire Muḥammad’s honest and upright character. At the age of twenty-five, Muḥammad married Khadija, and they worked together as merchants.
Muḥammad was deeply disturbed by the way the people of Mecca lived. Thousands of years before, a sanctuary had been built in Mecca for the worship of one God as taught by Abraham. But this sacred place, known as the Ka’bah, had long been filled with idols, some say 360 of them, each with a different name and all worshipped by different tribes. These tribes were constantly at war, and when one tribe claimed victory over another, the women and children of the losing tribe were taken captive and suffered greatly as slaves to merciless masters. The region had sunk to the lowest depths of cruelty and despair. Muḥammad, unable to bear the godlessness and degradation of life in Mecca, would often retreat to the Cave of Hira, concealed in a mountain just outside the city, where He would pray and meditate. It was in this cave that Muḥammad, then forty years of age, became aware of His Divine Mission. All around Him He heard the voice of the Angel Gabriel, calling upon Him to speak out in the name of the Lord, God.
Muḥammad returned home and told Khadija what He had experienced. She became the first to recognize His station as a Manifestation and to accept His Message: that there is only one God, He Who had also spoken to the Manifestations of the past; that people should turn to God with humility, worship Him, trust in Him and be obedient to His Will; and that, in accordance with His Will, all people should be kind to one another, honest, and just. For some time, Muḥammad made His station known only to His close relatives and friends, some of whom chose to follow Him, including His cousin ‘Alí and His friend Abú-Bakr.
Eventually, Muḥammad proclaimed God’s Message to the people of His tribe. Only a few, however, understood the importance of His words and began to follow His teachings. They became known as Muslims. The others did not want to give up their old ways and live according to the laws of God. The idea of change angered them. They behaved with the utmost cruelty towards Muḥammad and the small but growing band of His followers. When Muḥammad spoke of God’s Message, they laughed at Him and attacked Him with stones. For years Muḥammad and His followers endured violent persecution. Some of His companions were killed and their property confiscated. From time to time, members of His tribe would try to persuade Muḥammad to stop spreading His teachings, in return for wealth or power. He, of course, would refuse. His uncle and His wife were greatly respected in Mecca, and they were able to act as Muḥammad’s protectors for a time. But after their deaths, both in the same year, life for Muslims in the city of Mecca became even more difficult.
After many years of suffering, Muḥammad was visited by two leaders from other tribes. They had decided to embrace His teachings and offered, in the city of Medina, a safe place for the Muslims to live. Muḥammad instructed His followers to move to Medina, and they gradually left Mecca for that city. His enemies, however, were determined to put an end to His life while they had the chance. They devised a plot to kill Him, and one night they surrounded His house with the intention of carrying out their plan. They could easily see inside the house and would know whether He tried to leave. So Muḥammad turned to His faithful cousin ‘Alí. He asked him whether he would be willing to cover himself with a blanket and pretend to be sleeping in His bed. Without hesitation, despite the danger to his own life, ‘Alí gladly accepted. Such was his love for God’s Manifestation. And, while ‘Alí lay resting on the bed, Muḥammad was able to leave the house undetected and join His friend Abú-Bakr.
According to tradition, Muḥammad and Abú-Bakr then made their way out of the city in the dark of night, guided by the moon and stars, and took shelter in a cave in the mountainous desert. By morning it had been realized that Muḥammad was gone, and His enemies were in fast pursuit of Him. As the sun rose, the sound of galloping horses grew louder, and Abú-Bakr was filled with fear. How could he protect Muḥammad here in the desert, he wondered. Abú-Bakr held his breath and listened as the enemies drew closer and closer until there were footsteps just outside the cave. Abú-Bakr heard voices, but he could not make out the words. He was certain that they would be found. But Muḥammad reassured him, reminding him that God was with them. And, indeed, the search party soon left, without even looking inside the cave. You see, there was a spider at the opening of the cave, and right after Muḥammad had entered, it had spun a huge web, closing off the entrance. When the men searching for Muḥammad reached the cave, they assumed no one could be inside it because the web was perfect and unbroken. It must have been a very long time since anyone had entered that cave, they thought. So they continued looking elsewhere, but with no success. Tired, frustrated and confused, they finally returned to Mecca empty-handed. Muḥammad and Abú-Bakr remained in the cave for three days to make sure the enemies had gone and then left through another opening, preserving the web that had served as their protection. With camels brought by a trusted friend, they set out for Medina, traveling by night for several days, until they, at last, reached that city safely. Muḥammad’s move from Mecca to Medina is known as the Hijrah.
From His new home of Medina, Muḥammad was able to teach God’s laws and commandments much more widely, and people from different tribes began to live together in harmony according to His teachings. Those who rejected them, however, were still determined to kill Muḥammad and His followers. The Muslims were steadfast in their faith and devoted to God and His laws. They did their utmost to avoid contention. But, they knew the cruelty of their enemies, and at times they were forced to take up arms to defend themselves and protect their children from enslavement. Over time, the sacrifices of the Muslims and their transformed way of life helped people to realize the truth of God’s Message.
