2021 September 26 — SS —Male age 15 # Week 4
Hello everyone! Today is my 4th week at the Green Stairs Academy Program. Today, I entered the classroom and to my surprise, it was empty except for a student in the back. Teacher I came and told me to pray two cycles of practice prayer. After I finished praying, Teacher I gave me a blindfold and told me to start meditating. I sat down and recited there is no God but God. I stood up and went to my seat. I was to practice all the duas I make in Salaat and also do 2 surahs. I also had an origami presentation so I can practice on making sure my speech is loud and clear. That was my homework for this week and I was to bring my paper notes.
The other students came and Teacher I asked Student M to lead the students into saying the pledge of allegiance, faith and knowledge. We made a mistake but we continued and class started. On the whiteboard, there were a list of incomplete words. He started talking about the list when a new student came in. Teacher I then proceeded to talk about the requirements and our class’s rules. He told us the way we should write our essays, as some students were writing in the wrong format. He said that what we were supposed to bring should be the topic of our first paragraph and what happens in class should be in the next paragraph. Teacher I told us we also have to write our homework in the last paragraph so we know what the homework is.
He then questioned us about the word and their definitions. We talked about common sense and how our intuition guides us. Context was the next word and we must apply it to our everyday life. We had an example about how using a plastic water bottle is more convenient today instead of an animal skin water pouch.
We moved on to accountability. Teacher I had a great example. He said that every person will have to cross a bridge to Heaven, with Hell being underneath the bridge. He said everyone has an Apple 21 watch that records their good deeds; this was just an example. He said that people with more good deeds than bad will pass the bridge and enter Heaven. People who have more bad deeds than good will try to cross but fall into Hell. He then gives an example of a person who has, for example, 850 good deeds and he asks another person what he has got. The other person replies that he has 500. The first man confidentially steps on the bridge and starts screaming. He falls into Hell and the second man crosses into Heaven. He is given 60 good deeds and he asks why does he receive it? An angel tells him that someone wronged him and to balance the scales, 60 good deeds were taken from him and given to that man. Teacher I asks us why does the first man fall into Hell, even though he has plenty of good deeds? We took turns guessing and then, he said that the first man can ask forgiveness from some people he wronged in the past but he didn’t. I realized what he meant and I said that the victims of the first man asked for justice on the Day of Judgment. Allah balanced the scales by taking away some of the first man’s good deeds and distributed them to his victims. If he had no good deeds left, then the victims’ bad deeds would be passed on to him because of his debt. Teacher I said that we have to be accountable of our actions and this is an important concept.
He also said that we have to be grateful in our lives. Allah has given us a healthy brain, arms and legs that work and we must be grateful to Allah in return. Teacher I told us a story about a king who lost a finger. He lost his finger and his prime minister told him to be grateful. Angered, the king asked how can he be grateful if he lost it and he put the prime minister in jail. Later, there was a coup and the king was thrown into prison. The other inmates had to sacrifice a man and they skipped the king because of his missing finger. He survived and after he regained his throne, freed his prime minister. The prime minister was grateful and the king asked why was he grateful when he was in prison. He replied that if he hadn’t been in jail, he might have died. This situation demonstrates why you should always be grateful.
We talked about ostentatious and how showing off is wrong. We talked about amana and how everyone has a gift given to them by Allah. That is their amana and they are supposed to share it. It doesn’t have to be money but a skill or knowledge will also count. Teacher I talked about excellence and how we, as leaders, need to excel at the things we work on. He said that he used three techniques and they were verbal, written, and mental. I was writing essays because it is part of the written technique and we also had verbal conversations in class. Teacher I asked a student what were the 5 pillars of Islam and we also had a great example in class.
Teacher I said that a person can be cultivated or developed in three ways. He said a person can develop his spirituality, mentality or his body. He said we have an obligation to take care of our bodies and we also have to develop our brain. He said the most important thing is to develop our souls because it goes on even after we die. We had a short break and we started to recite our homework. I did mostly well on the homework and I had to read 3 duas in Arabic and English. Class ended and I went home. I had a good experience this week.