Class of 9/8/19 notes by 18 year old female

Week of 9/8/2019 By: HH age 15 Submitted on 9/14/2019
This week was our first real week of class and we started at 9:30. When I got to class, I did one cycle of practice prayer and then did some meditation. Then we had a guest speaker come and talk to use about Ashura. I had never heard about Ashura but it was very interesting. Basically, it’s a commemoration that marks the death of the family of the Prophet Mohammed PBUH for Sunni Muslims, for Shias, it’s a commemoration for the death of Ali, and for Jewish people, it’s the commemoration for the escape from Firoin. Let me explain in detail: Now I don’t know if I have all the details right but following the death of the Prophet PBUH, there were four caliphates that followed: Abu Bakir, Omar, Usman and Ali. Going back a little to when the Prophet was on his deathbed, he was described as delirious and as a result, his family, his wife Aisha, his daughter Fatima who was married to Ali, and Usman and Omar who were married to Ali’s daughter. Now the Prophet was asking for Ali constantly on his deathbed but he didn’t come because no one went to summon him maybe because there was a big chance that the Prophet was going to pass down the caliphate to him.

When the Prophet did die, everyone was very emotional, for example Omar was so emotional that he claimed that if anyone came near him telling him that the Prophet had died, he would kill them. Abu Bakir, on the other hand was a little more composed and addressing the people, he said that yes, it’s true that the Prophet had died but his message, the message of Islam is bigger than one man and it outlives him. Since the Prophet had passed, there was a vacancy in the leader of the Islamic empire, and after his speech, the people elected Abu Bakir to be the next caliphate.

This is one of the times where the Sunnis, in a manner of speaking, screwed over the Shia, because they thought it was unfair for Abu Bakir to be the next caliphate when Ali was elated to him AND the election had taken place in his absence, because Ali was taking care of the Prophets funeral arrangements. Nonetheless, while Abu Bakir was the ruler, and every one of them after would go to Ali for advice asking ‘What would the Prophet do?’ since Ali was very close with him. When Ali was finally the caliphate, Muawiya, the son of Usman I believe, saw it as the time to take back power, because after Ali, I believe Husain, grandson of the Prophet, was in line to be the next caliphate. His son Aziz, invited the Prophet’s family, including Ali to their home which was a whole day’s walk away to apologize? Or for a happy event, I can’t remember the exact reason.

Anyway, after arriving there, the water supply was cut off. To this Husain, kicked the ground and water spewed from the ground. But, sadly out of the 72 members of the Prophets family, all the men were killed and the women were imprisoned. This is the reason for Ashura for Muslims. But for Shia’s, they also participate in the lashes as a form of penance because of Ali’s death. An accurate comparison would between this and when Christian carry the cross on Easter, commemorating when Jesus was crucified for them.
Following the death of the Prophet’s family, Muawiya realized that Hasan, another grandson of the Prophet was still alive. He approaches Hasan and tells him that he won’t kill him if he leaves and doesn’t go against him since being a direct descendent of the Prophet, Hasan could take the caliphate from Muawiya. Hasan, obviously, says no, but I don’t remember if he really was killed by Muawiya.
For Jewish people, as I said it marks the commemoration of them being saved from Firoin. The story is that as Prophet Musa PBUH was guiding the Israelites from Firoin’s kingdom, the came to a halt at the Red Sea. Seeing Firoin’s army close behind, Musa looked to the sky and prayed for God to save them, and he did. By parting the Red Sea, the Israelites were safe and able to escape Firoin. But as they were escaping, Firoin followed them into the water but he started to drown and he looked at Musa and asked him to save him. Musa didn’t. Later God asks Musa, ‘Why didn’t you save Firoin?’, he says it was because he claimed that he was more powerful than God but God said no, I’ll tell you why you didn’t. It was because when he was dying, he asked you, Musa for help, but you didn’t feel anything for him, because you were not his creator. He was in need but he didn’t ask me for help, he didn’t ask me for help, his creator for help.

Now this event is the reason that Ashura is also significant for the Jewish people, but for the Jewish people, they commemorate it through Yom Kippur. Muslims also commemorate this but, in a way, different from Jewish people. Muslims fast the 10th day of Muharram to honor the Israelite’s escape from Firoin since they were saved by Prophet Musa. It is said that if you fast during Ashura, the sins you commit against God will be forgiven, like not praying. If you are unable to fast, it is still important to stay in remembrance of Ashura and what it’s about. During Ashura it is also important that we don’t display any outrageous expressions of happiness, such as a wedding or parties to respect the Prophet’s family.


Following the lecture, we spent about an hour on memorization of the prayer. I’ve memorized the full prayer and all I have to do is memorize the 5 additional surahs and the 50 concepts depicted as common objects that are a simile to important Islamic concepts. After memorization time, we talked about the meaning and use of surah Fatiha and reviewed on of our concepts.

Surah Fatiha is designed in a way that it can be used as a formula for asking for anything in life. First you must begin by flattering the person as shown by the first four ayas. Next you must say what you are asking for and specify, what you want and exactly what you don’t want and that is shown in the last four ayas.

The concept that we leaned were CCA which stands for common sense, context, and accountability. These are very important themes in Islam. Firstly, very much of Islam is common sense, meaning that the key concepts, the fundamental parts of Islam, just make sense. The next C stands for context, meaning that things like hadiths and things that our parents grew up with can’t necessarily be applied literally or in every single situation. Finally, the A stands for accountability. In Islam, we are held accountable for our actions and are on of the only religions that emphasizes this

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