2020 April Class notes for April 5 from various students for the same class

Word Counts for class of April 4 2020
DJ 18 M – 804 words of 1000 required
F.H 12 F 500 words of 1000 required
D.H 13 F 1065 words of 1000 required Q.H 11 F 405 words of 1000 required MZS 15 M 498 words of 1000 required HL a 14-M . 1009 words of 1000 required A.S 14 F 545 words of 1000 required HH 16 F 1564 of 1000 required

DJ 18 years old  Male  Class of 4/5/20804 words of 1000 required

Today’s online class on Zoom was a little different from our normal class because we did not have a meditation session and we also did not have a testing session, so I did not test out this class. We jumped right into our lecture and we also watched a video and a documentary.

Some things that I learned during the lecture, was that you should try to be the best Muslim you can be and this can relate to the sock concept by you trying to wear the best sock there is, even tough is not the prefect one. I also learned that a person who has recently converted to Islam can still pray the prayers, even if they do not know Arabic or know what they are saying. What matters is the intention that they have in their mind so that they can become closer to god and achieve the deeper meaning that they get out of it spiritually.

We also talked about how each Muslim is at a different point in their lives in terms of their religious practice and Iman and how it can change from time to time depending on their religiosity and age. A Muslim who is 50 years and older would be more concerned with their level of religiosity because they realize half their life is already gone and they do not have a lot of time left, so they must try to be the Muslim they can be and try to get rid of any past sins they might have committed earlier in their life. A Muslim who is a teenager or in their 20’s might not be as religious as an older person for various reasons including being too busy with their education, career, and building their future. What younger Muslims need to realize is that they do not need to lower or abandon their religiosity because of the excuse of being too busy for worldly things.

 What each person must do is that they must have a balance between their religion and their career and personal lives. Often the problem is that some people only focus on religion too much and ignore their education and career for which they suffer for In the future and some people completely ignore their religiosity and are too focused on their personal lives, for which they will unfortunately most likely, weaken or lose their faith.

I also learned that there is a hadith where the Prophet tells us to check your shoe for scorpions before putting your shoes on. While a person who has seen this Hadith for the first time may think this hadith does not make sense since there is no scorpions in our shoes, they are not using there context skills and trying to dig deeper into what the true meaning of the Hadith is. The true meaning of the Hadith is that you should always check your shoes for anything before putting them on. You do not want to get your toes or feet stung by a bug.

When you apply this Hadith to a modern context, it is essentially saying that you should always try to value and protect your lives by double checking to make sure it is safe before you partake in something or put something on.

We also talked about Christianity and its various holidays that it includes such as Palm Sunday, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. Palm Sunday is important to Christians because it commemorates Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Ash Wednesday is a holy day of fasting and prayer, Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus, and Easter Sunday commemorates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead as described in the New Testament. I also learned about the last supper, which Christians believe was the last meal Jesus had before he was crucified and the bread represents his body, which will be broken and the wine represents his blood, which will be shed at the crucifixion.

After talking about Christianity, we talked about the Muslim holiday known as Shab E Barat which is a holiday observed on the 14 and the 15 of Sha’aban, which is the 8 and 9th of April for the Gregorian calendar. The reason why Muslims celebrate this holiday is because it is the night of forgiveness and it is where god forgives all sins and Muslims are encouraged to ask for forgiveness through prayers. Fasting is also recommended but not mandatory.

 After that, we spend the rest of class watching a 2011 British documentary about the Prophet Muhammad and it was pretty well done and very informative. The documentary did not seem to have a negative bias or message it was trying to slip in about the Prophet and Islam, like some documentaries try to do. It was pretty fair and objective.     

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F.H 12 Years old F 4/5/2020 500 words of 1000 required

This week was just a normal one except we still have to meet to meet virtually, and we also watched movie, we were planning to watch the movie right at 9:30 but there was a technical issue and we ended up watching the movie at the middle of class.

