2021 September 26 – HH – female age 13 – class notes
For today’s class I was supposed to come with the english translations of surah Ikhlaas and surah Fatiha. I came to class with those memorizations although I could’ve done more, as I am this week. This week I am supposed to come to class with the English translations to the Tashahhud, Darud Ibraheemi, and the dua after prayer. I think i will be able to achieve this as i half learned it last year and just have to remember/learn it again.
I arrived at class a little late actually so the essay format was the first thing we talked about while I was there. After that we spoke more about our essays and how it should not only include what happened in class but it is specific to you like your personal reactions or thoughts in relation to the topic at hand, i wasn’t aware of this but hope to include it in this essay. The teacher then talked about how he didnt post our essays last week because many students did not turn them in and if he had posted the students who already did other students who didn’t could look at their essays and remember things and add things they wouldn’t have otherwise added on their own so it would be unfair. From that he asked if any of us had actually gone to the website where they post the essays to look at past essays for either info or help on how to write the essays or for the topics, i actually had since i wasn’t sure if the previous week i did my format right (turns out i did do it right but that week when i looked at the essays and thought i did it write, i didn’t it wrong.) Now we went over it in class though so I should have it right. After that the teacher asked if we knew why we did them, or if we actually liked doing them. Personally i think the class on it’s own is alright it’s just the essays i dread, it’s not the activity itself either i like writing it’s just the getting started, and making sure your taking proper notes then wording everything thing right and compiling everything properly i didn’t like much but now actually thinking about why in particular i don’t like writing these essays it’s not too bad honestly, especially if you give yourself enough time to do it. After asking if we enjoyed essay writing he talked about why it’s important we do it which i already knew but hate to acknowledge. He told us that at work and most of our future jobs you have to write project assignments and you will need to know how to write an essay and the skill of it since it could be pretty tricky but very useful. He then said your ability to write an essay could also reflect on your ability to verbally communicate whether good or bad. It was actually interesting he said the last part as the way i sound and i communicate through essays is fine but in real life and face to face my vocab and ability to explain things isn’t as great as i think too fast and dont wait to fully collect my thought before i talk or raise my hand to answer a question.
He then went on to talk about the letters he had written on the whiteboard, the shorthands of words he learned in the previous class. The first letters were cs, standing for common sense. He then proceeds to ask people who didn’t raise their hands and seemingly didn’t know, on purpose as he tells us later. The next letter on the board was c, standing for context, he talked about when talking about the quran and wanting to follow things in it like sunnahs you have to use context, you would understand the context of what is happening in the quran, then apply it to today/modern day.
The teacher was then going to tell a story about prophet mohamad when he brought how how many people in the room seemingly ‘whispered’ under their breath, he asked them what they were saying and why (he knew what he said that to explain something) they said they were saying may god be pleased with him and they said it out of respect. The teacher then explained how they also do it because he was the last prophet and the reason why most muslims are now muslims. Then he explained how just because someone like your Sunday school teacher, regular teacher etc said something doesn’t mean you have to agree with it or follow something blindlessly because other people do, especially as we are young and easily impressionable children.
Then we talked about accountability, i actually thought I knew the answer to this (it was right) but I didn’t raise my hand. We talked about the angels on our shoulders and how everything is counted for, and how everything good you do and even think is counted as good whereas even if you think something bad it isn’t counted unless you actually act on it, and if you actually do something bad its ‘written in pencil’ symbolizing that it can ‘erased’ or forgiven by the person the thing was done to.
After that we reviewed gratefulness and how you should be grateful about the fact that you have five fingers on your two hands and five toes on each foot etc. We talked about how you always have something to be grateful for and something that someone else may not or could not have. I felt this kinda connected/went into amana which we talked about after ostentatious which only one kid mentioned in their essay. Amana was talked about after and how amana is your gift from god and how you should use it which could include sharing your knowledge about engineering or becoming a surgeon and saving lives because you were good at it. As well as how everything you get, your health, special skills, etc is all an amana from god.
After that the teacher then circled the rest, asked what greenstairs was all about, and created a hangman. The word ended up being excellence which was easy enough to figure out after the l even though im pretty bad at hangman. He talked about how in this class they cultivate excellence. Cultivating is not at all a short process and he explained how they help do the first step in cultivating your own excellence. Then we did another hangman on the three ways he wanted to and the program to cultivate excellence in, the words were verbal, mental, and written. He went on to explain that’s why he has us talk out loud in front of the class, do the essays, and the class in itself. He draws three different cars showing the three ways in which you can cultivate excellence. He gave us the beginning of the words and was originally not going to do a hangman but ended up doing it. He explained how we all have it; we just have to cultivate it through verbal, mental, and written format. The words were spiritual, mental, and physical. I don’t exactly remember which letter gave it away but after it was written I immediately realized it was spiritual and then realized it was mental and physical right after using context, which was cool. The teacher spoke about how your soul is so important since that’s whats staying with you forever and it’s the most important part of you for school and your brain is your most important part of you outside of it and in the real world.
After that we had to share about ourselves, I was the first one and actually had to talk about my mom.. Needless to say i barely had any idea what to say (i think the teacher chose me to do my mom rather than myself because he knew it would be more challenging) But i eventually pulled through at the end.
After people said about themselves which people seemed to get better at with some more practice and after they had gotten more comfortable talking in front of the class. We had then gotten pizza and tested out afterwards. It was week 2 at this point in the 6 week time period to do my english translation for everything you say in prayer and the teacher told me i had to do the whole page front and back to him since i just have to re remember it. Before that though i tested out with another teacher and was told i had to really connect the surahs to myself which was actually the method i would use to learn stuff like the english translation to the surahs as it was like a story and it was easiest. Then i tested out those things with the teacher, he told me some more stuff to do, i went outside and practiced it by going through the whole process of prayer and testing myself that way. It’s a little hard to explain the process exactly because it was lots of back and forth but i ended up doing most of the page, all of the basics and just have the duas and the tashahhud.
Following the test out period the teacher explained how my closed out class and explained how the last sentence we say for the closing we could actually say ourselves after finishing stuff fro regular school like homework or studying ‘god if this is good let it benefit me, if not then let me forget it’ i think ill try and remember that and actually use it myself after doing school things.
Then very quick fire style he asked why certain numbers were important, i didn’t understand at first but after he said 5 for the five pillars and prayer times, i then understood and tried answering the other questions. Then he asked why three was important, because the thing you say in prayer you say in intervals of three like subhanallah. Then 1 for us believing in their being only one god, two for the lowest cycle of prayer is two (like one ruko is doing the process of prayer twice and it’s the lowest amount you can do) That was the last thing we talked about in class today.