The proofs of prophethood
Believing in prophets and messengers is a key pillar of faith in Islam. This unit unpacks the nature and necessity of these individuals by first exploring the ethical need for guidance facilitated by prophets. Students then go on to examine two types of proofs of prophethood in detail: mind-based or cognitive proofs (e.g., miracles) and heart-based proofs (e.g., prophetic character traits).
Lesson 1: The need for prophetic guidance
This lesson invites students to think about the human need for guidance in all spheres of life. To do so, students will examine historical practices that were once culturally acceptable but are now morally reprehensible, suggesting the necessity of guidance from revelation, which is facilitated through prophets.
Lesson 2: Verifying prophethood: the Prophet’s ﷺ miracles
The second lesson analyzes the nature of miracles and how they function as cognitive (or “mind-based”) proofs of a prophet’s claim to prophethood. Students will focus on one of Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ physical miracles as a case study.
Lesson 3: Meeting Muhammad ﷺ: the prophet’s character
The third and final lesson shifts from studying physical miracles to examining affective (or “heart-based”) proofs. Students will explore five exemplary character traits of the Prophet (s) and reflect on how the accumulation of all these virtues in one person is itself a miracle. Students will end the lesson and unit by reflecting on how to love the Prophet Muhammad (s), emulate him in their own lives, and contribute to his legacy.
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The case for Allah’s existence
Is Allah real? How do we know God exists? Belief in God and the quest for existential truth is not always easy, especially in a social environment where faith is derided as superstition, wishful thinking, or even a dangerous fantasy. This unit begins by challenging this mindset before exploring a number of arguments that establish the existence of God in a way that speaks to both the heart and mind.
Why does God ask to be worshipped? (Coming soon)
This unit is in the process of being updated. Stay tuned!
Qur’an: The living literary miracle
The greatest miracle in Islam is the Qur’an. It is divine in nature and irreplicable, having been preserved over millennia. This unit will guide students through some major concepts that illustrate the Qur’an’s miraculous nature and why it is the word of God. By the end of the unit, students will find that the Qur’an’s revelation and compilation fit the highest markers of historical accuracy.
Conscious or coerced: Divine decree in Islam
This unit explores a difficult question brought up by Muslim youth and adults alike: if God has knowledge of all things and we are subject to His will and power, then how do we have free will? Students will explore the Qur’anic discourse on predestination and free will to equip them with the tools to navigate and resolve this apparent paradox.
How can evil coexist with a merciful God?
The ‘problem of evil’ is a major point of contention in philosophical and religious circles. To address the topic, this unit first clarifies the terms of the debate by explaining that human knowledge can never encompass the reality of ‘goodness’ or ‘evil.’ It then surveys how Islamic theodicies have responded to the problem of evil. The unit concludes by inviting students to explore how the prophetic model allows them to find meaning and be inspired to act positively in a world where ‘evil’ exists.