2020 September 18 -LN Female 16

The Third Sunday

My favorite class thus far was today’s. Although it was hectic, it was a very worthwhile experience. Two of the students were lost in a form of meditation when I entered the room; however, before I joined them, I realized that it was my responsibility to set the table and chairs, so I did that immediately after I greeted LG. When I had finished setting up the tables, I sat down in the same spot where I had been sitting for the previous two weeks and searched my bag for my eye mask. I became more anxious as I continued to look after realizing I must have left it at home. I kept replaying many of LG’s potential responses in my head as I tried to figure out the best course of action. I noticed my mother getting a mask for herself when I turned to look at his desk, so I used the opportunity to stealthily get one for myself. I quickly returned to my seat after scrambling to my mother to get her a mask. I’m not sure if he noticed, but if he did, he didn’t comment, which made me happy, and I joined the other students in their meditation. 

I could hear the entrance of a growing number of students as they joined the meditation practice. I wasn’t buying any of what LG claimed about the stereotypical effects of practicing proper meditation. I don’t think I was buying it, or, to put it another way, I wanted to convince myself that it wasn’t true  b ecause I kept failing the process. I could not tell you if I was failing it, but I believe I was. There were times when I would become disoriented, and there were times when my thoughts would wander. Even with the blindfold on, there was a time when I was trying to interpret the tiny specks of light I could make out while opening my eyes.I suppose that qualifies as getting lost. Perhaps I was just trying to kill time. We continued our morning by turning to our first topic of the day, Durood Ibrahim, after about 10 minutes of meditation total, 5 minutes in our chair and 5 minutes on the floor. 

Durood Ibrahim was first introduced to us when LG explained its importance to us. It should flow out of you as if you were saying it before the thought even entered your head, and not only be said and followed before you go to sleep. As LG continued to discuss this idea, we moved on to discuss Sahaba, the companions of the prophets, and how essentially they were so devoted to Prophet Ibrahim that they truly believed all he said. After hitting that topic we began to stray from this idea, we turned to the significance of addressing Prophet Muhammad before making du’a to God.  LG used the analogy of dealing with a principal and an athletic director. If you wanted to try out for a sports team however the athletic director didn’t clear you, and you ended up going to the principle for approval, the principle’s first concern would be, “Did the athletic director clear you? “. As he proceeded, he discussed how there would be no point in Prophet Muhammad even bringing up the idea to God if someone asked him for the fastest car in the world but he knew that wasn’t what would be best for them at the time. 

The ideas kept coming as the class progressed, and led us to understand the 7th heaven and the significance of Attahiyyatu. After being accompanied by angels up the seven levels of heaven, Prophet Mohamad entered a higher level which no one else could even contemplate approaching. When LG was describing this, he used an example to help us picture what it appeared to be as he entered the layer, acting as if it were the matriex. “Attahiyyatu lillahi wassalawatu wattay yibatu,” which came out of Prophet Mohammad’s mouth, was spoken as he entered the room and saw the aura of God.”All prayers and worship through words, deeds, and good works and for God alone,” is translated. “Assalamu ‘alayka ayyuhannabiyyu warahmatullahi wabarakathu,” which roughly translates to “Peace be upon you, O’ Prophet, with all of God’s mercy and blessings,” is the response the Prophet receives in response. The Prophet responds by shaking his head in denial. When God promises to bless him forever, does he reject that promise? How does he portray himself? “Assalamu ‘alayna wa’ala ‘ibadillahissaliheen,” the Prophet Mohammad replies, “Peace be upon all of us who are God’s righteous servants.” Prophet Mohammed could have accepted his blessings and been secure in his life, but instead he requested God to bless all who followed him in return. I was mesmerized by this tale and am confident that I will never be able to forget it. 

While we performed what LG called “1,2,3,4,9,11,33,” the class was beginning to wind down. Two of the classmates who have participated in LGs class before stood up in their chairs as we had to correlate something that had significance to Islam using the number provided. As it continued, I had the impression that I knew nothing about Islam because I couldn’t think of any information that related to each number. 

I did get a good number of them, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the ones I missed for the rest of class in the hopes that something would click or come to mind. Nothing improved, so I forced myself to shift my attention to per-destination. I didn’t know where I stood on this issue, and I still don’t. Not everything is predetermined for you; not everything is component of “God’s plan” or “Meant to be.” Although everything has a reason for occurring, not everything is predestined or meant to be. All has common sense to it. God has predicted every event that just might occur in your life and every way you could perhaps die, but that doesn’t mean you have to make those possibilities a reality. You might be able to avoid one of God’s arrangements for you if you make wise decisions and employ the practical tool of good judgement. You have every card in your hand, yet you’re unsure of their meaning.

One of the final assignments we had in class was to compose a letter trying to invite a friend to join our program as we veered away from that notion. I say “our” program because I genuinely believe that everyone who is a part of it helps it become exactly what it was meant to be, and I hope we can expand it so that it can benefit more people. Returning to the subject at hand, I would say that writing a letter to a friend was my favorite part of the class because I enjoy free writing, especially in letter formats. Informal free writing is the most enjoyable type of writing to do. As I continued, I was somewhat proud of my letter, but as soon as I handed it to LG, I understood that there was no justification for my pride. He read it aloud while pointing out every error I made, which made me feel very embarrassed. Ultimately, LG didn’t make me hate my letter, so I was still able to accept that it was okay. This was the final task we did in class, and I was so relieved there wasn’t a test because I was so anxious about memorizing everything.

As the Sunday came to the end I realized  LG once more left me feeling satisfied as a result of way he addressed concern regarding Islam and life as a whole that I wasn’t even aware I had.

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