2018/9 Class Notes by DJ age 17 – 11th grade in 2018 – (actual note(s) from student(s)) updated weekly
(actual note(s) from student(s)) submitted within one week of class
(These notes are mostly unedited and represent a GISLA students understanding of the previous class the attended.) Student attend class on Sunday and submit their essay of what they learnt before the next class. Interestingly, as can be seen below the same class yields different lessons for each student even though the content of the class they hear was the same.)
Students graduate level 1 IF and WHEN they pass the Level one exam (some do it in 6 weeks and some take 3 years and counting…) and students from anywhere in the world can test out to pass and earn the GISLA Level one trophy)
Week 5 – Last Sunday (was my second week in the program) on October 14th when I visited the UHJT Diwale Mela in Chantilly Virginia, I got to experience Indian culture and learn and understand about the concepts of Hinduism and what are its origins. I travelled with my Islamic Sunday school and when we got there, we walked around to different stalls and talked to different people and asked questions about Hinduism and we got to see Indian culture such as music, dances, paintings, and clothes.
The first person that I talked to was a puja which is a Hindu priest that performs rituals. He got some paint and put it on my forehead and gave me some dried rice to eat. I ate the rice and it tasted kind of weird. He then told us about the philosophy of Hinduism and some of the things that he said are showing respect to your parents especially your mother and that you should always be thankful for her because without her you would be nothing. He also gave me some life advice such as the importance of education in order to become successful and not wasting time with friends. Lastly he showed me two little statues of two Hindu deities that were surrounded by candles, fruits, and candles.
The second person that I talked to was a pundit which is another name for a priest and he was from a sect in Hinduism known as Jainism. What I learned is that non-violence, truth and reality has multiple aspects, and non –attachment to worldly objects and pleasures are the main core principles and beliefs on Jainism. I also learned that Jains and Hindus are vegetarians and refrain from eating meat and that they also avoid eating to late at night because it has been scientifically proven that eating dinner earlier is healthier for the human body. Lastly I learned that Jains fast for around 36 hours and they are permitted only to drink water.
In conclusion I learned a lot when I visited this Hindu and Jain festival and I realized that Islam and Hinduism had some things in common such morals and the concepts of fasting. For ethics and morals, respect to your mother and your parents are both recognized by both religions and the concepts of charity, non violence, compassion, and ethics. I also learned that we must be tolerant of other religions and beliefs if we are to fully understand who we are as human beings and Muslims. Lastly for me personally before I went on this trip, I did not really know anything about Hinduism and I thought that they just put dots on their foreheads and worshipped animals and idols. But as I talked to these people and started to understand their religion, I stated to realize that my thinking was wrong and now my view of Hindus have changed and I regard them just like all other religions with respect and tolerance just as Islam teaches me to do so.
Yesterday on Sunday November 4th, I went to the Green Stairs academy leadership program at the Islamic Center of Northern Virginia. For the first 15 minutes of the class we helped set up the chairs and tables and got the class in order. Then for the next two hours we memorized and tested on our homework which was the Islamic basic prayer in both English and Arabic.
Everyone was at different stages and since I just started in this program, I was at a beginner’s stage and In order to pass this class I must take an exam and earn a trophy. We then had a 20 minute lunch break and I ate Pizza Boli’s and drank weird tasting water.
During that break Teech gave a little lecture. After that, we stopped studying and now we listened to Teechr’s lectures and he talked about many different things such as MBA which stands for moderation, balance, and accountment, the concept of broccoli and the concept of the sheep and the goat in which you must always strive to be the goat in life. Later towards the last hour of class, one of Teech’s former students visited and he talked about why you should join this class and he also explained his background. His name is B I think and he is 23 years old and he is from Pakistan and he is an IT consultant.
He also has a brother who is here currently attending this class and he is 13 years old. He explained that when he first came to this class he did not like it and he was confused when Teechr first asked if he was full of B.S.
Overtime however, he explained that slowly he became used to the class and started to respect the class and the teacher. He told us that we should stay in this class because we will learn knowledge and wisdom that will stick with us for years to come. Lastly he explained that all of this knowledge did not hit him until he was in college for some strange reason and even Teeachher was a little confused also.
That’s what I learned yesterday in class and it was a lot of information and knowledge that I am proud of learning because I know it will help me in the future.