By Aatifa Shareef
We started upping our game this week. We started both Uloom ul Qur’an and Aqeedah, two advanced subjects that are actually really basic: they are the sciences behind the Qur’an and our beliefs. We also started our student-led MSA events, events beyond the regular weekly halaqas and khutbahs. This is taking place right after the Stand & Deliver Khateeb and Public Speaking Workshop, so our speaking skills are expected to be top-notch. And a few of the students just participated in the Rad Talks event, a Muslim version of TED talks, a conference for sharing bright ideas and collaboration with other activist-minded Muslims. We’re no longer just sitting and being spoon-fed information, but we’re working hard to research, learn, and then present information to the rest of our classmates and others. Our world is expanding, and it’s both frightening and exhilarating to know that we are able to tackle it head on.
The only way we’ll be able to be effective though is to actually understand people. The majority of the people we interact with willingly attend whatever events we attend, so it’s important to know where they are coming from. Up until now, we’ve been attending the halaqas and MSA events, meeting and talking to the people around us. At Stand & Deliver, each of us was given a group to work with. We introduced ourselves to each other to know what other kinds of activities people are participating in to do their part in serving Islam. Some people were newly religious Muslims taking the workshop to talk to their friends more effectively about Islam. Others were doctors who wanted to feel comfortable talking to their patients about Islam. And others were students trying to build the confidence to stand up to their classmates and teachers and present the correct image of Islam. Seeing so many people all working to bring people closer to Allah makes my efforts seem not so isolated and frightening anymore. But I realize that each of us is just a player on the same team, passing the ball amongst ourselves, all working towards one goal. May Allah reward all of our efforts in this world and the next.