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Qalam Seminary Blog: Giving Khutbah

By Shuaib Yousuf

Alhamdulillah, although it seems like the Qalam Program began yesterday, four weeks have already passed. In other words, a tenth of the program is already over. I guess time flies when you’re enjoying yourself. However, it seems like the hard work is just beginning. We came into the program knowing that community service would be a huge part of the curriculum, but I never expected to give a khutbah after only one month into the program. Alhamdulillah, I already had some experience giving khutbahs, but giving one in a new community was an entirely new challenge.

Although delivering the khutbah was a challenge, preparing for it was even more difficult. My first challenge was picking a topic. Choosing a topic is always tricky because the khutbah should be relevant to the community and at the same time a beneficial reminder to everyone, including the khateeb. After sitting in some of Sh. Abdul Nasir’s tafseer sessions, I decided that my khutbah would be about the importance of The Quran. My second challenge was finding time to prepare. Between time spent in class and on homework, I hardly had time to sit down and do research. But with some help from Sh. Abdul Nasir, I was able to get it done.

Before I knew it, the week was over, and it was time to give the khutbah. SubhanAllah, I never realized how accustomed I had grown to my community back home until the khutbah began. Everything was different: the faces in the masjid, the placement of the clock, the microphone, the podium, and so much more. But to top it all off, literally as I’m walking to the front of the masjid to begin my khutbah, I’m requested to do an impromptu fundraiser at the end of my khutbah for the masjid’s new building. Alhamdulillah, I was able to squeeze in a few words of encouragement on donation at the end, but at that moment I realized why Sh Abdul Nasir is pushing us to work with the community.

Giving khutbah in a new community was an unforgettable learning experience. However as a student of knowledge I learned that just as the Quran was revealed over a span of 23 years, gaining knowledge of Islam and The Quran will also take time, effort, and consistency.

 

 

Qalam Seminary Blog: ‘Girl Day’

As Sheikh ANJ announced the end of class, we closed our books and began packing away our belongings. However, as the boys trickled out of class, the girls remained eagerly sitting in their seats. At last, with the boys gone and Sheikh Abdul Nasir sitting right in front of us, we were able to start our new weekly activity we called “Girl Day.”

The idea behind Girl Day began when Sheikh Abdul Nasir addressed the concerns of us girls regarding disadvantages we must endure simply due to the fact that we are girls. For instance, boys and girls alike go to lectures and sit in halls where they are given equal treatment (or at least most of the time). Then, after the lecture, the boys go and hang out with the speaker where they are given more time to talk to him, ask more questions, and perhaps even discuss personal issues. Meanwhile, the girls have been taken out of the picture.

The matter was brought to Sheikh ANJ’s attention, and as a result, we were given Girl Day. It was a way to compensate for all those instances when the boys would have exclusive time with him; now we had exclusive time with him as well. One day a week, we stay after school where we can ask him anything we want. Moreover, because it is girls only, we also feel comfortable asking girl-specific questions which we normally wouldn’t ask in front of the whole class. Alhamdulillah, we had our first Girl Day this past week and I believe it was a great success and a huge step towards accommodating and addressing our concerns.

 
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