Revival of Iqbal’s poetry by homeschoolers

Recently, a group of us homeschooling kids (age range 5-18) have been studying some of the great poet Allama Iqbal‘s poems. We take on one poem every week. Here’s how we do it:

We have a WhatsApp group which is kind of like an online class – more like a study group. After a new poem is announced, the participants choose activities for themselves, for example:

  • reading the poem aloud (a few of the kids really are brilliant at this, rhythm, echo and all)
  • copying the poem in writing
  • finding difficult words’ meanings from an Urdu dictionary (no Mr.Google support!)
  • doing some artwork based on the poem
  • coming up with the poem’s central idea or important points
  • relating the poem’s message with relevant Ayaat or Ahaadith
  • extending towards scientific knowledge if possible (eg. in the poem ‘Makra and Makkhi’)
  • video presentation in the form of puppet show or digital presentation
  • preparing a quiz, word search, crossword etc based on the poem, so that all the rest can attempt it…..and possibly also get gifts as was in one generous case of Br MZ (10)! (Real physical gifts, not just those emojis on WA – including a 10-rupee cash prize for each participant!!)

Our lovely teacher Aunty Asma sends simple but comprehensive explanations of the poem in audio form, which we listen to and then delve into the activities.

The participants submit their work on the group as they complete it and get feedback as well. Nearly all of the communication is in Urdu (the Urdu font, not Urdish) and that is also very beneficial. The kids are talented in a wide range of ways, ma sha Allah, and the younger ones are rapidly taking interest in their older siblings’ work (and vice versa!)

There’s a lot of energy (and great potential) in the group, and often the moms get involved too. All the participants scramble over each other to be the first to submit their work 😀 (Everyone is getting better and better at using Urdu keyboards too). Alhamdulillah we have completed 4 poems so far and everyone has had a wonderful experience. We are really looking forward to more poems!

In the last week of February 2020, we explored the poem ‘خطاب بہ جوانانِ اسلام’, (‘A Speech Dedicated to the Muslim Youth’). You can read the poem below:

Here is some of our work.

My friend Ruqayyah made a quiz to test the kids’ vocabulary on this poem. You can do it here.

And here’s the topper: the poem sung by one of the participants – MZ (10).

And, if you’re studying the poem too, you can do this fill-in-the-blank to see how much you remember! It was contributed by Aunty ZB and became a hit among all the young and old co-op members 🙂

خالی جگہ پُر کریں۔

کھبئ اے نوجوان مسلم!——بھی کیا تم نے۔

وہ کیا گردوں تھا تو جس کا ہے ایک ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ ہوا تارا۔

تجھے اس قوم نے پالا ہے ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ میں۔

کچل ڈالا تھا جس نے ۔۔۔۔۔۔ میں تاج سر دارا.

غرض میں کیا کہوں تجھ سے کے وہ———–کیا تھے۔

جہاں گیر و جہاں دار و———-و جہاں آرا۔

اگر چاہوں تو نقشہ کھینچ کر‐——— میں رکھ دوں۔

مگر تیرے تخیل سے—–‐—-ہے وہ نظارہ۔

تجھے ابآ سے اپنے کوئ ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ہو نہیں سکتی۔

کہ تو۔۔۔۔۔۔۔وہ کردار، تو ثابت وہ سیّارا۔

مگر وہ علم کے———کتابیں اپنے ابا کی۔

جو دیکھیں ان کو یورپ میں تو——-ہوتا ہے سیپارا۔

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