Sept 2018 to July 2019 Student notes – (actual note(s) from student(s))
(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)
CLASS ONE 9/9/18
SL 12th grade No Submit; R 10th grade – No Show; O 10th grade – No Submit; W and H – attended – no submit
by KL 11th grade – Class 1 recap Last Sunday (was my first week) I learned to question the question before I answer. Instead of responding to “Are you full of BS?” with a yes or a no, I learned I must know the real meaning of the question before answering it.
I also learned the value of achievement and power, and how to use those for good like Bill Gates does. Instead of making loads of money and using it for yourself, if you have the money to help make a change in the world and be selfless, you should do that.
We are Khalifa of God, so our job is to be good, be good to others, and make the world good.
With doing these good things, comes a drop of oil from the gallon attached to our back from birth. As we do more and more good, the oil drips out little by little.
Not only does God want us to do good, but He also wants us to pray five times a day. This is because He wants us to remember Him throughout the day, no matter how many good deeds we have or haven’t done that day.
And when we do do these good things, we must also remember those who have done good for us. Mostly our parents.
No one will ever pray for you like your parents do, and we should always remember that before it is too late.
9/9/18 by H 10th grade – Late submission Last Sunday being my first week, I learned about the basics of the class which included learning about a list of 53 words and phrases with a hidden meaning.
For example, number 36 is “Fajr”. After Teeach asked us if we knew the story of the time Satan woke a man up for Fajr, he asked Omaar to tell us the story, here it is: There once was a very religious Muslim man who would never miss a prayer, then one day, he missed his Fajr prayer in the morning and he had so much remorse for missing Fajr, that he got closer to God that day. The next morning, Satan woke him up for Fajr so he would have less remorse and not be as close to God as he was the day before.
Teech also explained to us that the Green Stairs Masjid course is unlike any other Sunday School program. In the Green Stairs academy instead of memorizing a ton of surahs that you won’t remember, Teech will teach us to understand the meanings of a few short surahs. We will also memorize the entire Salat in Arabic and English
Sunday, September 16, second
R 10th grade – No Show; O 10th grade – no submit
KL 11th grade – on time – Last Sunday, September 16, was my second class at the Green Stair Leadership Academy. During that class, I learned the metaphor of the “branch and tree trunk.” The metaphor is that the entire tree is religion. The tree trunk is Belief in God, which all religions have, while the branches are different religions. Off each “branch” is a smaller “branch,” which represents a different types of that religion (ex: branch from tree trunk=Christianity; smaller branch=Catholic, Protestant, etc).
Another concept I learned was how we learn from history. This means that we learn from things we’ve done or things that have happened to us in the past. For example, if you burned your hand on the stove yesterday, today you wouldn’t put your hand on the stove because you learned from history (burning it yesterday) that you shouldn’t do that.
Lastly, I learned about being God conscious. It is the concept that God doesn’t want you to pray 24/7, but rather He wants you to be conscious of Him all the time so you are aware of yourself and what you say and do.
H 10th grade – Late submit
This week I took my second class in the Green Stairs Leadership Academy Program and was able to understand more what happens in the class every week.
This week I was tested for my homework assignment which was to memorize Surah Fatiha in English. Now, I have no idea of this is something that happens every week, but I basically just stalled for the the first 15 minutes and we didn’t end up reciting what we memorized for the first hour or so. The first thing that we talked about was how doctors and lawyers are able to retain information more easily because they went to school for so long, that they can retain information easily now.
There was another very interesting concept that TeecherJi taught us that I believe everyone can use in their daily life. He said “Everybody is born with a goodie bag, the goal is to learn what is in your goodie bag,” these might not always be good things, you could be born with a disability, or you could be great with math and numbers, It’s up for you to find out what is in your goodie bag.
After our initial discussion we were all tested and assigned our homework. This week was able to complete my assignment and I was assigned to memorize the first rakat in Arabic and English for homework.
after we ate the whole class went outside and we walked around the field until Dhur. We had to tell Teeacherji one thing that he did not know about us. I told him about the time that I accidentally ate pork in a lasagna. We kept having discussions and a parent told us a story about a baby tree that cut a car in half on Little River Turnpike
SL 12th grade – late submit
I learned in class this past week that the green stair academy is like broccoli. When you are younger and your parents make you eat broccoli you usually don’t like and do not understand why you need to consume it. Once you get older you understand what is valuable in broccoli and why it is good for you to be eating it. We also learned tree trunks and branches.
TeecherJi taught us that tree trunks represent our belief in god because it is deeply rooted inside of each person just like a tree trunk is deeply rooted inside the ground. Each different branch represents each major religion and the branches off of those major religions represents the other parts of each religion. He also taught us some main beliefs of other religions to help us get a better understanding of what they believe in and how it differs from Islam. He taught us that Christians believe that they are supposed to live their life like jesus. Jews differ from Islam because they do not believe in the afterlife.
TeecherJi also taught us that we have to be able to learn from history of other people’s action to prevent ourselves from making the same mistakes. While you learn from history to prevent make mistakes you have to be able to learn from your own experiences.
I was also taught that you have to be accountable for your own actions and you eventually have to answer for them. It does not matter that someone suggested that you commit to performing an action, it is your choice to commit towards the action and you have to be accountable to the actions that you take.
Class 3 – 9/23/18 Lesson
KL 11th grade – on time In last week’s class I learned the concept of living for your principals. Basically, one mustn’t only fight for what they believe in, but they must also demonstrate it. So, for example, if you say that girls must be treated equally, then you should treat girls equally to demonstrate what you say you believe in.
We also learned about the Decision Tree of Life, which is a metaphor for the choices you make in life and how they affect you. The explanation is that God has written every variable of your life, you just have to pick which variable, or life choice, you want to make. These choices come with effects or consequences that God has also written (God knows what might happen: it’s your choice to decide whether it does or not). This also ties into physical laws— the laws/rules that God created which trigger physical events in the world. So, if you make the choice to put your hand in fire, God already knew that could’ve happened, and also knows the result of that action, which is you getting your hand burned.
Those topics also relate to the metaphor of the pen and pencil— the metaphor that states that some things in life are in pen, meaning they’re permanent and won’t be changed, while others are in pencil, which means they can be changed or controlled to go a certain way. Your birth is in pen, and can’t be erased, once you’re born, every step forward will be in pencil and you can pray for certain things to go certain ways in the future because they have to ability to be changed.
H 10th grade
This week I took my third class in the Green Stairs Leadership Academy and I will say that I think that I could list what we do in each class in order.
First we always start the class with saying the pledge of allegiance in class along with the shahadah and after that we pray 2 cycles of practice prayer or Fajr if we haven’t already.
After that we typically have a discussion and start to recite our homework. Last class our general discussion was about an acronym the teacher made up called CCA, common sense applied. It literally is what it says. You need to apply you’re basic prior knowledge to where it is applicable. We also learned a concept which essentially said that it is easier to fight for your principles than to live for them. People will always protest for Islam, but will never go to Jummah prayer.
The last concept that we learned this week was the pen and pencil concept. Some parts of your life are written in permanent ink (destined to happen) and other parts of your life are pencil and can be positively or negatively affected by your actions.