2020 April Class notes for April 12 from various students for the same class

Word Counts -100 required
DJ 18 M
HH 16 F
MZ 15 M 644
HL 14 M 1024
AS 14 F
DH 13 F
FH 12 F 233
QH 11 F 322

4/13/2020 Q.H 11-year-old Female Word Count 322

            Today I went to class, I arrived at 9:30 which is exactly when class starts. Today we did not test out. We started off by talking. We talked about many things.

           We started off talking about when during an important prayer, a man needed medical assistance. It took a while for help to get to him because many cars were parked where they weren’t supposed to. It made it hard for the ambulance to get and help him. People do this a lot. People park in front of driveways, and other places where they shouldn’t. When you are asking for forgiveness, your hands are dirty. Not literally. When we ask for something, our hands are clean. But we must ask for forgiveness before we ask for something. “Thank you, my lord, forgive me, my lord, bless us, my lord. This is something we should say to God. Thank you, because we should be grateful for everything we have. Forgive me, because I didn’t thank you enough. Bless us, which is asking for blessings.

           When you do something bad on your way to good, you get fewer credits the person who did not do bad and did only good. We also talked a little about Ramadan. Ramadan is a time where we fast to understand what some people go through. We won’t be having class during Ramadan.

After talking about these things, we got introduced to a new student. After some talking with him, we watched part two of the prophet’s life documentary. I fell asleep during this, and when I woke up, I was off the call. I couldn’t get back on, so I went into the other room and sat next to my sister because she was on call. We were talking about class and how we all like it, how it affects us, and if we think he will like it. The class ended after that.

Class of April 5th, 2020. Essay written by a 14 year old male highschool freshman. Word Count 1024

This week in the Green Stairs Leadership Academy I checked into the online Zoom conference call at approximately 9:10 A.M, however the class was meant to start at 9:30 A.M. I had joined the session early simply due to the fact that I had been told by the head teacher that I would be hosting the session. My homework for the previous week was to memorize Ayatul Kursi and write my essay. I completed my homework assignment. Subsequent to my joining the session, I, along with one of the adult students had been attempting to figure out how to share my computer screen with the Zoom conference call in order for us to be able to share a movie with the class. After continuous trial and error, we had eventually figured out how to share my screen with the Zoom call. Not too long after solving the initial problem, we ran into another problem. The film we were to watch that class was only available on Amazon Prime and required a small fee in order to be played. Fortunately, the teacher had previously purchased the film on Amazon Prime and thus we had him share his screen with the class rather than I. The film we were to view went by the name of Moozlum. Although this is not the proper English spelling for the word which refers to the followers of the Islamic faith, the title of the film referred to how the typical American would likely pronounce the name of the film in the case of them not being familiar with the faith.

            Although we had previously viewed the film in class multiple times, the teacher decided to play it again in case there were some key points which hadn’t been noted by the students in the previous class. We started the film at about 45 minutes in as that was where we had left off at the end of the previous class. 

            To summarize the film briefly, a young man named Tariq who grew up in a strict Islamic household and attended a madrassa as a schoolboy started attending a mainstream university. At the madrassa he attended when he was younger, he was often beaten and abused when he did not recite the Holy Qur’an correctly. This caused him deep psychological damage and once he entered college, he began to distance himself from the faith he was brought up with. He began to go to parties, drink alcohol, and stopped praying. At one point in the year, 9/11 happened, which was the most devastating terrorist attack to happen on American soil. Following the 9/11 attack, many people began to harass Muslims. Even people who weren’t Muslim were harassed as many viewed Islam as a religion that only belonged to Middle-Easterners and South-East Asians. Although up to this point Tariq did not claim Islam, after his sister and many other Muslims on campus started getting harassed he stood up for them and he paid dearly. He was beaten brutally and had to witness his friend Hamza go to the hospital due to various injuries. At the end of the film, he decided to come to terms with his identity as a Muslim.

            Although I can’t personally relate too much with the story, I do know of several individuals in my life who strayed away from Islam but eventually came back when it came to defending their religion. It is very important to make sure that your deen (faith) is strong and especially as important to know what you are saying when you pray. My main takeaway from this film is the fact that good parenting is crucial when it comes to raising a child in the west with a strong deen and it isn’t something that should be taken lightly. 