This week the teacher explained the socks concept for another time, and from what I understood the socks concept just means, that be the best you can, even if you can’t do something in a way that others do just do it the best way YOU can.

This week we discussed the book “reading the Quran”, we were supposed to read up to page 12 but Honestly most of us did not read the preface of the book therefore we planned to actually discus the book next week. During this book discussion we talked about the author and if we should take him seriously or not and after a short talk, we agreed that we should take him seriously, because this book is telling us how to understand Islam from the author’s perspective.

This Sunday I learned that there is a time and place for everything, which also means that we need to have common sense. For example if you are in the car and you are listening to the Quran and you are totally into it that you go past the red light and when the police stops you say I was listening to Quran, it is still your fault that is not the right time to listen to the Quran.

Today we also talked about the 15 of Shaaban and how that night is the night of forgiveness, and if you ask god for forgiveness he is most likely to accept it form you, From what I learned is that most people fast on that night.  Every year, Shab-e-Barat is observed on the night between the 14 and 15 of Shaaban, the eighth month of the Islamic calendar. In Islam, Shab-e-Barat means the night of forgiveness, or Day of Atonement. It is the night when God forgives his people.

This week we brought up Easter and we talked and a little bit more about it I learned that Easter is the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and held (in the Western Church) between March 21 and April 25, on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox.

Today I leaned from the teacher to respect the Christians just like they respect us and they have their big days and we have ours, but we still have remember their big days just like most of them remember our big days, even if they just something it makes you feel like you have people who care about you. 

For next I will try to get the English and the Arabic of Sourate Al-Inshirah done and review the old stuff so that I do not forget it.

4/5/2020  D.H Female 4/6/2020 1065 words of 1000 required

I logged on Zoom at 9:36 am. When I entered Zoom and went into the breakout room with my assigned teacher. I was expected to know everything you say/do in salah (Arabic and English), Surah al-Naas (Arabic and English), Surah al-Falaq (Arabic and English), Surah al-Kawthar (Arabic and English), Surah al-Ikhlas (Arabic and English),  and Surah al-Asr (Arabic and English). 

I tested out the entire salah in Arabic and English. Then I tested out all the Surahs I was supposed to know except one: al-Asr. I had forgotten about al-Asr. While the others were testing out I took the time to learn al-asr. I then tested out everything again including all the surahs and al-asr.

We talked about many things in class. We started out by talking about Prophet Moses (PBUH) and how his mother put him into a small basket when he was a baby. His mother put the basket into the Nile river so he could be protected from the pharaoh. The river eventually led the basket to the pharaoh’s palace. The pharaoh’s sister was a widow who did not have any children. She took Prophet Moses (PBUH)  in as her son 

The next thing we talked about was that Surah al-Fatiha and Ayat al-Kursi have a connection and are both very important. The reason is that they praise god 100%. Our teacher told us that we Surah Al-Fil when in trouble. Something our teacher has said many times is that you should never force Islam or any religion on anyone. He told us that most parents do that to their children. Watching Mooz-lum taught me that forcing religion on someone can make them turn away from it and lead them to hate it. 

We talked about a Hadith. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that “after you pray you should check your shoes to make sure there aren’t any scorpions in them”. If you live in the Middle East where there are still scorpions then this Hadith’s meaning will be very literal for you. But the main idea for it is to tell you about the value of protecting your life. The logic from this Hadith applies in everyday life for everyone just not in the literal meaning.

Shab E Barat is tomorrow night. This is important to know because we have to pray that night for Allah to forgive us. It is observed between the 14 and 15 of Sha’aban. Another thing our teacher has said many many times before is our role as Muslims in the world. Our role as Muslims is to make the world a better and safer place. 

We also watched two movies and one short YouTube video. The first movie we watched was Mooz-lum, we stopped halfway and are to continue it, next class. The second movie is actually a series on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The YouTube video was also about the prophet. I will write a separate essay on the three movies/videos. 

