2023 Sep Week 3 Male 16

September 22,2023
MD/16Year Male

Today was my third week at Greenstair Academy Program. However, we performed the Fajr prayer and got ready for class. We arrived at the mosque by 9:30 and headed to class. We were not late because today’s class started at 9:45. We found LJ there, greeted him, and he seemed to be happy today.

LJ asked us about the translation of Zikr into English. We were a little hesitant because we had somehow forgotten, but we managed to recall it. The translation was “Thank you, my Lord. Forgive me, my Lord. Bless me, my Lord.” Which means that we thank God for everything He has given us, ask for forgiveness for not having asked for forgiveness enough, and also ask for His blessings. We then started our meditation on this concept. Next, when we had finished the meditation, Teacher R entered the room. We greeted her, and she offered to test us on the prayer sheet. I was the first to be tested, but I think I was too hasty with the words. She told me that I needed to revise a little longer and take my time.

Then, we noticed that two new students were present. Their names were T and H. We made the three pledges together and explained to them the importance of each one. My sister A did the pledge of allegiance, my sister F did the pledge of faith, and lastly, I did the pledge of knowledge. LJ spoke with them about the errors in their writing. It was true that it was their first essay, but he let them know that he was very impressed. Just an error in the program description and how it organized the paragraphs of their essay. He told them that every new idea is a paragraph.

We started class talking about metaphors and their meanings. Many metaphors were described, including:
· The 8-second rule: In rodeo competitions, 8 seconds refer to the minimum time to count your points. Greenstair Academy uses this law to emphasize the concept of remaining connected with Allah for at least 8 seconds, as connecting with God is a very challenging exercise, like balancing on the back of an angry bull. Teacher R even gave us an example of a strong connection with God with the story of Khalif Aly: During the war, Aly was shot with an arrow in the foot, and he told the doctor to wait until he started his prayer so he could remove it. At the end of his prayer, he became angry, believing that the arrow was still there, while it had been taken away without him realizing it.
· Phone connect: This one referred to the direct call we make to Allah during prayer. The more we concentrate on our prayer, the quicker our call will be prioritized and picked up. But to have a good quality of communication and connection, we must concentrate on prayer. If our connection is weak, our call will never reach Allah, which means that this metaphor is in some way connected to the 8-second metaphor.
· B R: Believe or ritual, which comes first? Should we teach the beliefs first or the rituals, as some parents do today? But don’t worry, the teaching doesn’t matter. To be a good Muslim, it is better to incorporate both at the same time, so the order does not matter.
· 1, 5, 6, 11: For this one, we played a game but with imposed sanctions. Each of us had to stand up in our chair and answer a question related to Islam. Each wrong answer led to ups and downs. For 1 = one God, 2 = Quran and Hadith, 3 = Rakat for Maghrib, 4 = books (Quran, Torah, Injeel, Bible) The 4 Khalifahs (Abu Bakr, Umar, Osman, Ali), then 4 angels (Jibreel, Mika’il, Isra’il, Israfil), and finally the 4 Rakat for each hours except Fajr and Maghrib. For 5 = The 5 pillars and the 5 prayers (Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, Isha). For 6 = The 6 beliefs (God, Angels, Books, Prophets, Day of Judgment, and Accountability). For 7 = The seven Heavens and Hell. For 11 = The amount of Dhikr we can do.
· LGA and ILYA: LGA means Love God Always, and ILYA means I Love You Always. We must always show our love for Allah and always pray, even if our prayers are not answered. Like the example of a girl who prayed to become an astronaut but did not ultimately become one, even though she prayed every day. It’s because everything is already written by God, so if you are not destined to become what you want, you never will be. That’s why you always have to add that God gives you something better in your prayers.
· Soap and Water: As we know, cleaning ourselves with soap makes us cleaner than with water alone. So doing your wudu before praying is like using soap; it makes us clean and ready for prayer. But after ablution, it is important to go directly to prayer. For example, a man finished saying his prayers but had an appointment. Instead of going to the meeting, he canceled it and went straight to his prayer. This demonstrates that, regardless of the importance of what we do or must do, we must go directly to pray after wudu.
· Benefit of prayer: Only a small part of the benefits of prayer will be visible in this world; the larger part is reserved for the final judgment day. Indeed, five bags are placed for you, and each prayer made fills a bag that will be sent to your Spiritual Bucks account. These Spiritual Bucks will define your level in heaven. It’s better to pray and have a high-grade paradise.
· PACA: The P means Prophet, the A for Allah, the C for Common Sense, and the last A for Accountability. PACA means always checking before using or doing something with which you are not familiar. For example, always look at what the Prophet said. If you don’t find any information, look in the Quran. If there’s still no information, use your common sense, and you are accountable for your actions. Like if you are on the moon where nobody know where is the Qibla you will need to use common sense

Ultimately, after discussing all these metaphors, we concluded the class by reciting the 4th pledge, which is the modified Surat Al-Asr. LG told us that for the next week, we had to bring back our class notes and finish the prayer sheet once and for all

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