Feb 2018 what I learnt at GISLA at 13 years old and 9 mths in program
2/19/2018 – 13 years old – 9 mths in program
The Greenstairs Academy has taught me many things, both Islamic and Non-Islamic, like the life lessons. Also, the concepts that refer to Islamic lessons, like the oil-jug concept, the cell phone concept, the Samsung watch concept, and the soap concept. We’ve also learned other things, like the Universal values, 5 pillars of Islam, 6 pillars of faith, the acronym PAPA, & a lesson about Valentine’s Day.
The first concept is the oil-jug concept. Every baby was born with a jug of oil (theoretically). Throughout your life, whenever you do a bad deed, a drop of oil adds to the container. Whenever you do a good deed, a drop of oil leaves the container. The objective is to have no more oil in the jug when you die, meaning you did more good deeds than bad. If you do have oil left in your jug, you will be sent to hell where you will be used as cooking oil for the AC or heater that the people in Jannat need. The ACs and heater have to be powered somehow, and that will be by the oil in your jug.
The next concept is the cell-phone concept. Theoretically, whenever you pray, you are making a phone call to Allah (SWT). The more you pray, the stronger your connection is with Allah (SWT). When you start decreasing the amount of times you pray, you start losing connection. It gets worse & worse until you start up again, praying daily. Your objective is to have a strong connection with Allah (SWT) by the time you die. This concept is similar to the gift concept, where every time you pray, you get a gift from Allah (SWT) & if you miss a prayer, you miss a gift.
The Samsung watch concept is referring to the Day of Judgment, when you count up your good & bad deeds. You will have a small watch, in this concept called the Samsung watch, which will calculate all your good & bad deeds. It will also show you who you lost good deeds to and who or what earned you good deeds. For example, if you lied to your teacher about doing your project, and never told her the truth, you would have gained a bad deed. One bad deed is enough to be the difference between Heaven & Hell. You could be looking for your teacher on the Day of Judgment among all those people, but she could have walked right past you and you wouldn’t know. Lesson is, firstly try not to do bad deeds, but if it happens, try to make it right ASAP, because you never know where the person is going to be the next day.
The last concept is the soap concept. Personal hygiene is very important in our daily lives, and sometimes more important to some than others. You have to make sure that when you clean, you clean it all the way and take it all the way & you do this by using soap. Soap is basically a gift that’s there for you to use. You don’t just rinse your hands, you use soap on them. There are many benefits of soap, some may be unknown, but it’s defiantly there for your own good.
The Universal values, such as being trustworthy, not lying, and being kind, are values everyone needs to follow, and in every community around the world, universal values are smiled upon. Sometimes, they’re called manners, other times common sense. Also, it’s called being good-natured. But they all fall under one category; the universal values. What makes them significant and makes it essential that we follow them is that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) did them himself, and he’s the example for Muslims. There are also the rituals, such as praying, fasting, and reading Quran, and they go hand-in-hand with the values. Both are needed for s spot in Jannat, and while you may be the best in one, but worst in the other, you will not get into Jannat. Sometimes, the universal values are more important than rituals and vise versa. Your objective is to have an A+ in both fields, or at least try to.
The 5 pillars of Islam are shahadah, salah, zakat, fasting, and hajj. Shahadah is the first pillar of Islam. Muslims bear witness to the one God by reciting “There is no God but Allah (SWT) and Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is his slave and Messenger.” This simple yet profound statement expresses a Muslim’s complete acceptance of and total commitment to Islam. Salah, prayer, is the second pillar. The world’s Muslims turn to Makkah, the city where the Kabbah (house of god) is located, to offer five daily prayers at dawn (Fajir), noon (Duhr), mid-afternoon (Asr), sunset (Maghrib), and evening (Ishaa). Zakat is the third pillar. Social responsibility is considered part of one’s service to God. Zakat means payment of proportions of a Muslim’s possessions, usually money, to the community, usually its neediest members. Fasting is the fourth pillar. Fasting is in Ramadan when your only meals of the day are before dawn and after sunset. You can’t eat or drink anything the whole day. The purpose of this is to feel how the less wealthy feel and increase your sensitivity to the sufferings of the poor. If you are, for any reason, unable to fast, you must make it up on another day in another month & donate to the needy. The last pillar, Hajj, is the pilgrimage to Makkah. For those Muslims who are physically and financially able to make the journey to Makkah, Hajj is a once in a lifetime duty that is the peak of their religious life. In performing Hajj, a pilgrim follows the order of ritual that the Prophet Muhammad performed during his last pilgrimage.
There are also the 6 pillars of faith, which are the 6 things that Muslims believe in, the base of our religion. The first one is belief in Allah (SWT), which means you believe that he is the one and only god, & belief in all his names. The next one is belief in Angels. This is to believe that the angels exist. No one knows their exact number except Him (Allah SWT). He created them to worship Him. Next, belief in his books. This is to believe that Allah (SWT) gave his messengers books to convey mankind. The well-known books are the Quran, the Ingeel (The Bible), the Torah, & the Zaboor (Psalms).
If you are ever in the position to make a tough decision, without the help of the people you usually ask for advice, Allah (SWT) has given us a solution. In class, I have learned it by the acronym PAPA, which stands for Prophet Allah Prophet Allah. It means, before you have to make a risky decision, you first think “Would the prophet do it?” Then, you ask yourself “Would Allah approve?”After that, if you think it’s okay to do it, do the second PA, just to double check. After the second time, you base your decision on your results.
Lastly, we learned a lesson about Valentine’s Day. We first had a debate about whether Valentine’s Day was haram or not. We reached to the conclusion that Allah (SWT) doesn’t say anything about it in the Quran, so it can’t be haram, but the origins decree that it shouldn’t be taken that seriously by Muslims, but you treat Valentine’s Day like your family does. If they like Valentine’s Day, and give each other gifts, you can do it too. If your family is against it, you follow what your family does.