- Listen to a chapter each day and follow the talking transcript (app.arabicworkshop.com)
- Each lesson is approx 2-6min long
- Remember to discuss with colleagues/friends or post your reflections on social media
The seerah of the Prophet (saw) is something most Muslims are familiar with, even if just in passing. In our experience, using this particular reader series to learn the language fits the principles of optimal input in the following ways:
We learn language when we comprehend. But crucially we don’t need to understand every single detail, as long as we get the overall message. Our familiarity with the seerah helps us to be able to predict the context of the words we will hear and read, speeding up acquisition.
When you are interested in what’s going on, enjoying the events of the story, you learn without realising. What better story to be immersed in that the story of our beloved Prophet (saws).
When the story contains a wide variety of vocabulary, both familiar and unfamiliar, it helps with engagement and understanding and therefore improvement.
This series of stories contains a naturally wide range of vocabulary.
Abundant and gradual
Practice makes progress! You need repetition at all levels to be secure before progressing to something more challenging. And the step up to the next level shouldn’t be so big that it gets too hard too quickly.
We chose this series because there is a lot of material at a similar level without any great jumps in difficulty.
During the #100DaysOfArabic, we will release a unit each day for a total of 136 days (sorry- #136DaysOfArabic didn’t quite have the same ring to it) to complete the whole reader series. While each lesson is short, we expect that those taking part will need to spend more time re-listening, looking up new words, etc. We also strongly feel that the social aspect of discussing the story will significantly add to the acquisition process.
To help you familiarise yourself with the content, the following is a synopsis of each book:
Haashim bin Abdu Manaaf
We start our journey with Prophet Ibraheem (ahs) and travel right through to the Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) immediate family in the tribe of Quraysh, who preserve the honourable tradition of guarding the Ka’aba and caring for the pilgrims. We discover why Hashim (the pulverizer!) got his name in a year of terrible drought.
Abdul-Muttalib, Grandfather of the Prophet (saw)
Dreams of hidden zam-zam and resisting an army of elephants – the special life of the grandfather of Muhammad (saw).
Abdullah and Aminah
Destined never to meet his son, a man is taken ill far from home, and dies without knowing his wife is pregnant. They couldn’t know of the great wisdom and blessing that will come forth out of this tragedy.
Birth of the Messenger (saw)
A new name, a new future. Muhammad, the praised one, is born to much celebration.
As was the usual custom at that time, baby Muhammad (saw) is sent to a wet nurse for good food, fresh air and wholesome company. Unaware of the blessings this poor boy will bring her and her family, Halimah accepts him and cherishes him for six years.
Tragically losing those closest to him, one after another after another, young Muhammad’s (saw) future seems uncertain. But his trustworthiness and piety, combined with time spent in deep contemplation while herding sheep, are forming a solid foundation for things to come.
Khadijah bint Khuwaylid
Muhammad’s (saw) good manners and integrity are apparent to everyone who meets him. Wealthy noblewoman Khadijah realises how special he is.
Continuing his devotion to contemplation, Muhammad (saw) spends time alone in a cave, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. An unexpected visitor changes his life.
The First Muslims
Sharing the news of the revelation with only a trusted few, Muhammad (saw) begins to preach up in the mountains, away from stubborn folk hostile to any change.
As the message increases in popularity, the city leaders become angry. After his Uncle refuses to stop Muhammad (saw), the Quraysh step up their campaign against him and his followers.
Hijrah to Ethiopia
Harassed and persecuted, some of the Companions seek refuge in Abyssinia. The Quraysh are enraged and attempt to drag them back.
His hardest time: Muhammad (saw) suffers the loss of yet more loved ones.
There are hopes for a new beginning for the Muslim community with a move to a new city. Muhammad (saw) and his closest companion escape at the last minute and are hounded across the desert, but saved by a spider, and welcomed into the illuminated city.
The Battle of Badr
Although welcomed and supported in their new life, the Makkans do not forget what they left behind. Tensions rise and the Quraysh and Muslims meet at Badr.
The Battle of Uhud
After their defeat at Badr, the Quraysh seek revenge at Uhud. Muhammad (saw) loses another dear uncle.
Hypocrites and liars conspire against the Muslims, culminating in a 27-day siege and battle of wits. Their opponents are forced to realise the political and religious strength of the Muslims.
The Treaty of Hudaibiyyah
There are plans for a long-awaited visit back to Makkah, but Muhammad (saw) must negotiate to get there without further bloodshed.
The Call to Al-Islaam
Their safety assured by the treaty of Hudaibiyah, Prophet Muhammad (saws) and the Muslims spread the message of Islam further afield, sending messages to the Romans, Persians, Abyssinia and Egypt.
The Conquest of Makkah
After the terms of the treaty were broken by allies of the Quraysh, the Muslims set out to Makkah. Amazingly Abu Sufyan accepts Islam, battle is avoided and the Muslims enter Makkah in peace. At long last the idols are removed from the Ka’bah and the call to prayer is made out loud in Makkah.
The Battle of Hunain
The tribes of Hawazin and Thaqif come out to fight, so the Prophet (saws) is forced to prepare his troops in defence. The armies meet in a valley between Makkah and Ta’if.
The Tabuk Campaign
Alarming news arrives that the Roman Hercules is gathering an army to fight the Muslims. Prophet Muhammad (saws) asks the believers to gather their wealth and men to prepare a great army. They wait at Tabuk but the Romans do not arrive. On the way home the truth of the hypocrites’ plot is revealed.
The Farewell Hajj
The message of Islam has spread across the region and Muhammad (saws) has been accepted. It is time for his last pilgrimage to Makkah.
The Righteous Prophet
The Prophet (saws) showed kindness and love to everyone, whether they were young or old, strong or weak. He showed mercy to animals and was always considerate of people’s needs. He would help whoever he could and instructed those around him to do the same.
Death of the Messenger (saw)
Feeling unwell, Prophet Muhammad (saws) spends his last days in the house of Ai’ishah. He instructs Abu Bakr to lead the prayer in his stead. After meeting the people one last time he returns home where he will take his last breath.