Literature: The Witch of Blackbird Pond

H and N are reading this book for their Junior High Homeschool Book Study Literature class with Lisa Testch. I love how Lisa conducts this class so far. I was supposed to have N and H continue with our history based on historical fiction lessons, but I figured that as long as they are reading this book, I might as well capitalize on it by having them learn more about this time in history. So I checked out some books about Puritans from the library and made it an assignment for them to read the book and tell me what they learned from it. This was what they read:

Life Among the Puritans

What makes it relevant and interesting is that they are currently engaged in discussing and reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Both children seemed interested in the subject as they shared what they read and learned with me. I stretched the discussion into comparing and contrasting Islamic values and Puritan values. The similar ones are the strong prohibition against gossiping, eavesdropping, idleness, slandering, stealing etc. They did mention that the punishments of the Puritan against these crimes are too harsh though.

When we were talking about this, the Shariah hand-cutting for stealing came up. It was a good opportunity to explain that this hadd in Islam is not to be taken that casually and generally and that there are certain conditions to be fulfilled in an alleged crime before the hadd takes place. Because people will say that Islam is barbaric because of these hudud, but in truth, there are certain pre-requisites to the carrying out of these hudood. There is also a principle in that the judge will try to find innocence. The point is not to punish, but to deal in justice. All conditions have to be met in order for these hudod to be carried out. Even if one condition is missing, the punishment cannot be carried out. It’s important for the kids to know this because they will come across people who will bash Shariah. Even adult Muslims don’t know enough about Shariah and some even shun it because they are taking the media’s reporting on it without exercising their own effort to learn more about it in a non judgmental way. May Allah guide us and help us understand our deen. Ameen.

I am happy that in the course of reading Life Among the Puritans, they seem to really understand the Reformation and seem to take an interest in it too! Reading historical fiction really brings history to life and I love that!

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Categories: Books, Historical fiction, History, Literature, Living Islam, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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