Thursday, February 9, 2012

Islam and the Middle Ages/Islam im Mittelalter

It's impossible to understand the crusades of the Middle Ages without learning about Mohammed and his new religion.  We have spent several days now on this topic.  The life of Mohammed is beautifully illustrated and retold in Demi's book Muhammad.
We followed that with a description of the five pillars of Islam (Faith, Prayer, Alms-giving, Pilgrimage to Mecca, and Fasting).  The dvd Seven Wonders of the Muslim World combined these pillars with a description of seven of the most famous mosques from around the world.  We watched several young people from those mosques making their first pilgrimages to Mecca.  I'm always amazed at the intricate details of Islamic art and love the blue color it uses.  To learn more about mosques we will also be reading Mosque by David Macaulay.  Our main lesson book entries will be a summary of what we've learned, plus a few verses from the Koran.

Um die Kreuzzüge im Mittelalter richtig einzuordnen, muß man sich natürlich mit Mohammed uns seiner neuen Religion auseinandersetzen.  Wir haben das jetzt mehrere Tage lang getan.  Das Leben Mohammeds kann man wunderbar in Demis Buch verfolgen.  Anschließend haben wir uns mit den fünf Säulen des Islams beschäftigt, nämlich Glaube, Gebet, Almosen, Pilgerreise nach Mekka und das Fasten.  Eine DVD aus der Bücherei hat diese Säulen mit sieben bedeutenden Moscheen in einen Film verwandelt, bei dem man verschiedene junge Menschen auf ihrer ersten Pilgerreise nach Mekka begleitet.  Ich bin immer wieder von der liebevollen Hingabe zum Detail in der islamischen Kunst beeindruckt und auch von der Leuchtkraft der Farbe Blau.  Um noch mehr über Moscheen zu lernen, wollen wir noch das Buch Sie bauten eine Moschee von David Macaulay lesen.  Eine Zusammenfassung soll noch ins Heft, wahrscheinlich auch noch einige Verse aus dem Koran.

Some pictures of the day: Learning to ride a bike and a trike.  Noch ein paar Bilder des Tages: Radfahren und Dreiradfahren lernen.        


  1. Ich finde diese besondere Hingabe und Liebe zum Detail in der islamischen Kunst auch sehr beeindruckend.

  2. hello eva, thanks so much for posting about your islamic studies. it's fascinating. do you have the koran at home? or do i remember you saying your library actually had it?

    i love the bicycle/tricycle pictures! what wonderful moments to remember :)

    1. We got it from our local library, it's actually in our branch right here. I have one copy "at home," that is in Germany. A friend of mine gave it to me many years ago because I was in a theology program at the university.

      I had a little Muslim friend when I grew up. I think I was in second grade. Back then nobody knew very much about Muslims, there were only those who came from Turkey to work in Germany. They were not treated nicely. My little friend was made fun of because she believed in Allah. I remember comforting her because of the unkind words of the other children. I also remember how nice her parents were.

      When I was older I participated in an international work program at a nursing home in Berlin. One of the participants was from northern Africa and was a Muslim. I remember having many conversations with him about his faith. I was trying to understand his religion and he was trying to understand Christianity. He had never been out of his country and everything was so different to him.

      As you can see, I've had several "encounters" with this religion. I've always liked to learn what other people believe.


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