There are many accounts that show the transformative effect of the spiritual powers that emanated from the Person of Muḥammad. In one such account, it is said that Muḥammad once awoke to find a soldier armed with a sword standing above Him, intending to take His life. The angry man asked, “Who is there now to save Thee?” Muḥammad replied that God would save Him. The soldier became afraid and dropped the sword, which Muḥammad picked up. He then asked the soldier who would save him. The man did not follow God’s teachings and realized that he was alone, with no one to come to his aid. Muḥammad did not harm the soldier but handed the sword back to him, telling him to learn to show forth mercy. The man was changed by this experience and devoted himself to Muḥammad and His teachings.
After several years the people of Mecca agreed to let the Muslims visit the holy sanctuary, the Ka’bah, where they could gather once a year to worship God. But soon the agreement collapsed, and the city was once again closed to the Muslims. The followers of Muḥammad now numbered in the thousands, and they went to Mecca en masse, ready to draw arms if necessary. But the people, seeing the waves of His followers approaching the city, surrendered without resistance. Muḥammad then made a pilgrimage, or hajj, to the Ka’bah, which He restored to a place of worship dedicated to the praise and glorification of the one true God.
Eventually, many of those who had at first rejected Muḥammad’s teachings came to believe in one God and changed their ways, striving to align their will with the Will of God. Through His words, which were recorded in a Holy Book called the Qu’rán, they learned to turn their hearts to God, especially through prayer and fasting, and to reflect those heavenly qualities that Muḥammad had manifested throughout His life. Under His influence, the people of the region rose from the sad condition in which He found them to the highest state of civilization. The warring tribes united and systems for organizing communities into well-ordered nations were established. Great universities were founded, knowledge of arts and sciences expanded, and new and beautiful forms of architecture emerged. At a time when other parts of the world were in decline, the Arab world flourished and the effects of Muḥammad’s teachings ushered in a whole new era of human civilization.
FROM BRILLIANT STAR MAGAZINE STORY
FACTS ABOUT MUHAMMAD
- Muḥammad was a Manifestation of God born in the city Mecca, in the Arabian region, in the year 570 AD.
- While engaged as a merchant, Muḥammad was often referred to as “The Truthful” and “The Trustworthy”.
- Muḥammad taught that there is one God, that people should turn to Him, worship Him, trust in Him, and be obedient to His Will.
- Muḥammad and His followers were persecuted by the people of Mecca and went to Medina, where His Message reached many souls.
- After several years in Medina, Muḥammad returned to Mecca and the people soon embraced His Cause.
- The words of Muḥammad are recorded in a Holy Book called the Qu’rán.
- Muḥammad’s Message united the Arabian tribes and raised their level of civilization.
Today we will act out the story of Zoroaster’s visit to the court of Vishtaspa, culminating in the king’s acceptance of Zoroaster’s Message.
- Need a Narrator: The part of the Manifestation Himself is never portrayed by a person.
- the scheming priests,
- and joyful courtiers.
- How do the courtiers express the joy in their hearts?
- How does Vishtaspa react to Zoroaster’s words?
- What expressions and gestures does he use to show his eagerness to hear more?
- How do the priests act when Zoroaster first arrives?
- How does their reaction change?
- What might they say to each other in plotting to have Him banished from the court?
Hula Hoop Pass
Have the group form a circle holding hands. Ask two people to let go of their grip long enough for them to place their hands through a hula hoop before rejoining them.
The team task is to pass the hula hoop around the circle in a specified direction until it returns to the starting point.
- Two lines stand facing each other and become teams.
- One player from each team, at the opposite end of the line, start by bowing to each other and calling out “Silly Willy”
- The two players then walk toward and past each other without laughter or smiling, while the teams attempt to make the passer-by from the opposite team burst into laughter. (specify beforehand that it all needs to be clean and appropriate)
- If a player should crack a smile, they join the line of their opponents.
5. The game ends when there is only one team left, or everyone is too laughed out to continue!
LAYERED PAPER: INSPIRED BY THE STORY OF ZOROASTER GOING TO THE MOUNTAINS
This is a layered paper scene of the mountain area where Zohrester went to pray and meditate to find the truth. The quote will be attached to this layered paper scene.
- Download pdf, print, and cut
- layer using foam tape or cardboard pieces so that each layer is slightly raised
IMAGES TO DOWNLOAD, PRINT, AND LAYER HERE
ACTIVITIES FROM THE AUSTRALIAN PEACE PACK
THE AUSTRALIAN PEACE PACK
Puzzle for Zoroaster HERE
Craft for Zoroaster HERE
FROM BRILLIANT STAR MAGAZINE
based on transforming people’s character
Try making a never-ending card. the pictures can be all the same as the video below, or have them transform from something like a cocoon to a butterfly, etc.
SCIENCE transforming kernels to popcorn
Nice activity that becomes the snack. Show the children how kernels transform into popcorn but need something for this to happen: heat and oil. Once it transforms, it takes up a different space and looks different. Here is a link for more information if needed
Waste not your time in idleness and sloth. Occupy yourselves with that which profiteth yourselves and others.Bahá’u’lláh – From “Bishárát” [Glad-Tidings]