            After the film, the teacher transitioned into the main lecture for the class. The first point we covered was the concept of socks. For example, let’s say that there are two people in the middle of a blizzard and neither of them have socks. The logical answer would be to make a quick trip to Walmart or any local department store and buy a cheap pair of socks. Unfortunately, there are some people in this world who refuse to wear Walmart socks and would only wear designer socks. This concept of socks ties in perfectly with our current COVID-19 climate. In South Africa and I’m sure in many other parts of the world, there are people that aren’t praying because they can’t go to the mosque due to the CoronaVirus. Islam tells us to pray either way as prayer is obligatory whereas prayer specifically conducted within the boundaries of the mosque is not. The next topic which we discussed was holy holidays in Christianity. One of the adult students in our class is a convert who is a former member of the Catholic Church. He explained to us the Catholic holiday of Lent which is solemn religious observance in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later, before Easter Sunday. He also explained to us that Easter is the holiest of Christian holidays and commemorates the resurrection of Christ.

            The next topic we covered was our role as human beings on this earth. According to Islam, the main goal for Muslims is to make the world a better place. Based on where I currently am in my life, my job at this point in time is to be a good student and maintain high grades in school. If I can manage to do this, I will set myself in a good position to improve the world in every way I can. The next concept we discussed was the importance of Surah Fatiha and Ayatul Kursi. The final concept we discussed was how ‘God’ is spelled with two O’s. If one spells God with two O’s what is written down comes out as ‘Good’. This is essentially an easy way to remember the fact that anything associated with God is good.

Class Of 04/12       MZS 15 Yr Old Male  Word Count 644

     This week, I came to class with my weekly Essay done. We were pretty comfortable with online class at this point, and were able to conduct class smoothly. 

     We started class by talking about how people lose “points” when going to the mosque. Usually, it is pretty hard to find a parking spot when you are going to the mosque. So, some people park in other people’s driveways. As a result of that, if someone in the house has an emergency and needs help, it will be much harder for Paramedics to get to them. Which results in you losing “points” because you harmed someone else by blocking their driveway. This made me realize how we should think before doing anything, because it could affect someone very badly.

     After that, we talked about the types of people who ask God for help. First, there are people with dirty hands. This represents people who need forgiveness for something they’ve done. Which would mean that they need to be forgiven before getting their request accepted. Then, there are people with clean hands. This stands for people who don’t need to be forgiven for anything, and also pray. These people are more likely to have their request accepted than people with dirty hands. Lastly, there are people with supercharged hands. These are the people who don’t need to be forgiven for anything, but still ask for forgiveness to be grateful. This increases the chances of their request being accepted even more. This helped me change how I request God for things.

     Then, we discussed a phrase that the main teacher says everyday to be grateful. This phrase consists of you thanking god, asking god for forgiveness, and finally asking god to bless “us.” You thank god before asking for forgiveness to show that you appreciate everything that you  have been blessed with. Then, you ask for god to forgive you for anything you’ve done. Lastly, you ask god to bless “us” because the prophet refused to keep the blessings for himself. So, you follow in his footsteps. This educated me on how to praise god everyday in ways other than praying. 

     The next topic we talked about was how there is a time and place for everything. For example, if you were listening to the Quran while driving and lost focus. You are accountable for whatever you may have done because there is a time (when you are free) and place (somewhere where you can read comfortably) for reading/listening to the Quran. This made me notice how I’ve asked god to help me when I’ve done things when I’m not supposed to be, which is my fault. 

     We continued on to talking about the pen and pencil concept. This concept explains how some things in your life are written in pen while other things are written in pencil. Things written in pen can’t change, for example the date when you die. While things written in pencil can be changed with prayer. For example, you can ask god to help make sure that there are no distractions while you are taking a test. However, you can;t ask God to make you pass the test because that is your responsibility to study for the test beforehand. This helped me realize why some things in life are the way they are even though I prayed.

     Lastly, we discussed manners and morals. These were things that everyone should know and obey. These Morals and Manners consisted of not lying, not spying, not insulting, returning greetings in a better manner, and respecting your elders. These were things that I thought were very important because some people don’t follow some of them. 

     We then ended class by continuing the BBC documentary about prophet Muhammad life, and watching a video about Prophet Muhammad and his wife.

F.H 12 Years old F /412/2020

This week we had another virtual class and I think it was great.

This week the teacher talked about how if you are asking god for forgiveness you need to have dirty hands meaning that you need to have doe something wrong in order to ask god for forgiveness.

One other thing that I learned this week from the teacher is that if you are a good banker with god then god will take you seriously

One important thing that the teacher reminded me of this week was to say thank you for the fact that you can say thank you.

The other thig that teacher talked about was that in our prayer we need to always ask for forgiveness that we don’t thank God as much as we need to.

As we all know Ramadan is getting closer and closer and we talked a little bit about it and we also planned to talk more about it next week. Ramadan, also referred as the Fasting month, is observed by Muslims worldwide in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar year. The Ramadan meaning in Arabic is ‘Scorching heat’ possibly because the holiday falls in a time when the temperatures are quite high in that part of the world. 

                For next week I will get ready for class and make sure that I do my homework.

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