My homework for next week’s class is to learn Surah al-maoon and to include it in my full prayer to test out next time.

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4/5/2020 D.H.  Female I already wrote my essay for class but this is an essay for the movies we watched in class.

Mooz-lum -The first movie that we watched was mooz-lum. Tariq is a Muslim boy whose father sent him to a school when he was younger where he was supposed to become a better Muslim. Turns out his teacher was a psychopath who beat Tariq up whenever he messed up, this led him to not memorize the Quran correctly.  One day he called his mom and she knew by his voice that he was in trouble. She drove to the school and tried to take her son home.

When Tariq’s dad showed up he took Tariq back. The whole experience at the school scared him and because of that whenever he recited the Quran his mind filled with all the horrible memories. He started to hate Islam. Years later he was in college.

One night he went out with his friends and when he woke up in the morning he found out that the twin towers had been bombed by terrorists. Tariq’s sister and her friend were out walking when a group of angry guys surrounded them. They wanted revenge for what happened. Tariq saw them and tried to protect the girls. He got beaten up. Tariq’s Muslim friend was hit in the head with a rock and ended up in the hospital. Tariq’s mom found out that night about what happened in his Muslim school a long time ago. This is where we paused. 

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Documentary    The next thing we watched was an episode of a documentary done on Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) life and what he accomplished. In this first episode, I learned a lot of new things. Prophet Muhammad’s father died before he was born and so he had to live with his mother. They were very poor so his mother sent him to live with a group of people on the outskirts of Mecca. He lived with them until the age of four when his mother took him back. Prophet Muhammad’s mother became very sick and wanted to travel to her mother. His mother later died as they were traveling through the desert. He was alone. He lived with his grandfather, Abu Talib, who died two years later.

When Prophet Muhammad was 21 years old he had a good reputation and so Khadijah asked him to marry her. Khadijah was a powerful businesswoman at the time and was also a widow. She was much older than the Prophet Muhammad. Their marriage lasted 24 years and they had four daughters and two sons who passed away at a young age. Prophet Muhammad went out on a family trip on a mountain. He heard a voice telling him to read and Prophet Muhammad kept saying he couldn’t.  After that, he realized he had to give out a message.

At first, people didn’t believe him but then they started to. It was important that people converted into Islam willingly. After a while, the people forgot about this and started forcing Islam on others. The polytheistic Quraysh then started to ban Prophet Muhammad and his followed from praying in public. Prophet Muhammad was able to convince the polytheistic Quraysh to leave Mecca. This is where the episode ended.

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4/6/2020 Q.H 11-year-old Female 405 words of 1000 required

                Today I went to class, I arrived at 9:40 due to some technical issues. I tested out Surah Fatiha, Surah IKlass, and Surah Nass, in English and Arabic. I was supposed to do Surah Fatiha, Surah IKlass, Surah Nass, Surah Al-asr, and Surah Al-Kawther. 

During class, we talked about many things. We talked about how Good=God, and how Boss=God. God=lord of the worlds. God owns Heaven and Earth, and God is ever ruling. We talked about how you should check your shoes before wearing them to make sure there are not any scorpions. This is an example showing the value of our life and how we must protect our life. The same logic applies every day. We reviewed our role as Muslims in the world. We should not force Islam on others. Islam should be converted into willingly. We talked about how people started to forget this and started forcing Islam on others. People started torturing Muslims.

We watched a documentary on Prophet Muhammad’s life. His father died before he was born. He lived with his mother. His mother sent him to live with other people because she was poor and sick. When she died in the middle of a dessert, Muhammad was sent to live with his grandfather. His grandfather died two years later. So then he lived with his uncle, Abu Talib. Khadijah was a powerful widow who was older than Muhammad, which was common in those days. She asked to marry Muhammad. Their marriage lasted 24 years. They had four daughters together. He was on a mountain when Allah told him to read, but he was confused. Allah told him “read” three times. Muhammad realized he had to give out a message. Prophet Muhammad and others were not allowed to pray because of the Qureshi’s, so Prophet Muhammad convinced the Qureshi to leave Mecca. After some time, his uncle died.

