When you ask a child to look at the sky on a sunny day and tell you what he/she can see, what would be the most likely answer?
Its blue color, white clouds here and there, and a bright shining sun, maybe? I would guess so.
Now, how about sharing with them something amazing that would make them look at the sky a little differently next time.
Time for another awesome Quranic gem!
This time, you and your children can explore a perfect system at work that Allah ‘azza wa jall has put in place to make life on earth possible: the protective layer high up in the sky – the ozone layer.
Before we go on further to explain about the ozone layer in detail (and by the way, don’t worry, we won’t be using complicated scientific terms and jargons!), let’s start with a simple analogy that kids can grasp easily – in this case, the roof of the house.
The main purpose of the roof is to keep out extreme heat, rain and cold from harming the people inside the house. Ask your children to think: what would happen if a house doesn’t have a roof? Would we be able to live comfortably without it?
Then, we can explain to them that high, high up in the sky, Allah has created a special kind of roof for the Earth, known as the ozone layer.
Let’s check out the ayah in Surah Al-Anbiyaa’ that tells us about this (you can read this ayah along with its translation with your children):
“And We made the sky a protected roof, but they, from its signs, are turning away.” (Al-Anbiyaa’: 32)
Subhanallah. Scientists only discovered this fact in the early 20th century, yet Allah has revealed this knowledge to us in the Quran way before that!
Your ever-curious children would still want to know – why does the Earth need a roof, anyway?
Here’s why: although the sunlight has many great benefits, the sun actually produces different kinds of light. One of these is called ultraviolet (UV) ray that can harm our skin. The reason that we and other living creatures on Earth are able to live is because much of this harmful ray has been filtered.
Remind our children that we should always be grateful to Allah for creating this wonderful environment, and one of the many ways to do this is to do our bit in protecting it. Remember, it’s never too early to educate our children about caring for the environment.
Here are a few suggestions on further reading and activities that you can do together:
- Discuss what you can do to play a part in keeping the air clean. You can also refer to this page for more information.
- Explore the Ozzy Ozone website, part of the UN Environment Program aimed at increasing awareness among children about the ozone layer.
- Learn about World Ozone Day (Sept. 16) and find out local community/school programs that you and your children can participate in.