2021 September 20 – SS – Male Age 15 – Week 3

Hello everyone! Today is my 3rd week at the Green Stairs Academy Program. I went up the stairs and entered the program. I introduced myself to Brother M.

After he finished, I went to my seat. Student H lead us in saying the Pledge of Allegiance, Pledge of Faith and the Pledge of Knowledge.

After we said those pledges, everyone sat down and we began discussing last week’s topics. He asked about the two words and lessons that we learned ago. I was able to provide Common Sense and the lesson.

However, nobody talked about Amana, which was trust. Teacher I talked about the stadium example of Jannat. He said to imagine our closeness to Allah as seats in a stadium. The ringside seats are the ones closest to Allah while the bleacher seats aren’t as close. A person would get a better seat if he does good deeds.

We understood the topic and then Brother S had to tell me and everyone else that we should focus on making sure our speech is at a normal pace and every word is pronounced correctly.

He then reminded us about observing the news as our homework. Student H talked about Taylor Swift’s new album. I talked about a new movie called Shang-Chi. Brother S was testing our communication skills. After Brother S finished speaking, we started talking about student H’s BMW. He likes that car brand so Teacher I used it as an example. He talked about student H buying a new BMW and as he was talking, he was drawing hangman on the whiteboard. He told us that we have to learn a word and it begins with G, ends with L and has 8 letters.

We struggled at first and then we found that it was the word grateful. He told us that we have to be grateful to Allah. He said that when people are in need, they made duas, was that not right? Then they acted like nothing had happened and they become ungrateful to Allah. He then proceeded to ask us what good deed did we do this week. I helped a friend who dropped his stuff at my school and then, I listened to the other students. He told us that we should build up our good deeds because they are important for ourselves.

He used the previously mentioned BMW example. Teacher I said that student H. has plenty of money and that he wants to give away part of his money to charity; the rest will go towards buying a BMW. He asks us how much he should give away. We gave answers like 90%, 50% and 30%. He told us about a hadith, where our Nabi, peace be upon him, once said to give 10%. We listened and then he asked us about the prophets. He told us that every prophet’s rule has a difference of strictness. He also told us about context and how we must apply context to our rule so that we can apply Islam in our life.

He told us that teenagers our age must be trimmed like a tree so we can focus and grow properly. At this time, student A and a few other kids came. Teacher I was talking about how people can be ostentatious. We had to spell when the students came in. We took turns spelling the word. We then proceeded as to why we should strive to get A’s instead of B’s.

He told us that being a leader meant that he or she should strive to be the best at what they do.
Teacher I laid down a bunch of newspapers on a nearby table. He told us that for a moment, these were our essays. He gave them a random grade: A’s, B’s, C’s, F’s, A and B’s, B and C’s. He told us that he would only read the whole essay if it’s good.

He would not bother reading the essay if it has B’s, C’s or F’s. He would choose A’s and A + B’s because they would be the best essays. He said this method is called triage and doctors use them all the time. He posed a question. If he was a doctor and 3 ambulances came at once, does he treated the person with a burn, the one with a bruise or the one who is bleeding out quickly.

We said the 3rd person deserves the treatment first. After this, we had a short break. Teacher I asked us what our homework was and we replied that it was at least 2 surahs and other things. During the break, Mister F arrived and started answering our questions. He told us about Allah and life. After he answered our questions, Teacher I asked us a question.

He asked each of us what our most valuable thing we have. I answered that my health is the most valuable thing.
Mister F. said that our most valuable thing was time because he has spent 60 years learning and there were times when he was young that he wished someone would have told him earlier. He said we have the opportunity to do so. He left after this conversation and we started talking about what is hallal and haram. He told us a person once said that anything made from the printing press is haram.

We discussed about it and what if the Quran or the Hadith was made from it? Was it haram to do so? This was the point Teacher I was trying to make. It can be hallal or haram, depending on how you use it. We also discussed the lack of innovation in the Muslim community.

Student H talked about how Shah Jahan used his money to built a monument to his wife, whereas Europe was using their money to build libraries and universities. Teacher I told us an important thing before we left. He told us that happiness comes from our connection with Allah and that is why Muslims are so happy in their lives.

We discussed homework and what we did this week before I said goodbye to the teacher and my classmates.

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