                                Hebrews were getting killed in Egypt, So a mother put her baby in a basket in the Nile river, and the Pharaoh’s sister found him and fell in love. Hebrews and the Pharaoh were not standing with each other. In other words, they were against each other.  She took him in as her own and he lived with them. He was Prophet Moses.  

My homework is to test out on Surah Fatiha, Surah IKlass, Surah Nass, Surah Al-asr, Surah Al-Kawther, Surah Falaq, Atiyat, and all the small stuff in English and Arabic. 

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04/05/2020   MZS 15 Yr Old Male 498 words of 1000 required

    This week, I came to class with Surah Ayat Al-Kursi and my weekly essay submitted. This was our 4th online class, and in my opinion it’s much easier than having class at the mosque. I felt less nervous and more confident while testing out, and it was much easier to be on time.

     We started class by trying to continue the movie Mooz-Lum. However, there were some technical difficulties so we went over topics students got wrong in their homework. One thing hat I got wrong was the Sock concept. Originally, I thought the concept was to not be picky on certain things. The example I provided was buying socks on a cold winter day. I explained that you shouldn’t insist on only buying designer brand socks but instead be flexible and wear cheaper walmart socks when needed. However, the concept actually was about being the best we can be and not trying to meet someone else’s expectations. For example, you shouldn’t feel bad for not being as good as a teacher while doing math. Instead, you should focus on doing your best and getting things right that are at your grade level, not the level of a teacher who graduated from college. This helped me realize how I would think I was bad at something because I was comparing myself to someone much more experienced in it.

    Then, the teacher discussed a documentary that we would start watching starting today. This documentary was about the life of prophet Muhammad and his influence on people. He was mentioned in many religions even though he was associated with Islam. However, there were also many things about him that we don’t know. The documentary’s goal was to get more information about his life. This made me curious and made me want to find out what details were missing in religious books. 

     After that, we finally continued the movie Mooz-Lum and finished it. This movie’s message was how we shouldn’t push kids to do something too hard because it could make them get the wrong impression of it and make them turn away from it. The example the movie used was about religion, a father pushed his son to be a hadith by forcing him to wear a kufi hat to public school and then changing his school to a muslim school where he had to memorize a page of quran everyday.

However, due to his experience with the teachers and bullies in his public school, he got the wrong impression of Islam and ultimately ended up moving away from the religion as he got older. The father wasn’t aware about how the son felt or how he was treated at the school and the son didn’t want the father to find out. So, he stayed quiet until the parents found out by accident. This movie taught me to talk to my parents when I don’t agree with something and also to tell them about things that you think are unfair. 

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Class of April 5th, 2020 by HL a 14-year-old M 1009 words of 1000 required

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 headteacher 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 that 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 has 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 a 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.

Week 18, 4/5/20, Female, 14, A.S 545 of 100 word required


    I came to class unprepared because I just learned everything that I knew last class which was everything in arabic and a few prayers in english. Next class my teacher wants me to test out everything in arabic and english. I will try my best to learn everything and pass level 1. 

After testing out we learned the importance of ayatul kursi and surah al Fatiha which are two prayers, they both are talking about praising god. This is the reason why these two are very important and reciting them brings good. We also learned how god is spelled with two o’s. Everything associated with god is good. Then we started watching a documentary about Prophet Mohammed which is about how he was the first person to be revealed to the Quran and he spread the islam. 

After the documentary we finished our ‘Mooz-lum” movie. The movie is about how a mulsim boy named Tarek’s goes to a islamic school because his father wants him to become a religious leader, because of his fathers beliefs and his mother disagreement of this decision a divorce happens between the parents. as he grows older and goes off to college he doesn’t keep his faith with him and tries to forget it. The reason why is because when he was in school a teacher had slashed him with a rope because he did something bad.

