2021 June 17 – S – female age 25 – Class Notes

On Friday 5PM June 11, 2021, I arrived to the Masjid to speak to an imam Dr.F. I spoke to him about how lately I haven’t been feeling like myself. I have been having really bad anxiety and had a random panic attack while I was out at a restaurant. I felt like I was about to die that night god forbid. At that moment I realized how I’m not even ready for death. I literally had no dean in me. If I were to see my creator at that state I know Allah swt would not have been pleased with me. I discussed what has been going on in my personal life and how that may have caused these feelings to occur. I took this as a sign that maybe I need to become closer to my religion. I feel like sometimes people who are “astray” will have things happen to them or go through things so they can turn to Allah swt before it’s too late. I took this as sign to change my ways. I didn’t want to feel this way anymore I just wanted a sense of peace in my life back.

The imam told me to say “Allah give me afiyat, Allah forgive me for all of my sins, and thank you for all of your blessings” 500 times. After 500 times say “Allah grant me afiyat and grant me strength, and make me someone who can be useful for your creation” I did this as soon as I left the Imam’s office. I walked over to the masjid prayer room, sat down and asked Allah for forgiveness I bursted into tears I felt so light afterwards. Felt like thousands of bricks were lifted off my shoulders. I felt a sense of peace that I can’t even put into words.

The imam also did ask me if I pray, I said no and that I honestly don’t know how to pray. I was taught how to when I was younger but I never kept up and eventually forgot. That’s when the imam told me about Quran class and how I can come on Sundays to learn how to pray and learn about the Quran and the meaning of it.

I was hesitant at first, I thought to myself Quran class? Must be full of kids how embarrassing for me to be in such environment. Before I even said anything the Imam told me don’t worry it’s a class for adults around your age group there’s no kids. I thought to myself wow this would be a great opportunity for me to finally learn! So I asked when does class start because I’m ready!

This past Sunday June 13,2021 I came to the masjid for class. I went up the stairs and was quite nervous. I thought to myself what if I get judged for literally not knowing anything and I am someone who was born Muslim. I wanted to turn back but I told myself NO you’re already here just go. So I took off my shoes and entered the room.

That’s when I was greeted by the instructor and brother H. The instructor said “you must be sister S” I said yes! He told me to come take a seat. He had brother H introduce himself to me and me introduce myself to brother H.

The instructor asked me if I know any Islamic verses. I said yea the only one I know by heart is “La illah ila Allah Muhammadur rasullah which means “There is no god but the one god and prophet Muhammad is gods follower and messenger. I was also asked to stand up and do the motions for prayer. The instructor told me he was impressed by how much I know. The instructor told brother H to bring me a notebook so I can take some notes.

I was taught how to pronounce “La illah ila Allah Muhammadur rasullah” properly. I was asked to say it out loud and to say it repeatedly. Sister N and sister J joined the class. Sister N was meditating and I was asked to join her. I was having trouble positioning myself. Sister J came over to help me. She told me to watch sister N and how she positioned herself. I was struggling so sister N got up and told sister J she can help me.

While I was meditating I felt like I entered another world I felt like I wasn’t where I was at one point I opened my eyes because I kind of got scared.

The instructor told me that I shouldn’t be scared and that was shaytan trying to lead me astray he told me to continue. After meditation, I was given a piece of paper and was told to memorize the first 4 lines of prayer. I was told to say it out loud over and over. Then to continue trying to memorize the next few lines. Brother C joined the class and was told to help assist me.

As more people joined the class we took a break and introduced ourselves to each other. I introduced myself and told everyone the reason for me joining is because lately I’ve been experiencing anxiety and took it as a sign to get closer to Allah swt. I also never really had much knowledge about Islam. I always thought about how one day if I was to have kids of my own in shaa Allah how would I be able to teach them anything when I know nothing about Islam myself. I don’t want to have lost kids. I feel like as a mother it’s my job to be able to guide my kids and have the knowledge to pass down to them. If they decide to follow Islam because of me great! If not at least I know I did my job as a mother to guide them and teach them so they can pass it down generations to come. I don’t want the teachings to go in vain cause of me. Which is why I know I will benefit a lot from this class! I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this class. It felt like a safe place where I can ask as many questions as I want without getting judged. Which lead me to open up about something that I personally went through. I became vulnerable.

The topic of domestic violence/ abuse came to the surface. I shared some personal experiences that I had with the class. We talked about how unfortunately these things are very common amongst us. We spoke about the differences between culture and religion. How there are some men who try to justify abusive acts by using religion and how this is wrong! The more I opened up the more light I felt. Brother H’s brother joined the class and gave me advice. Everyone really helped open up my eyes and to see things more clearly. I value all of the great advice I received that day and happy that everyone made me feel comfortable enough to open up and not feel judged for decisions I’ve made. It’s a very welcoming environment which I really enjoyed because I felt like I can talk about anything. Towards the end of class, I was given some books to take home and a homework assignment to memorize the lines of prayer.

The instructor told me to try to pray at least once a day since I’m just starting off.

I am so glad I took the steps to join this class I feel like everything that happened to me lead me to this moment and I am exactly where I need to be.

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