Back in 2009, when I first moved to the Gulf, I worked as a teacher in Abu Dhabi. I taught Grade 1 kids, five and six-year-olds everything apart from Arabic and Islamic. When they ran back to me after Islamic, they would tell me little bits of what they had learned, but occasionally I couldn’t help but feel they were embellishing a little on what their teacher had taught them.
Here are some of the bits of information and insight they gave me.
They love Allah, a lot.
Allah lives in a star in the sky, and he can see the whole world.
He watches all of us and he knows when we tell lies or say bad words about our Moms and Dads.
Isn’t he busy watching everyone all the time? No, because Allah is strong.
If Allah wanted to he could come down and box you in the face right NOW.
If you are very good and you do what Allah says in the Koran, Allah will give you any-any-anything you want, you can wish for anything.
Shaitan (the devil – Satan?) lives in the fire. He used to be very, very good, but then he didn’t do what Allah said so Allah put him in the fire. (not unlike Lucifer)
Sometimes, Shaitan comes into our heads and tells us to do bad things.
They exchanged looks of shock when they asked me if I am Muslima and I said no. My favourite boy, Ibrahim then told me I am going to go to the fire because I am not Muslim, but luckily for my mortal soul, he took it back a few minutes later saying “It’s okay, miss. You are good. I think Allah not put you in the fire because you are good”
Is Allah a boy or a girl? I got a couple of different answers here. Two of the boys felt very strongly that Allah is definitely a boy, but the other two reckoned Allah can do whatever he wants, and he can be a boy or a girl, depending on what kind of mood he’s in, I presume.
Out of the mouths of babes.
*Note: Ramadan Kareem to all my Muslim readers. Please know this post is meant to highlight the innocence and cuteness of the kids I used to teach, and what happens when little people start talking about grown up topics. It’s not intended in any way to be disrespectful.
Katie Harrington is a 28-year-old travel and lifestyle blogger from Galway, Ireland.
“I’m passionate about seeing the world and meeting people from different countries. I love noticing the similarities and differences between people around the world. In a divided world, I genuinely believe that experiencing other cultures first hand is one of the best ways to combat prejudice.
“In between travel, I write about Irish events, restaurants, and news, as well as opinion pieces on topical issues.”