 No other teacher had known about this or his own parents, because that was not what that school was about. As he grows up and goes off to college and he does not like to share his religion. Later on he meets some muslim friends and they try to encourge him to come to some muslim club meetings but he refuses.

During this time 9/11 was happening and they found out how terrorists bombed the twin towers in New York, people had found out the terrorist were muslim and many muslims around the world were getting harrassed in many different ways and they were getting blamed for the incident. In the movie a bunch of college kids go around trying to find muslims and beat them up. Two girls were wearing their hijab and one is Tarek’s sister and the group comes up to them, but Tarek tries to stop them from beating them up, but one boy starts to beat Tarek up and realizes that it’s not right, so a few of the members beat him up and leave. The boy apologizes to the girls and Tarek. After that Tarek and his sister go back to his dorm and both parents are there. Tarek explains to his sister how he got slashes on his back and his parents heard. The mom blamed her ex husband and the father feels so bad for his son and apologizes to him. Tarek realizes how Islam is important and he joins the Muslim club meetings. 

This movie teaches about how islam is an imporat religion. It shows how we need to keep close with our faith and not push it to the side. It shows how we need to appreciate it and we can always stay close to it.  

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Week of 3/5/2020 By: HH, 16 y/o girl

            This week I came to class a little late because of computer difficulties so I’m not sure if we did any meditation or listen to any Quran. I came to class prepared with my one chapter of required from the book Reading the Quran: The Contemporary Relevance of the Sacred Text of Islam by Ziauddin Sardar. For next week we must read up till chapter two.

            For the start of our lecture, our teacher began by pointing out the current state of affairs in the world. With the severity of the coronavirus most governments have been strongly advising citizens to practice social distancing and to quarantine themselves to protect them and their loved ones. In my state, mosques have closed for Jumma and all other prayers and most religious groups have stopped meeting in efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Despite these actions, many groups all over the country and worldwide have continued religious congregations. For example, disregarding the spike and increase in coronavirus cases in Georgia, churches continued to hold Sunday service. Likewise, in New Delhi, Muslims also held a large religious conference. These selfish acts by a few endanger the lives of everyone and they are wrong.

One of the biggest faults I see in religion now is that we leave everything to God. Of course, everything happens by God’s will, but we can’t simply ignore the rules and laws of the natural world. If educated people are telling us that gathering with lots of people is dangerous then we should take their advice, just like when we know that fire burns us, we don’t stick our fingers willy nilly into a fire thinking God will saving us.

            The next topic we went over was Shab e Barat and we were told to do research on it. In my research I learned that it occurs the night of the 14th of Shaban, the month before Ramadan and it is a very important night for Muslims in which they are given mercy from God. From the scholars of the article I reviewed, it was recommended to either awaken in the middle of the night or to stay awake the whole night if able to. It was recommended to do one or all the following acts of worship: prayer (no specific number of rakat but more than 8), reading of the Quran, zikr, and dua.

It was also stated that Muslims shouldn’t engage in any activities that make the night a celebration such as cooking a special meal because they have no base in the actual practice of the night of Barat but were also practiced by non-Muslim communities. (I don’t know how reliable or accurate this part is) It is also a night of individual worship as the Prophet himself observed this night in solitude. Additionally, it is recommended to fast the next day, the 15th of Shaban as an optional or nafil fast.

            In the theme of significant religious days, we discussed the upcoming Christian holiday of Easter. We have a member in out class who converted last Ramadan from Christianity to Islam and he was able to explain a little bit about Lent, Good Friday, Ash Wednesday; all important days that lead up to Easter.

However, I didn’t fully understand all of them, so I did a little more research.

It all starts with Shrove Tuesday, a day of pertinence and celebration as the last day before Lent starts. On this day it was common to eat all the food that they couldn’t during Lent because many Christians give up certain foods. The next day is Ash Wednesday, the day that marks the start of Lent. Worshippers often go to church services in which they are marked on their foreheads by a cross made from palm ashes. The ashes are meant to symbolize the ashes that they come from and the ones that they will return to, a phrase that many priests recite during the marking. Many wash the ashes off to symbolize the cleaning of their sins while others keep the ashes on their forehead for the rest of the day.

