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A code for life

Finding guidelines for life

by Helen Redfern

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)

Aims

To find some guidelines to live by.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a leader and two readers.
  • Have available the Truetube video Alien Abduction: Islam and the means to show it during the assembly (available at: www.truetube.co.uk/film/alien-abduction-islam). It is 5.48 minutes long.
  • Choose some reflective music, perhaps by Enya, and have the means available to play it at the end of the assembly.

Assembly

Reader 1 What’s up with you? You look pretty miserable.

Reader 2 I’m not miserable, more confused, really. It feels like there are so many choices to make. Every minute of every day, there’s something to decide on. Sometimes it’s really obvious what the right thing to do is, but, often, it’s so hard to know which is the right path to take. I wish life came with a manual or something.

Reader 1 I know what you mean. My sister is revising for her theory test for driving at the moment and I’m having to test her on the Highway Code. It would be great to have a Highway Code on how to get through life.

Reader 2 Yes, I’d definitely buy one of those. Have you been doing about Muhammad in RE? We have. When he was 40, he was in a cave asking the same sorts of questions I’m asking myself right now. What’s the meaning of life? What is it all about? How can I best live?

Reader 1 Oooh and how did he find his answers? Back then they didn’t have Google or anything.

Reader 2 God sent the Archangel Jibra’il to him and showed him how to enlighten other people about how to live better lives. Like that could ever happen to us!

Reader 1 Probably not. I’d be scared out of my skin if an angel showed up. So did Muhammad write a Highway Code for life then?

Reader 2 Sort of. Muslims today still follow his teachings. I’m not sure exactly what those teachings are, though.

Leader (Say name of Reader 2) is right, you know. People of faith often find it helpful to follow the guidelines for life set down by their prophets and leaders. The man in the video clip I shall play in a moment is no exception. Ajmal Masroor is a Muslim. He follows the religion of Islam, which is rooted in the teachings of the prophet Muhammad. Have a look at the video and see what guidelines for life you can pick up.

Show the Truetube video Alien Abduction: Islam.

Leader So do you think Ajmal lives by some sort of code?

Reader 1 Well, yes, he certainly pointed to a lot of guidelines there. He seems to have very clear views about how humans should behave. For him, it is important to eat halal food, dress modestly, pray five times a day, fast in the month of Ramadan, visit Hajj once in your lifetime, give to charity and shave a baby’s head at birth. Wow, I did well to remember all that, didn’t I? I’m not a Muslim, though, so those guidelines don’t mean a lot to me.

Reader 2 No, but maybe that is the way Muslims choose to live according to two more basic guidelines.

Reader 1 What are those two more basic guidelines?

Reader 2 Be good to God and be good to others. Develop a good relationship with God. Be aware of his presence all around you. Be decent to your fellow human beings. Be kind, sharing and caring. All those other guidelines spring out of these two – be good to God and be good to others.

Reader 1 I can see that. It does simplify this code for life a lot, but what if I don’t believe in God?

Reader 2 Well, for all the people out there like you who don’t believe in God, I would say that you can still choose to live by the final guideline. You can still choose to be kind, sharing and caring. Imagine what the world would be like then!

Leader You are both certainly giving this a lot of thought. Following a religion does help many people to have a code for life. As (say name of Reader 2) says, however, you can develop a simple code for life, whatever your belief system.

Time for reflection

As we bring this assembly to a close, let us focus on that final simple guideline – to be kind, sharing and caring.

Let us think about how we use our time. Are we willing to give of our time to listen to others?
May we be kind, sharing and caring.

Let us think about how we spend our youth. Do we make the most of our health, our energy and our vitality?
May we be kind, sharing and caring.

Let us think about the money and possessions that we have. Are we willing to share what we have with others?
May we be kind, sharing and caring.

Let us think about our families, friends and all who care for us. Do we ever tell them or show them how much we appreciate all that they are and do?
May we be kind, sharing and caring.

Let us think about our skills and talents. Do we use the gifts that we have been given for the good of others?
May we be kind, sharing and caring.

Thank you for listening to this assembly today. I hope that you have found it helpful. It can be hard to navigate your way through life when there are so many choices and suggestions out there. It can be confusing, frustrating and even scary.

I hope that you have been encouraged today to consider how to discover your own code for life. Whatever guidelines you choose to live by, if we are all kinder and share and care more, the world will be a better place. There is no doubt about that.

Music

Play chosen reflective music 

Publication date: May 2014   (Vol.16 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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