Qalam Institute

Week 2 : Quran and Prayer

On Thursday, I managed to cover the lines Z would read of his ABATA, so he read 6 lines, 2 for each day. I also noticed he had about 2+ pages to finish book 4, and so I told him,

“You’ll finish book 4 soon inshaaAllah!”

I even counted the lines and predicted that he would finish it in two weeks inshaaAllah.

“Then you can go to book 5 and then 6 and then read Quran! S, N and H read Quran when they were your age! You remember the video of N reading Quran?”

His eyes lit up and as the memory of that video clicked in his mind, he nodded enthusiastically. He seemed excited. I even asked him,

“Do you want to read the big Quran or the small one?”

“The small one.”

Hmm…I guess he’s used to using my mushaf when doing his surah. I personally prefer him to use th big ones though, and so I opened the big one and showed it to him, saying,

“See, this is bigger and easier to read!”

“No, I want to read the small one.”

Well, I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

As he is turning 7 soon inshaaAllah, I will ask him to choose between Zuhr and Asr, which one he wants to commit to. This was how I introduced salat to the older kids. When S turned 7, I asked her to choose between zuhr and asr, and whatever she chose, she will have comitted to it even if she is sick, which is a good practical lesson in how to make salat when you are sick and best of all, it teaches them commitment. I like this method so far, because it is gradual and they learn to commit to one salat at a time and not all 5, and they learn to hopefully perfect it, learn what to recite in the different positions, know the details of the salat they are committing to, before adding the next one, in about a few months. By the time they turn 10 inshaaAllah, they would then committed to all 5 salawaat. With the older kids, it worked. While we were traveling, they also still had to pray and so they learned how to pray when traveling.

With Z, I’m focusing or have been focusing on him perfecting each position and he has perfected the iftiraash, and tawarru3, and his sujud and ruku and even getting up from ruku and going into sujud. Soon, I plan to introduce him to what to say in ruku and sujud. Short ones and then hopefully, by April, he would have at least know how to pray with the pillars. Tashahud usually comes in a bit later.

We had gone to Dallas, and I had talked with a sister who took Dream and her two teenagers, age 17 and 15 are now TA for the Dream program mashaaAllah! On the drive home, hubs and I talked about the possibility of signing up S for the sisters public speaking workshop with Qalam Institute, and H for the Dream program, whether we move there or not. I really hope we can attend S’ graduation this June …inshaaAllah!

I also have to start calling the local CC asking about what is needed for S to enroll. She will inshaaAllah finish AlHuda this June and then she will plunge full force into finishing her high school. May Allah make it easy ameen! As for N, it seems that I need to work very closely with her all the way and make sure she’s on top of her work. I don’t like doing this, but what can I do? May Allah make it easy ameen!

I also have full hope that inshaaAllah with our regular post fajr session on Ustadh Nouman’s Tafseer and Arabic with Hosna, that we would really benefit from it. There were times when I was about to give up because I felt like despite us doing it every day and regularly, it wasn’t entering our hearts. But as I asked the kids survey questions, I sensed that those tafseer sessions do help. And it made me feel like haa..shaytaan is working to get us off that track maybe, making me feel hopeless. So the thing to do is to just keep doing it and make crazy dua Allah puts barakah in it. For Hosna, I really do hope we get ouf ot it what he Dream students get out of Dream, except I still do want to attend Dream or the part time one, and send H to the full time one. InshaaAllah.

I wish I can do Arabic with Z. I am VERY poor at doing this with the kids when they’re young. Seriously. If I master Arabic myself, maybe, but the reality is, I don’t. Argh. I’m very bad at trying it since even with Malay, we’ve been very bad with speaking it with the kids, even though we have a second chance with Z since he is still young. My God. May Allah make it easy, Ameen.

I have yet to sit down with N and come up with her hifdh revision schedule. May Allah make it easy ameen!

S is back volunteering teaching at Sunday school. Her horse therapy volunteer sessions hasn’t resumed yet so far. And our girls youth halaqa has been going on strong alhamdulillah. I plan to have S fully handle a few sessions on her own with my supervision inshaaAllah.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Al Huda Institute, Arabic, Bayyinah Institute, Community, High School, Homeschooling, Islamic Studies, Learning Challenges, Living Islam, Prayer/salat, Qalam Institute, Quran, Tafseer, Teaching Challenges, Teaching To Read, Thoughts, Volunteer Masjid, Youth Girls halaqa | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Back Home

Alhamdulillah we arrived home after a 10 hour drive from Dallas last night, and struggling to catch up with life right now. I had group and S has class. N and H have class today too. Busy busy busy. Then of course there is a sizeable amount of laundry, unpacking and resuming life at home to be done.