From a classmate, I already knew that during Lent, Christians were supposed to give up something (for example, my friend gave up social media) but I didn’t understand why. They are supposed to give something up because it replicates Jesus’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days.  So, giving something up during Lent reflects Jesus sacrifice as well as a test of self-discipline. Now the last week of Lent is known as the Holy Week which Christians remember as the last day of his life. This week ends on Easter. Good Friday commemorates the day that Jesus was crucified and is a day of mourning and the Holy Week is ended with Easter Sunday where Jesus is said to have been resurrected. Easter is one of the most beloved Christina holidays.

Now you might be wondering why I’m going on and on about Christian holidays when we’re Muslim.

As my teacher said, just like our Christian classmates asks us about how Ramadan is going or how Eid was, it is our job to also recognize their religious holidays. We live in a country where there are 3 or 4 different religions or sects of religions just in one of our school classes. As such, we as members of society have a duty to at the surface at least, have knowledge of these days that are important to them just as we want them to know what Ramadan is and why Eid is so special to us as Muslims.

            The next topic we went over was the importance of ayatul kursi and surah Al Fatiha. Surah al Fatiha as I have previously talked about is regarded as the ‘formula for life’. The surah begins with praise to God, then it specifies exactly what they want, and what they don’t want. But more broadly both are very important because they acknowledge the power and oneness of God.

We also talked about a few concepts: CCA, God is spelled with 4 letters, and the scorpion hadith. CCA is a concept we have talked about countless time in class but that’s probably because it’s one of the most important. It stands for context, common sense, and accountability. Context means that we must always look at the ‘bigger picture’ and the reasons we are told to do certain things.

This is useful when examining hadiths for example.        Common sense transcends beyond religion to life in general. Whatever we do, in religion and life must make sense. If it doesn’t chance are its wrong. This connects to the concept of us being goats, independent people, rather than sheep, followers because we can question things that don’t make sense. Finally, accountability means that regardless of what we do, we are solely responsible for our actions. This is one of the major things that separates us from Christians who believe (I think) that Jesus died for their sins therefor they can do anything and still be forgiven. T

he next concept we went over was how we spell the word God. We spell it G-o-o-d like good because everything that relates to God is good. If it’s not, its mostly not a good thing to do or something God has told us we shouldn’t do. The final concept we went over was the hadith about a scorpion. The Prophet once said they upon leaving the mosque, you should check your shoe for scorpions. Now if we take the hadith literally, it’s no use to use unless we live in an area with scorpions.

More broadly speaking this hadith emphasizes the importance of life, human or animal, because you could smush the scorpion and kill it, as well as the importance of taking care of one’s self, because the scorpion could sting and kill you.

Towards the end of class, we watched a documentary on the early life of the Prophet before he became a Prophet and after. It talked about the death of his mother, and later his grandfather and uncle, leaving him an orphan. He was sent to spend a few of his early years in the desert which was a common tradition in the Middle East back then.

It the went into detail about his life as a Shepard and later a merchant who married a wealthy, older women named Khadija. Most of these facts, I already knew but much of the additional commentary was interesting such as the fact that Khadija is sometimes referred to as the first Muslim because when Prophet Mohammed came to her telling her about the revelations that she believed him.

That is very significant because they lived in a society of polytheism (worshipping multiple gods and deities). Another interesting fact was that scholars don’t believe that the Prophet was illiterate like many have been told, like me. Back them illiterate didn’t always mean unable to read and write but not having a formal education which the Prophet was not given. I also heard a description of that the Prophet supposedly looked like because in Islam, it is haram (I think) to have pictures or anything that shows the Prophets face.

I think we will be continuing to watch Islamic movies and documentaries as a part of online class.

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