2022 August 23 – LN Female15 The First Sunday

We have some new guests for you,” the kind sister said as I walked into the room full of unfamiliar faces. “No no!,” the man whose only face I recognize and seems to be in charge says, “These aren’t guests they’re family come take a seat!” Immediately, I feel welcomed and my nerves seemed to come at ease, at least until he put me on the spot two or three times, asking me questions I couldn’t even begin to understand how to answer and making everyone seem quite uncomfortable. That’s when he says, “I’m letting you all know now, that I will make you cry and as uncomfortable as needed.” That sentence did bring back the nervousness that I thought was well gone and led me to wonder if I even wanted any part of this course. As he kept on talking about what the goals of this class were, I realized that this class is exactly what I want for myself and I’m going to do anything needed to make sure I take advantage of this opportunity, even if I am a little frightened about the methods used throughout the course. The main ideas that stood out to me and made me realize that this is the class that will help me not only become a better person but also a better Muslim was how we would be pushed out of our comfort zones, the mentorship I will receive, and the confidence and leadership attributes that he will leave permanently on me.

“Lina what college were you looking into going to” the man in charge questions as I look over to my mother unsure as to what to say, “I asked you not your mom, mom can’t answer this one,” He says. Automatically I can feel the blood rushing to my cheeks as my nerves fail to go away as I think of the answer that he wants to hear, “Um, I’m not too sure, probably just stay around here and go to Mason” I say not too confidently. “Stay around here and go to Mason?” he mocks, “See, this is exactly what I’m talking about”, the man says directed toward the other students in the class, “All everyone is doing and wants to do nowadays is settling for what they have” I could tell that my answer was not exactly what he was looking for and immediately feel embarrassed. “Why not go to Harvard or Stanford, are you going to Harvard?” He asks the only other girl my age, “I don’t think I could get in” she says shyly, “Well then that’s it, if you don’t believe in yourself how are you going to get anyone else in this world too?” As he said those words I understood what he meant but at the same time, I didn’t want to agree with him. I know that indivuals need to have faith in themselfs to get anyone to have any in them, however, I think it is other people’s beliefs and faiths in an individual that causes them to gain some for themselves and drives them to make others feel the same. I didn’t say anything to counter his thought though. I was still nervous from before and I could feel some tension in the air that I wasn’t ready to be a part of. As he went on about this, he brought up an organization that is supposedly full of the highest IQ individuals in the world. I didn’t believe it, yet once again I didn’t say a single thought. Now, I’m not saying that the people within the organization aren’t very intelligent individuals, I’m simply stating that I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an individual that had twice the intelligence of all of them combined that just hasn’t had the opportunity to share their intelligence with. Then again, I don’t know how the organization obtains its members and due to that, I didn’t speak my thought. As he continued why no one individual should settle and how there will always be an opportunity for more I wondered why to strive for more if they’re happy enough where they are. Why does one need to have the drive for everything when they can have just the amount they need and still live a happy, healthy, and religious life? I wondered a lot, possibly too much, however, I do want to jump into these different perspectives.

Even though I wasn’t sure if I agreed with everything he was stating, I did think that he would be able to give me great benefits that I won’t be able to achieve anywhere else and that would affect my life socially, religiously, and mentally. As he talked more about his views, I realized how he would serve as a stepping stone for me as I learn and grow in my beliefs inside and outside of Islam. I also realized that he was full of all this knowledge and information that I could easily use and take advantage of. By this point, almost all if not all of my nerves had faded and I was in a state of awe as his words just flowed out so clearly and that everything he said had a huge amount of evidence behind it standing it up and I was so curious to learn and see if I could find another perspective from not only the Qur’an but the other experiences that we all go through as humans.

Finally, one of the biggest, if not the biggest reason in which I’m so eager to be a part of this course is because of the confidence and leadership skills that he said he would be able to instill in the students. I’m aware of how important it is to be able to take charge of a situation and I know that with where I am right now in life, I can’t do that. I think all the resources in this course will help mentor me into a leader and I hope that the class will bring me the skills I need to succeed in life, even if it means me crying a few times. By the end of the first day, I was even more nervous than at the start, however, it was a good type of nervousness it was my curiosity that was feeding it now, not my worrying. I was and still am curious and eager to receive the permanent positive attributes he will leave on me and all the other people in his class.

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