I have to say this. Every time we return home from our road trips, I feel sad. I love our road trips. This past weekend, I attended a public speaking workshop, from Thursday to Monday. It was an 8-5 daily workshop, and towards the end of the workshop, I was getting very stressed out because they had assigned us a 10 minute speech with only an overnight to prepare. While I was in the workshop, hubs and the kids hung out in the hotel. S did her math and studied her Taleem but the rest simply hung out. A couple of mishaps happened, and I felt like a working mom, coming home to hear that this happened, and to still have to nag at things that are not done. But mashaAllah, they pretty much took care of cooking. We hd brought a rice cooker and that was our stove, steamer, kettle all in one. They did a pretty good job with handling food. Hubs really did a great job. He dropped me off and picked me up, and for every night, he offered to go get something, so we’ve been indulging in Iced frappe, shakes, bubble tea while we were in Dallas. This is something out of the ordinary because we don’t usually do this. Hubs is a very frugal guy and so this was a big deal. But it was a beautiful gesture.

The workshop was amazing. I love it! Hubs and kids got to hear parts of it too, and especially Wisam’s tajweed session. Hubs would stay for a bit after dropping me off before going back to the hotel to the kids so he could listen to parts of the workshop. Even though I was the only one attending this workshop, it was as if the whole family did.

At lunch break they all came and brought lunch and we ate together. Reminds me of our AlMaghrib days. Every day, after the workshop, I’d share what I learned with hubs. He could have attended the Khateeb workshop but he let me attend the Sisters Public Speaking one. Subhanallah.

On Sunday, I prepared my speech, and practiced it on the family but it was difficult. I was only able to properly articulate what I wanted to say after they had all gone to sleep and I was coming down with a headache due to accumulation of lack of sleep, and after a while I just went to bed. On Monday, I thought to myself, oh whatever happens, happens. I wasn’t ready for the speech. But alhamdulillah they gave us some time to finish it. I didn’t really write out my whole speech, I skipped that and jumped straight to te note card bullet points. As English is not my native language, I worried about stumbling over my words and up till the time we had to present to our evaluators, I was in that condition.

Hubs and the kids checked out of the hotel earlier than 12 so they got to attend Wisam’s tajweed session. I realize that whenever I am attending classes like these on my own, I feel a bit wistful. I wished the whole family was attending, because the benefit of these classes are such that I don’t want them deprived of it. So when I saw hubs I was happy. The kids I know were also listening at the musalla because the sound system was such that the whole masjid can hear.

When time came for our speech presentation, my evaluator was Wisam and a sister. I was already panicking, and having Wisam as an evaluator made me even more nervous. But mashaAllah they both gave very nice positive affirmations and constructive criticism. During my speech however, Z came over and subhanallah, when I saw him coming towards me, I thought to myself,

“Of all times, he has to come and interrupt me now?”

I only patted him and went on with my speech though. From the corner of my eyes, I saw H coming and he took Z away. But when I was receiving feedback from our evaluators, they said that it was great that I wasn’t fazed by the kids coming when I was presenting. Thinking back, I’m surpised myself. At home, I’ve never been really able to block them out. I don’t like interruptions and can’t really tolerate them well, but alhamdulilah, I guess, I do have the ability to tolerate them in a fairly good manner.

I also got to ask Wisam some tajweed questions that have been plaguing me for years now alhamdulillah. We left earlier than planned because I got to ask Sh Abdunasir my questions and I had finished my speech. We drove back home, but of course, like whenever we visit a bigger Muslim community in other cities, we felt wistful. At least hubs and I was. We want to move. But it’s all in Allah’s hand. We can only plan and put in the effort. InshaAllah. Whatever Allah decrees is best for us. Alhamdulillah.

Now, back home, back to work. I have a lot to catch up with and the kids do too. S’ PSAT is next week and I still have to call the high school since we just played phone tag all of last week.

 

Categories: Community, Family, Qalam Institute, Travel | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

OKC Day 4 & Back to Dallas

Today is our last day in OKC. We’re to check out at 12, when S has her 1 hour break from class. So we got ready, and around 11, hubs came back up from the conference and we got ready to go. I cooked some rice and reheated the leftovers from last night, and just as we’re getting ready to get the second batch of our bags to the van, an alarm went off. At first, I thought it was the smoke alarm, but turned out, it was the alarm that requires immediate evacuation.

We rushed getting the stuff ready, and after a few minutes we heard the fire truck coming. I looked out the window and saw people walking out of the hotel. It was eerie. I was just reading the emergency drill action plan on the room door the night before or the night before that, and to actually have that alarm go off that day was interesting.

