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Introduction

Unit overview, learning objectives and content standards

Lesson 1: Human limitations and biases

In this lesson, students will reflect on the differences between the finite nature of humans (with a focus on our limited knowledge) and God’s infinite and unlimited nature. When the limited human mind attempts to grasp God’s full reality, it tends to impart human-like qualities to God, and therefore thinks of God as asking to be glorified and obeyed based on human motives such as neediness. Students will learn that to attribute limited human qualities to the Divine is called anthropomorphism and that while humans may share certain aspects of qualities with God such as sight and mercy, these human versions are only poor facsimiles of the greater and more perfect traits of God.

Lesson instructions
1.1 In-class activity | Anthropomorphic bias
1.2 Homework | Anthropomorphizing god
1.3 Teacher’s reference | Anthropomorphizing god
Presentation

Lesson 1: Optional extension

The optional extension addresses an apparent paradox in Lesson 1: the Qur’an describes God as utterly unlike His creation while also describing Him using traits and attributes familiar to humans. At the end of this optional lesson, students will find clarity by recognizing that God uses language in order for us to know Him, even though language cannot encapsulate His full reality.

Lesson instructions
Presentation

Lesson 2: Indebted to God

This lesson attempts to bring to life some of God’s divine names and attributes. Students will be able to conclude that God’s requests and demands for worship arise both from His absolute power and will, as well as from His compassionate regard for our well-being and benefit. By considering the immense blessings He has bestowed upon His creation, students will feel compelled to worship Him.

Lesson instructions
2.1 In-class activity | God: the One worthy of worship
2.1a Teacher’s reference | God: the One worthy of worship
Presentation

Lesson 2: Optional extension

The extension introduces students to a holistic definition of “worship” that applies to all aspects of human life, including both ritualistic and non-ritualistic forms of worship, involving the human mind, body, and heart. By the end, students will realize that holistic worship involves submitting to God in all aspects of one’s life.

Lesson instructions
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Lesson 3: God’s mercy and human benefit

The final lesson of this unit invites students to reflect on how God’s command to worship Him truly benefits humans. To do so, this lesson aims to shift the modern belief that “benefits” are whatever provide instant gratification to a more holistic understanding that true benefit generates individual and collective good in this world and the next.

Lesson instructions
3.1 In-class activity | Charting benefits
3.2a In-class activity | What’s in it for me?
3.2b In-class activity | What’s in it for me?
3.2c In-class activity | What’s in it for me?
3.2d In-class activity | What’s in it for me?
3.3 Homework | Benefits reflection
3.4 Teacher’s reference | What’s in it for me?
Presentation

References

References

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Unit 1.6

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