2022 October 22 – LN Female 16

The Second Sunday- Tasfeer

I walked inside the Masjid to see no one else in the classroom, which led me to wonder if we were the early cause after the imprint he left on our minds last Sunday, surely no one will be late. “Salam,” I said shyly since there was an unfamiliar face of an older man in the classroom, clearly, LG didn’t hear me because how gave me a dazed, confused look as if he was waiting for something lingering in the air. “L, I expect to be greeted.” I should’ve seen that one coming, “Salam” I repeat more clearly and concisely this time.

He gives me a look of satisfaction and turns his attention back to the conversation he was in with the unfamiliar man whilst my mother offers that we stand outside and wait for their conversation to come to an end. We take his silence as a form of approval and leave the room.

As we waited outside, my nerves grew as my mind got lost wondering what topics we were going to discuss today. Not long after that, LG walked out of the classroom and asked us to set up the chairs, hence making me conclude that the class was going to be outside this week.

Slowly, more of the students start flowing in, as well as some new faces, and we tap into the first subject, which was the purpose of the class. “Finding Allah, Opening your third eye, and finding your purpose here is why you’re sitting in that chair in front of me,” moments before this, I was asked, along with the other students, the number of eyes I possess in which I, along with the other students, answered with the simple logical answer of two. The moment I answered, he said a quick and crisp no and moved to the next student. This answer was repeated several times until one student answered three and LG accepted his answer. “You all have three eyes,” he said calmly making me rethink what I could’ve missed, “However none of you are aware of your third eye, your inner eye, also known as your soul.” He said this with such certainty that you couldn’t even question what he was saying and didn’t even cause a single doubt in my mind that I have three eyes and all I need to do is learn how to use my third one. 

As the class went on, I quickly came to the understanding that today’s session was going to do with more of the meanings and understandings behind different surahs. LG started by talking about BS. Now when I say I was confused when he asked the students if they had “BS” in them, I don’t mean I was questioning his methods, I mean, I was questioning the academy as a whole.

At one point, each student answered his question about BS with an affirmative no. It surprised me to view his slightly disappointed look and tone, saying exactly what I was thinking. “Why would I ask this? Why, in a Masjid, would I ask you if you are full of BS?”, he took the words right out of my mouth and ran with them. “In this context, I am referring to BS as belief and spirit.” I was slightly amused by this and even intrigued. As he went on, he added another form of BS, BR. At this point, I assumed that he was just putting together two different letters in an attempt to confuse us.

However, as LG was continuing, he slipped out what BR stood for, which was belief and ritual. “So, with that being said, what comes first?” LG asked one of the students, forcing all our attention on him, “The belief or the ritual?”, without a second thought, the student confidently answered with “Belief.” LG seemed as if that was the answer he was looking for due to how he went on with a follow-up question asking why. I could see as more and more students became more comfortable as they were answering his question in a variety of ways. It has to be impossible to fully complete a ritual if you’re unaware of where your personal belief stands, I thought to myself and wondered if LG would be happy with my answer.

While we were on the topic, we touched on how much of a necessity, it is to understand what you’re saying while praying or even reciting surahs. I was so compelled to the point that I went home and looked up the technical definition of understanding the Qur’an, prayers, and surahs. I was to be greeted with the grey box on the top of my search bar that doesn’t even require me to click on anything to tell me the exact answer I was looking for, Tasfeer: “The science of explanation of the Qurʾān, the sacred scripture of Islam, or of Qurʾānic commentary.” It wasn’t until today that I concluded that I have never read the exact meaning of the surahs or prayers that I complete, but instead I take what I’ve been told by my parents and used it as a direct translation. I can confidently say that their definition was not a direct translation. I realized how important it is to understand what you’re reciting.

Closer to the end of the session, we had to do different forms of prayer testing. As that was announced, it was almost as if a pit grew inside my stomach. What if I messed up? Would they think differently of me? Would they think less of me? All these questions were replaying through my head as I kept on replaying the steps of prayer for a form of clarification on myself, trying to convince myself that it will all be okay the second I stand on the prayer mat.

As I started my prayer, I slowly got lost in it and all the worries about messing up were gone. Three different people tested all the students three times, and each person would give another form of feedback, which I found quite helpful. As everyone was wrapping up their prayers, we slowly moved back inside the classroom and were told we had 10 minutes to memorize the English translation of Surah Fathia. To say the least, I was terrified and unaware if I was able to complete this task. One by one someone would sit in the seat next to LG and attempt to recite the English translation of Surah Fathia, the majority of students weren’t able to complete the task first try, however, there was a great amount that could. “L, come on now, you have to come at some point. We aren’t doing this all day,” LG said, which only grew all my emotions of nervousness that I was previously feeling.

Finally, after reading the entire surah in my head about 100 times and writing it out, I sat in the chair. Slowly I started and by the time I realized I got to the end without a mistake. I was happy with myself, though I couldn’t tell if LG was too, because all he said was, “Good. Now memorize two other surahs.” I took that as the form of validation that I needed and moved on. Unfortunately, no one was able to complete LG’s task of being able to recite the Arabic and English versions of Surah Fathia, the prayer movements, or the two surahs in the time that he wanted it completed. Quickly, he changed the format of the class into more of a lecture as he did a recap on the day and spoke about different experiences that he has gone through that make him who he is today. 

“This class will stick with you forever both in the understanding of Allah and a leader.”

This statement was one of the last things I remember LG saying and I remember replaying it in my head as if I could find a place to store it and this whole class somewhere that it would never get lost. I don’t know what about that statement just took me back and wanted to do everything possible to make it come true.

This was until we moved into untapped and untouched potential. When we spoke about this, I was unsure of how to react due to how there are so many different ways that you could define potential. I see potential as someone who holds the capacity to become something bigger, stronger, and smarter than anyone could see them as.

To me, the potential is someone or something that hasn’t peaked yet and this could be either because they haven’t had the ability to or they haven’t had the willpower to. Wisdom and maturity. No matter how hard you tell yourself that you are going to become more mature or wise, it won’t mean anything unless you act upon them. Words mean nothing unless you act upon them. You can say that you’ll be the best basketball player in the world, but it won’t mean anything unless you work to be the best basketball player in the world.

You can say you will be one of the best Muslims, but what will that do if you still act in haram ways. Sure, believing is important, but how will you get anywhere in life without acting on those beliefs?

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