MCEP 002 : Islamic integration in the Science classroom with Munazzah Shirwani

Abu Ruzayn (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “The example of a believer is like a bee which does not eat but good and does not produce but good.”  

[Sahih Ibn Hibban, 1/274, No. (246) and Al Jami` As-Saghir and its addition, 1/ 1079, No. (10786). The Hadith was graded as authentic by Sheikh Al Albany See: “Sahih Al Jami`” No. (5847).]

These early episodes of the Makkah Centric Education podcast are to help you get comfortable with the idea of Islamifying knowledge, i.e. making the learning Makkah-centric. We want you to see what that looks like so that you can start transforming your classrooms today. And today’s episode does just that.

On the show today is Munazzah Shirwani, an Islamic School teacher and a graduate of the Islamic Teacher Education Program. The challenges she faced early in her career inspired her to seek out mentorship and explore new ways of teaching and interacting with her Muslim students. This lead her to the world of Islamic pedagogy where she now tries to make Islamic integration part of her teaching practices.

In this episode, Munazzah shares with us how she turned her grade 7 & 8 spilt class into a lab of Muslim scientists tackling an important environmental and social issue from an Islamic world lens. No doubt integrating Islam into a unit from the Ontario science curriculum is quite the challenge, but hear us talk about the importance of vulnerability and growth for both the teacher and students. It’s a learning journey for all.

Listen to Munazzah break down her science unit on the effects of pesticides on bees and how she effectively incorporated Islamic pedagogy and inquiry based learning to create an authentic and enthusiastic learning lab of Muslim scientists eager to discover, learn, and solve a real life environmental issue whilst growing to appreciate the beauty in Allah’s creation of the bee.

I am so inspired and could even feel an iman boost by just listening to Munazzah explain how transformative the unit was for herself and her students. I’m positive you’ll enjoy it just as much.

In the episode, you’ll learn:

  • What ITEP taught her about Islamic pedagogy
  • How a eurocentric education is problematic
  • What Islamic integration is
  • How to network and connect with other educators
  • What inquiry based learning is and why it works well with Islamic pedagogy
  • How state curricula are limited in developing the whole child
  • How to rephrase the definition of science to highlight divine supremacy and launch a lesson from a monotheistic worldview
  • The idea of stewardship or khilaafa and uboodiyah at the heart of and leading the learning experience
  • Why being vulnerable and not trying to be the expert on every topic can enrich the learning experience
  • What are some authentic resources to develop literacy and critical literacy and anti-biased perspectives
  • How Islamic pedagogy impacts us and our students as worshipers of Allah and how the new knowledge compels us to act
  • What are some examples of other topics to explore in science to connect learning to real social events
  • How you can participate in the edcamp Munnazzah is planning

Resources mentioned in this episode

Jazakallahu Khair for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

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Special thanks to Munazzah for joining me this week. Until next time!

5 comments on MCEP 002 : Islamic integration in the Science classroom with Munazzah Shirwani

  1. Munazzah says:

    Thank you Zahra it was a pleasure to chat with you!
    Jazakillah khayr

    1. Zahra Osman says:

      The pleasure was all mine!

  2. Samira says:

    Mashallah Zahra and Munazzah, this was an enlightening interview!
    Alhamdulilah for teachers like you who inspire muslim learners and other Islamic teachers . May Allah swt put a lot of barakah in your work and help muslim students integrate Islamic education and the secular in a way that benefits them in in this world and the next.
    I really enjoyed this episode especially that I’m passionate about environmental issues and it’s very important that we muslims understand that there are solutions in our beautiful religion. This was a great introduction and example of how integration education from an Islamic perspective and vision works and helps a muslim student live in a purposeful way .

    1. Zahra Osman says:

      Jazakillahu khairan Samira for your kind words and review. You’re absolutely right. What was so impressive about Munazzah and her unit was that she was able to take a textbook unit on cells and the environment to come up with a creative theme that tackled an important social and environmental issue. She did this while helping guide her students’ intentions to remind them of their believe in Allah and the necessities of acting on those beliefs through fruitful actions.
      I can go on forever about how authentic and transformative her lesson was, but I’ll save that for the next time she comes on the show! It was an absolute pleasure having her on and I’m happy you enjoyed it as much as I.

  3. Umm Sumayyah says:

    Some of the stories hit straight home.
    The deen has to be incorporated into every subject without even trying hard because everything in life has a natural connection to Islam in one way or another.
    It’s also important for kids to feel a connection to what they’re learning. It’s true that the education system is heavily euro-centric and stories are only being told through one lense.
    In shaa Allah, the more discussions is raised, the better changes can be made.

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