2023 Sep Week 2 F17

Al-2023 Essay (week #2).docx

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Week #2, by Al-16, female, Sunday, August 27
(1525 words)
Today is my 2nd week at the Greenstairs leadership program which was not as stressful as the first week for a newbie. I was excited about this week’s class because I revised what we learned last week every day in the morning because after many experiences I now know that everything we learn after Fajr, we will remember it easily. The first thing that I did today when entering the class was to say both Salaamou Alaikoum. What I bought to class was my knowledge of the pledge of allegiance, and knowledge of a better prayer I will start by walking us through how A became a Muslim on August 27, 2023; the three kinds of pledges, the new words we mastered or learned today; how level 2 students, teachers, parents, and all told us about their opinions and experiences.

       When I entered the class, I heard the teacher say that we must grab a seat. I couldn't understand why he would ask to sit without tables when he knew that we needed the tables to take notes until he heard the music. The teacher told us to sit, close our eyes, and to focus on the music, the words that are being said, and the rhythm. After minutes of doing that, he would come and touch our skin and he doesn’t want us to acknowledge it. He wanted us to be so focused in the music and “get lost” so that he could test our concentration. After 6 minutes of meditating to the music he told us to get on the ground onto the prayer mats and in the position of meditating. That’s when I started to feel so focused that I couldn’t hear anything but the music, which was about the shahada, pledge of faith. After 15 minutes we finally stopped, and I was so relieved because even with the beautiful music it was very difficult to focus because I had leg cramps. After that he asked us if we had succeeded in the test, there were some who said yes, no, and I said half. He told us that we would do this every Sunday from now on. He also reminded us that if there is no teacher, the parents are the teachers. They are responsible for keeping the temperature in the class to 120 degrees and never below it. He asked a student in level 2 program to tell us the way meditation works. M said that that type of meditation with the shahada is a way

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to help our salah so that when we pray, we would be able to feel the presence of Allah. It helps us in a way that nothing can disturb you because you know when you pray, we feel like it is so difficult for us to focus. We went over another topic which was the pledges, We started with the pledge of faith which is a promise of loyalty or when you take responsibility to be loyal to a country, or religion…; The pledge of faith is the shahada, it is when you take the responsibility to be loyal to Allah because as the shahada says it “ there is no God but One God, and Mohamad (S.W.A) is the messenger of Allah. Next, we have the pledge of allegiance, which says, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. “We say the pledge of allegiance in the masjid to how grateful we are to have freedom of religion. The third pledge is the pledge of knowledge which represents our teacher, the one who teaches us. I learned that the world is not limited to what the teacher teaches us but to what we want to learn. The teacher told us that we only have 3 warnings for whatever bad thing we do, only 3 if we mess those 3 up, we will be banned from that program until the next program starts which is in December. I observe that the teacher constantly says, “Monkey see, monkey do”. The teacher made us do 5 push-ups because we said the pledge in Arabic instead of English. I also learned that the pledge of knowledge is Surat Fatiha in English.

After that brief retentiveness of the pledges, we had to grab the chairs and form a cercle in which we welcomed A and two others. They were here to make A’s shahada which was a real success in which we all got rewards. He accepted Islam, surrendered to God, and was purified from all his bad deeds no matter what he did. Before they started his shahada, the teacher asked A to say “God gives us what is good in this world and give us what is good in the hereafter. After his shahada and the first one who came with him, he was also a non-Muslim before repenting, he told A that there would be people who would be distanced from him and some who would change with him but no matter what he must be ready to accept that and Islam. A affirmed that he was ready to accept Islam. After that, he took his shahada, and they went out to discuss his future maybe. After that amazing moment, the teacher asked us what is happening in the world and we answered with all we could even though we forgot to mention the most important one, the one that covers the news and the ones that are happening in
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our countries like the way Russia has confirmed Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin died when his plane crashed Wednesday. After that he asked us each if we were full of BS and we were like of course no and only one said not yet which was intriguing; how can we talk about Bs in a masjid we finally understood that he wasn’t talking about the normal BS the one that we taught but he was talking about BS (Belief in sincerity) and we were all like not yet. He showed us that if we receive the trophy, it means that we accomplish many things and that we are full of Bs. He showed us that he has had 2 pieces of clove all day in his mouth, he said that it was an antiseptic. Because one of the students was not sitting properly, he asked us if we knew what body language, I basically said that it is when you give information about yourself without saying anything he came up with non-verbal cues.

       A while after the teacher told us to learn Al-Fatiha in English while the two that were late catch up with 2 level 2 students. The teacher went out while we were still learning, and he told the parents to watch us and rectify us if we had made a mistake. and that’s when Teachers C and R came. Teacher C taught us the pledge of the class which is “I understand that this is a voluntary program; A failure to comply with a request, the result would be expulsion. When the teacher came back, we were told to say the pledge of the class Infront of him, so we did but some of us didn’t quite articulate it well. That is where the terms articulate, and conserve came up and now we know the difference. One of the level 2 students, while explaining her experience, said something about oil metaphor and now I understand that it is the oil we get rid of by doing good things and not doing bad things. And she also said that we must connect those metaphors with our life. The other level 2 student told us the 3 most important things about this program which were the salat sheet first, then leadership and the fact that we grow our soul. Teacher C told us the difference between Management and leadership. We also started to learn what CCA stands for; C for common sense, C for context but we didn’t get to go to what A stands for in this case. Islam is essentially common sense. We heard what we say when someone passes away. The Teacher said, “we come from God, we go back to God”. Teacher M and I also told us about their experiences too. Did you know that the purpose of living is to do what's right for anything downstairs. Like the khalifahs. Our duty in this world is to make it a

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better place. Without forgetting our homework for next week which is the importance of the numbers from 1 to 11, Surat Fatiha is English and the biggest news of the week.

       In conclusion, this program is teaching us how to be better Muslims how to performs our duties to make the world a better place. This program is helping reinforce the connection we have with Allah and after only 2 Sundays in this program I am very excited and ready to repair and acknowledge my relationship with God and all because of those teachers and
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