After a while though, the alarm in our part of the building was turned off but the alarm still was going on at the other part of the hotel. We hurried and soon had all our stuff in the van. People seemed to be taking it easy. Hubs even went down to check us out and he said people didn’t know what was going on, but they seemed relaxed. When we drove out of the parking garage, the fire truck was still on the street, but nothing seemed to be wrong.

We headed for the Myriad Botanical Garden to have our hot lunch. It was a very breezy and surprisingly chilly afternoon, subhanallah. I didn’t expect the weather to be like that. Then again, we didn’t check the weather when we were packing, though I had told H to but he didn’t do it.

We hurried through lunch too because S had to resume her class in half an hour. We unpacked our hot rice, leftover chicken, and Z’s ride and serunding and we ate at a table in the children’s area. it was a nice lunch picnic. It was really cold but our food was hot.

Hubs went to drop S off back at the hotel to get the internet to resume her class and the rest of the kids just played around in the park. The park is really nice. When hubs came back, we decided to go to the Oklahoma City Memorial.

On the way, hubs asked the kids,

“So do yuo guys know about the Oklahoma City bombing?”

‘Yeah, Ummi told us to read a book about it and we did,” said H.

“What does it have to do with Muslims?” asked hubs

“Nothing.”

“Yeah, but the first hour after it happened, they accused the Muslims.”

I wasn’t aware of this but it’s not surprising. Subhanallah.

The visit to the Memorial was an informative one and a somber one. I couldn’t help but feel somber when I looked at the picture of the bombed federal building on the brochure that was passed to us when we entered the memorial. It was a beautiful memorial. We listened to the park ranger giving us the tour, and we were standing by the survivor tree. Subhanallah…I was thinking to myself,

Those people lost their lives, but this tree, which apparently survived a disease that was very destructive to elm trees, lightning, drought, storms, torn limbs from blast, fire from the exploded cars under it when the bomb went off, survived, by Allah’s mercy. It made me think how life is such a fragile thing. And that it is completely in His hands. It was time for those people’s lives to end in such a way, but it was not yet time for the this tree to die. Despite everything, it continued to bud, and grow. Subhanallah. But there will come a time when it will also die. It’s just a matter of time.

The park ranger said that some people would dip their hands in the pool and put their wet handprints on the walls. The kids did that. We spent quite some time at the memorial. Hubs went to pick S up and brought her back and she walked through the Memorial with my 3 minute briefing on what it was all about. It was quite an experience. As the park ranger was talking about the lives lost in this tragedy, I couldn’t help thinking also of all the lives lost in other tragedies going on in the world. Not to undermine the lives lost in the Oklahoma City Bombing, but there were lives lost there too, and they were not mostly known to the world. Some died slow painful deaths, torturous deaths. This is the reality of life in this world, that bad things do happen to good people. That evil do lead to such destruction. That the oppressors do sometimes get away with oppressions because those oppressions are not checked. That fasad is part of the reality of this life in this world, and that there is life in there hereafter. Allah is just and those who are oppressed, will get just compensation in the life of the hereafter if not in this world.  May Allah protect us from such ends and such trials, and may He give us husnul Khaatimah. Ameen.

We drove to Dallas right away, and of course, encountered traffic on the interstate. Turned out, there was an accident on the other side of the interstate.

“This is the thing about living in Dallas,” hubs said.

Alhamdulillah, we did get to the hotel in good time, H and Z got time to go swimming, and then we drove to the Carrollton masjid. We were late, but they also started late, so I technically made it in good time. Subhanallah, twice, I had begged Allah to let us get to class on time; the first one, last weekend, for the AlMaghrib class, and we did, despite the recurring traffic and rain, and now this. Subhanallah. He does indeed respond to the caller when the caller calls on Him. Subhanallah…Glorified is He from all people associate Him with, any partners or child.

Hubs and the kids waited outside while I attended the intro session of the workshop, but they got to listen to it too because the sound system at the masjid was such that the whole masjid could hear it when they used the mic. May Allah reward hubs and the kids immensely for bearing with this and letting me have this opportunity to attend this. Ameen.

Not many husbands would do this for their wives. He used to also do this when we were in Columbus. He let me attend AlMaghrib classes while he babysat the kids. He even stayed on campus throughout the whole weekend when Z was about 3 months old, and he would bring him to me for nursing during breaks. Subhanallah. I cannot enumerate the blessings He has bestowed on me even if I try to count them. May Allah make us of the shaakireen! Ameen.

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Categories: AlMaghrib Institute, Community, Family, Qalam Institute, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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