2020 April Class Notes by HH F Age Week of 3/29/20
By HH F Age Week of 3/29/20
This week was the second week that we were doing online class. Honestly, I didn’t like it as much as in person; I found myself more easily distracted and it was harder to pay attention to the lecture. When we started class, one of the other students shared their screen and we listened to ayatul Kursi for the first 30 or so minutes. I had learned ayatul Kursi as a kid, but like before I came to this leadership academy, I didn’t know what it meant. As I watched the video, with the meaning of each verse displayed, I began to slowly memorize the meaning of it.
After reading ayatul Kursi, we went into a review of the last week’s topics. I wasn’t here the week before, but 2 weeks ago, we had gone over almost 20 different concepts and their meaning. Some of them that I’ll discuss are gallon of oil, Samsung watch and bridge, pen and pencil, the significant numbers in Islam, bull riding, soap, and broccoli.
Starting with the gallon of oil: this concept refers to the fact that when we are born, we have an imaginary gallon of oil attached to us. Now every time we do something good, a drop comes out, and every time we do something bad, a drop goes in. The goal is to have no oil left in your gallon when you die because if there is still oil, that oil is used as fuel in Hell to power the A/C unit and everything else for everyone in heaven. This concept is used to explain the need to always do good in our life, if not for the benefit of others, to get ourselves to heaven.
The next concept is the Samsung watch and the bridge (two separate concepts but I will explain them together) The Samsung watch represents the vessel that tracks the points, the good and the bad that you’ve done. On the day of Judgement, you will theoretically come across a bridge. This bridge ‘weights’ the points that you have gotten, and it will decide if you fall or if you go across. One of the deciding factors is how you’ve acted towards other people. God is forgiving for the sins that you have committed against him, such as not praying. However, he doesn’t control another people’s forgiveness. This means that we must always treat all others with kindness, including not gossiping about them something many of us myself included are guilty of, and if we do get into altercations with them to forgive.
The next concept is the pen and pencil. This concept refers to our fate. Our fate is much like a long and twisty road with many outlets and other paths that branch off it. The things that are written by God in pencil are the different things that can happen, and the ones we have power over changing, just like we can erase and change something we write in pencil. But when something in our fate is written in pen, we can’t change it, just like you can’t change what you write in pen. Our day of death for example is one thing that is in pen, set in stone, and all the prayer in the world won’t change that. The things that are written in pencil, however, we can change, with the power of prayer.
The next topic was the significant numbers in Islam. These are the numbers 1,3,4,5, and 6. The 1 represents the fact that there is one God. I don’t remember what the 3 stands for but the 4 represents the 4 books and the 4 angels. The 4 books are the Quran, the Bible, the Torah, and the Psalms. These books all come down at different times to different Prophets. The other 4, the angels are the very important angels we learn about. The first is Jibril, the angel that brought down the books for all the prophets. Since the time of the Quran, Jibril has been ‘in retirement’ as he has completed his job. The next angels are Mikal, Israfeil, and Ismail. Mikal is the angel that is responsible for the natural disasters, Israfeil is the angel whose job it is to sound the trumpet that signals the Day of Judgement, and Ismail is the angel who ‘fishes’ out the souls who have passed away. (I may have mixed up the angels and their jobs)
The next concept is bull riding. The goal when someone rides on a bull is to stay on that bull for a small period like 8 seconds. This is very similar to when we pray; the goal of prayer, praying 5 times a day everyday for the rest of our lives, is that for maybe 8 seconds, maybe even 5 seconds, we are in God’s presence. For all most everyone, this takes lots and lots of prayer and practice.
The next concept is soap. When we wash out hands, were supposed to use soap. Soap combined with the water gives us the extra clean to get all the germs off. Now water alone still gets the germs off, just not as well as with soap. Now in this scenario, the soap is out focus and the water is prayer. When we prayer with focus, it is better than when we pray without focus. However, even prayer without focus is still prayer and is better than not prayer at all.
The final concept is the concept of broccoli. Broccoli is infamous for being everyone least favorite vegetable, especially when we’re younger. However, when we get older, we realize the benefits of broccoli and we begin to eat it in excess. This is like how we treat religion in general. As children, we don’t pay as much attention to it, we ignore prayer that sort of thing. But, when we get older, we realize how important religion and prayer really are and we turn into shikhas. The concept of broccoli brings up an important point we are taught at GISLA, that everything we do should be in moderation. We shouldn’t only start loading ourselves up with prayer when we get old, we should try to practice it consistently, even if that means just one prayer a day.
Next week during class we are supposed to finish the movie Mooz-lum. We started this movie before the mosque closure due to COVID-19. It follows a boy whose father very strongly enforced Islam to him when he was growing up and sent him to an Islamic all boys school in middle school. Due to unfortunate circumstances in the school, we see him go off to college and rebel against what he has grown up with. I’m interested in seeing how the movie ends.